Monday 21 October
We caught a train to Tarragona today, which is the home of tarragon (presumably).
That purchasing started like this:
Girlfriend: “Dos billets Tarragona, por favor?”
Ticket saleswoman: “ok – one way or two way?”
and ended like this:
Ticket saleswoman: “Thank you. Bye.”
On the train, there was a guy walking up and down the carriages. We thought he was the ticket inspector to start with, but as he got closer, he was holding out a hand begging, and pointing to something metallic on his neck with his other hand. My girlfriend thought it looked like he’d had a tracheotomy (though they’re usually temporary, surely?), but I thought it looked like he’d had his voicebox partially removed. He didn’t speak, either way – just held out his hand. And like every other person on the carriage, we didn’t give him money.
For all I know the metal thing was just stuck onto the outside of his neck.
We couldn’t work out whether he’d bought a ticket assuming he’d make more back from begging, or had boarded without a ticket and was trying his luck.
There was a lot of walking in Tarragona, up and down lots of hills.
They have a surprisingly well preserved amphitheatre which is free to view from the road/park next door.
Here’s some more pictures of Tarragona.
We bought a bakery product which kind-of tastes like an iced bun, but which is flat/rectangular like a slab of lardy cake. It’s covered in sugar, has a yellowy-creamy layer of something running through it, and I meant to take a picture of it, but we ate it all first. It was very tasty, whatever it was. I’d buy another one of them again, definitely. And I’d almost certainly photograph -that- one before I ate it. Probably.
On the way back, I recorded the noise the train makes before they announce the next station. Very jaunty, isn’t it.
(If that embed doesn’t work, try this link: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1685779 )
For dinner we went to a much larger supermarket I found using Google and Tripadvisor’s forums, called “Mercadona”.
It was pretty stressful, and still surprisingly lacking in food we might want.
A lot of things pre-packaged in huge quantities. Enough potatoes for three weeks, enough croissants for a fortnight. Gf didn’t want pasta for tea again, but there was so little without meat, we ended up buying soup. They had no tinned or fresh soup, so packet tomato soup it was, as all the rest of the flavours had meat in.
It was horrible, really. Gf followed the instructions meticulously but it looked like what might happen if you poured a few teaspoons of powdered red food colouring and some sand, into a litre of water.
The supermarket did at least stock some nice bread, so that was absorbing most of it.
And it was much cheaper than the other supermarkets we’ve used so far.
Dessert was nice though. Some chocolate mousse for me, which I thought would be quite boring, but it had some sponge in it too, which was nice. Gf had a vegetarian friendly cheesecake which I’m assured was delicious.
Tuesday 22 October
Tuesday was a bit of a rest day. Neither of us could think what to do. It was a bit grey and overcast all day. Gf read for a bit, I watched The Simpsons in Spanish, and then pissed about on Twitter, and caught up with the news.
Whoever dubs the voice of Marge on the Spanish “Los Simpson” is superb. Sounds surprisingly like the original, and with the same mannerisms.
I also watched Peppa Pig and Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom, in Spanish. I quite enjoyed both actually. The latter is quite bizarre and had a story about elves rescuing people. And there’s a woman who abuses the emergency services by phoning when she doesn’t really need them, because she gets a biscuit after she’s rescued. I googled it later and it’s one of the episodes named on Wikipedia, because it’s a sort of homage to something from Thunderbirds.
We went for a wander around Salou, and sadly, saw loads of horrible cats. They’re mangy strays, fed by -presumably mad- locals. Eugh. There’s loads of them on one spot by the sea.
On the way back to the apartment, was another noisy tree of birds. I’m not sure it’s the same birds, but it’s pleasant to listen to anyway.
(Again, in case that embed didn’t work, try: http://boo.fm/b1685807)
Dinner was a microwave lasagne that gf bought yesterday for her (which was very salty, apparently) and more chicken nuggets and Aunt Bessie’s roast potatoes for me, with quite flavourless frozen green beans for both of us.
Gf had another cheesecake for dessert, and I didn’t, because I don’t like cheesecake. I had a spoonful, just to remind myself of this.
And after all that, the live final of the Great British Bake Off on BBC2. What an unexpected result that was.