Saturday, December 03, 2005

Hay he puesto

I’m bringing my time in Spain to a graceful close today – and I’m not just talking about having tackled the preterito pluscuamperfecto. I will miss the 'tween class break at nearby Bar Ardatza, with classmates.

Last night, I took Joaquin to restaurant Arzak, as a special thank-you for his hospitality in Spain, cooking rice for me through a week of alimentary discomfort, and not laughing too much at my Spanish. Apparently, the restaurants of this province share more Michelin chef’s hats than any region other than Lyon. You might never know this after sitting in class while some students recite their day’s comings and goings between pizzeria and McDonalds.

Over 3 hours, we had 6 platos of the degustation menu plus innumerable bite-size offerings of culinary delights. Highlights were the lamb in coffee, wild duck with wild beeswax ...and some buckshot (not from shooting bees) which I initially thought was a loose filling. A spectacular dessert saw some pineapple pieces doused in the bubbling sauce created from pina colada poured over a small tumbler of dry ice.

Yesterday the conversation class reviewed usage of 3 past tenses through conversations about el aeropuerto (pronounced iropuerto). We were given some additional vocabulary like abrocharse (buckle up) and desabrocharse (unbuckle). I was momentarily alarmed by the verbs for take-off and landing, which sounded like despair and terrorized i.e. despegar, and aterrizar. After supplying despegar, the teacher asked for suggestions for the verb for landing. I innocently assumed pegar, which he thought was very amusing (it means hit/stick/paste) and we really don’t want to do or be any of those things on a runway.

So anyway, I'm headed for France tomorrow, taking a few days to approach Cherbourg (and its parapluies) for the ferry to Plymouth. Posted by Picasa

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