i just realized that i never explained the title of last blog entry, ¨romantic tongue.¨ i guess i had more wine than i realized. it´s french, it´s cheap, it´s good. what do you want from me anyway? (for those of you who remember my last fore´into french wine, let me assure you this was nowhere near that bad.) anyway, the title. while in firenze i met a nice guy from san diego named kirk. we met while admiring david, then had lunch, then spent the afternoon together, then had dinner. so basically, a nine-hour date. (how good is my life?) over dinner, we mused over our particular difficulties with italian. i quipped that by the end of my trip, having attempted to communicate in italian, french, and castillian spanish, i would have a very romantic tongue (those of you unfortunate enough to know me personally are not surpised by such pathetic double entrendre). kirk, being on his flirtatious toes, replies "that´s great. the question is, to what will you apply it?¨ i love a good flirt.
i´m rather wishing at this point that i had stayed in france longer. despite the obnoxious keyboards, it´s a beautiful country. i spent my second day at a bird sanctuary on a salt marsh near the rhone river delta, where i saw over 30 sps. of birds in 2 hours. the weather was perfect, the company was perfect (i was again on my own), and it was the most restful afternoon of my vactaion. no museums, no mopeds, no tacky tourist shops. just me and the birds. and the horse. i also spent a few hours on the back of a stunning white andalusian gelding. the best way to see a county, i´m convinced, is from the back of a horse. i´ve only been riding a few times, but he had the most relaxed gallop of any horse i´ve ridden, and the two of us just rode off into the sunset, fording shallow rivers and chasing flocks of flamingoes like a toddler scaring pigeons. god, it was great. words can´t describe.
so now i´m in barcelona. by sheer coincidence, i happened to arrive on the first day of a 4-day festival commemerating the end of summer. it´s the 2nd biggest festival of the year (the first being easter). there are market stalls and street performers everywhere, and all over the city there will be free concerts in the evening. i spent the morning wandering the old medieval quarter (yeah, there´s a surprise), and the afternoon at the beach reading a jane austen novel (see previous entry Damn you, Jane Austin) and soaking up the sun. i´ve been doing a lot of soaking lately. i seem to travel osmotially. my last afternoon in france consisted of sitting in the public garden where Van Gogh often painted, eating cheese and bread and the best grapes of my life, and reading the history of the cod fish. (yes, the cod fish. don´t laugh, it´s a good book.)
obviously this is only a thumbnail of my travels. i wish i had time to describe the prehistorically uncivilized french public toilets (ironic, coming from a culture that claims to be the most civilized in the world), or relate the story of my japanese roommate who told me that i was a good daugher for honoring my father´s quest for mustard, but there´s a lot more barcelona out there waiting for me, and i´m not going to waste any more time in an internet cafe´surrounded by american backpackers and listening to billy joel. you may not have a life, but damnit i do. adios!