This is a small town. Not small so much in population, but as in the footprint of the city, for Joaquim and I can walk across it in a brisk 25 minute walk, which walk we took while out looking for Lego. The weather is 15 above and the humidity is 99%, so the light rain leaves umbrella users wondering if they should be putting their umbrellas up or taking them down.
Bonnie and I are going to cook for New Year´s Day. Cooking is harder when you are not in your own kitchen. On the way home from the shopping trip, Joaquim showed me a shop that sells artisan pasta. A lightbulb went on for me. Why would I cook Canadian when I can buy ravioli stuffed with shrimp and artichokes, or ravioli stuffed with spinach and fresh cheese, or ravioli stuffed with veal. I looked through the shelves of the artisan shop for sauces to add. I found a piquant tomato sauce and then an olive sauce, which through translation between the woman who came over to assist us at the freezer and me, I was to learn, just dust the ravioli with the sauce, so as not to loose its delicate taste.
Boil the water and only leave the ravioli in 3 minutes, the clerk warned me through Joaquim. He is having to do a lot of intermediary work. I do not know how his holiday is going, for he has to translate for Bonnie and for me. As well as wanting to know the name of every item in the pasta shop, I wanted to know where to buy the nativity figures that were in the window of the bakery story. Joaquim asked me to come along inside with him while he tired to find out, because for every question I ask, I have four more question that follow. He may have also been wanting to to deflect the craziness of the questions I ask along the way to me instead of people thinking he is the one wanting to know the answers.. I want to know everything about anything I see that is new to me.
I haven´t know the discreet difference between two grocery stores that are on opposite sides of the highway that cuts through the middle of town. I was wondering about the smaller of the two last night when it was closing. Huge cartoons of vegetables and fruits were being transferred into the store, a man running them on a dolly across the highway between surges of traffic
If I was willing to pick up the fruits and vegetables, Joaquim told me, then we could visit the smaller of the stores. He went right to the line up to pay for the groceries and I was to fill the basket he was holding. That is when I discovered the store only carries fruit and vegetables. I took the last of the pineapples available, I didn´t know that the sign above the cherry tomatoes said two for one, and I picked up a large head of celery that was more leaf than stalk and the bitterest celery I have ever tasted.
The mandarins are only 79 Euros a kilogram, but I left those behind, because how much weight can two people really carry in their arms. So we are going for a second trip right now, since everyone is closing up for the festivities around New Year´s Eve.
¨Why are you closing so early today?¨ one patron asked, to which the clerk who couldn´t cash out fast enough to keep the line small retorted, ¨I have a big supper to cook tonight as well as the one you need to cook.¨
The store was so small that I couldn´t get between the isles of food and the patrons so I began to count how many shoppers were there. Thirty in the store at one time, and the area of the store was no bigger than a small barbershop.
We went down to Calella´s Rambla for this is the night when there will be someone who walks the streets giving out candy – a man who has as many noses as there are days in the year. Since this is the last day of the year, he only has one nose, but that nose is something to behold. Along with the candy, he gives out one fake nose to each person who puts out their hand, young or old. Some of the noses were long like Pinocchio´s. Mine was large and Romanesque, a lovely addition to my face. I wore it proudly. Children ran behind him, in front of him and alongside him. His helpers made sure everyone had a nose and a handful of candy.