Tag Archives: hot

The Package Trip – Day 3 and 4

Note: Yes, this is a few days at once.
And a bit shortened.
You see I got a text from o2 to say: “You’ve spent £20 on data so far while you’ve been abroad in Europe. We’ll send you another message if you reach £40.”
£20?! That’s about 6.5mb of data.
6mb from a few photos? The occasional twitter update?
Plus international texts at 10p each?
Turns out my email has been downloading full mails, and I forgot to close it properly, but I’m still surprised.
Anyway – in for a penny, in for £20.

Day 3

Today I tried out a big local supermarket.
No cheaper than Spar, much bigger, busier, noisier, longer queues. Think I’ll use Spar next time.
Bought some extremely disappointing apples. Royal Gala, apparently from Europe, but they were very soft.

I bought a touristy t-shirt with a picture of a lizard on it from a funny ‘suitcases, teatowels and t-shirts’ shop.
It’s been adopted as a kind of symbol for Ibiza due to the number of them there are, about.
I quite like the lizard as a logo for the country. It’d look more fun on a flag than something boring like stripes of different colours. And it’d be better for people who are colour blind.
Not much else of note – I spent a long time looking for (and failing to find) a public toilet, before buying something in a cafe, so I could use theirs.

Day 4

Got up early(ish) this morning.
Went to breakfast and didn’t feel the need to have a second bowl of cereal. I think the charm of all-you-can-eat buffet breakfasts is finally wearing off.

Off out, and without any help from reps at the hotel, or travel agents, my girlfriend and I caught a bus to a nearby town.
€1.85 each (single).
It was quick, clean, driver friendly. We went about 10km for that money too, which seems a bit of a bargain really.

We got on, and I’d swear the heating was on. I immediately opened a window, and when the driver got on and we set off, he switched on the air conditioning.
It’s October, but in Ibiza, it was 22 degrees c.
I was in a t-shirt.
However, I guess if you live here, you become acclimatised to it.
Several Spanish people pulled their shirts tighter as if they were cold. Some were wearing jumpers.
When we got to our destination (Ibiza Town/Eivissa), some people had coats on!

Ibiza Town is nice. There’s a whole walled city with houses, shops (and the ugliest cat I’ve ever seen) in it. I took his picture. But it’s on my other camera, and I don’t have any way of transferring it, so I’ll post it when I’m back.
It’s a lot less touristy – a lot of signs are not in English (they almost all are in English and Spanish, where we’re staying).
That said, everyone still speaks English.
A Dutch guy gave me a business card advertising a mock-Irish bar and said I should visit because they have Guinness on draught. He couldn’t have been further from his target customer.

Today, I described Ibiza as “like England, only warmer, cleaner, and the people are nicer”.
I can see why people retire to Spain.

On the way back to our hotel, 45 cents for 2l of Spar’s own-brand bottled water. Yes.

Another shopping note:
I’m not sure my (vegetarian) girlfriend will ever get used to the amount of meat.
You’ll be shopping and right there next to the chocolate biscuits – will be half a pig.
I saw a woman yesterday with the trotters of a whole pig’s leg poking out the top of her shopping basket.

This evening’s entertainment in the hotel interested my girlfriend. Previous nights have included bingo, and a pensioner singing ballads, but tonight was some African acrobats. I wondered how they were planning to do this on our tiny hotel stage, but they use a lot of chairs and other props, so don’t require as much space as I had thought.
Apparently they were at the Bristol harbour festival and had been popular.
I didn’t think I’d be that impressed, but credit where it’s due – it looked pretty difficult. Must involve a lot of training.

Anyway, tonight’s entertainment takes place in the same place as the others. A room with a lot of pillars. Less of an issue with singers, but more of an issue with a visual act, given that a massive chavvy family have turned up, and were sitting in the way, chatting away.
It almost seemed like a sitcom at one point, when there was three Africans forming a human pyramid, while this lot sat with their backs to what was happening and pestered the waiter for another drink.

Now I can see this sort of act might not be of interest to everyone, but if you’re at a festival and an act comes on you don’t like, you move off somewhere else, to let others who do want to, see.
Anyway, rant over. Time for bed.
If you’ve got this far, please enjoy this slightly-racist-sounding product I found in a shop.

pasta shells in creamy tomato sauce

Not to be disheartened by my earlier attempts at eating pasta, I decided at 21.00 tonight when I still hadn’t eaten any tea, to try some pasta again.

Last week I bought this Dolmio stuff – pasta in one bag, creamy tomato sauce in the other. You buy them separately and can mix and match as you like.

No E-numbers, no artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives (says the packets they’re in). It is described as a “healthy choice meal for one”, and apparently you should check with your parents before cooking.

So, contents of tonight’s meal is:
Pasta: 200g – “My Dolmio” Pasta Shells
sauce: 150g – “My Dolmio” Creamy Tomato Sauce

Sauce contains mostly tomatoes, cream, and mascarpone cheese. Oddly enough, it also may contain traces of peanuts. Only the sauce though – there’s no such warning on the pasta itself.

It comes with good very simple directions, and as they take different times to cook in the microwave, it even tells you to cook the sauce first, and leave that to stand while you do the pasta.

It says 45 seconds for sauce and 75 seconds for sauce. Despite me having the exact same wattage microwave, I never trust microwave times, so always add on a little bit. Plus with my recent experience of pasta going cold very quickly, I thought putting it in for a bit longer might help to combat that.
I cut the corners from the packets, put the sauce in for 60, removed, and put the pasta in for 90.

There was a funny “sparkly” sound coming from the microwave during cooking. I’m not sure what it is – maybe our microwave is on the way out, because presumably if Dolmio tell me to microwave it, it’s microwavable.

All ready from microwave, into a bowl.
The sauce smells, looks, and tastes very nice. It’s a shame there’s not a bit more of it.
However, I’d forced myself to eat maybe 1/3rd of the bowl of pasta, when even a nice sauce like that couldn’t cover up just how boring pasta really is.

Reading from the ingredients, pasta = water, egg, wheat semolina and…no..that’s it. There’s literally nothing in it.
In my problem-solving, energy conserving (lazy) brain, that seems like something extra to cook/eat for no real reason.

Someone told me once during a conversation about food, that they could “live” off of just pasta. I don’t understand it. For a while as a teenager (and possibly even into my early 20’s), I “lived” off of toast. I have to say that was considerably more interesting.

Tonight’s attempt does gets bonus points for the lack of almost-all washing up. The only washing-up you end up with at the end is one bowl and a fork. That’s not bad going.

I will say it again too. The sauce was very nice. It was so nice, I was imagining what else I could put it on while I was eating it. I bet it would taste great on a nice piece of chicken.

Thinking about that, I made myself so hungry I decided to toast some hot cross buns I purchased yesterday and have them instead of the pasta.
That’s not really a proper evening meal though is it?
I didn’t think so either, so I had a snickers bar as well.
I might have one of my healthy organic yoghurts for dessert. That will make up for it.