Hey hey hey!
I am back from Spain. I had an nice week. Lots of tapas, sea food, wine, beer, “sorry, no hablo Español”, and the conference presentations (of course).
I liked the city. It was a nice change from Nijmegen. I enjoyed my time there, but as soon as I arrived in the Netherlands, it felt like I came back home. I was criticising the perfectness, the orderliness, and the architecture of the Netherlands, but once I came back, I was enjoying the very same things I was fed up of in the previous post. The local food in the Netherlands will always be kinda unexciting (to put it nicely). This fact is a constant of the nature. But rest of the things are a matter of perspective.
While writing the lines above, I realised that it’s just a matter of taking breaks. We get fed up of something. Our tolerance decreases. We take a break from it. We calm down and get recharged. We look at the same thing and it feels good again.
I have been thinking about the concept of home during the last few months. I wrote about it while I was in Santiago, but it’s not complete enough yet for publishing here. After two days of excessive socialisation, I wanted to spend some time alone, so on Wednesday evening I went to a cafe and wrote in my diary. Then the cafe owner kicked me out because they were closing, so I just roamed around the city for a while. Then I stopped at another cafe, had dinner (a special dinner) and continued writing. I went back to the hotel around midnight. That was a nice evening. Peaceful and quiet… Soon I will write a post about what I have been thinking about home.
But the other evenings were also very nice and exciting. I just needed some time alone on Wednesday. I wrote about Monday in the previous post. On Tuesday we went to different tapa bars. The conference organisers gave us three coupons and four suggestions for tapa bars. My friends from Nijmegen had suggested me to try octopus while I was in Santiago. There was one bar on the suggested list that served octopus tapa. I was really excited to try it. I kind of dragged the group I was with to that bar instead of other bars because I wanted to try the octopus.
When I finally ordered the tapas, I expected something that looked like octopus on my plate. Instead, I got something like fried dough balls with pieces of octopus in it. Something like croquetas but with octopus in it. So my mission to try octopus was left unaccomplished that day.
When I sat in the second cafe on Wednesday, I saw octopus on the menu. I ordered and hoped that this time it would be a real octopus, and it was! The dish had two deep fried octopus tentacles and a potato patty. It was okayish. From the look itself it was clear that the cook did not put much effort in preparing it. It seemed like it was cooked in a way I cook my survival food. So the mission to try octopus was still unaccomplished.
On Thursday, the organisers had organised an excursion for all of us. We went to the coastal regions of Galicia. It was a nice bus ride. We had a profession guide to keep us entertained. He was a funny guy. He did his job very well. :D On the way we saw a bunch of things. I really liked the view of the coast. Blue water, clear sky, sun, wind, nice beaches, the sound of waves.
I have been away from the sea shore for more than two years. I enjoyed the view of water stretching until the horizon when I was in Mumbai. We have beaches in the Netherlands but I have never been there. They are so far away. It takes almost two hours by train to get there. (Hmm…. maybe I should, instead of craving for it and being disappointed by not having it close.)
The destination of the bus ride was yet another ride, this time by bus. We went for a ride on a double decker boat to see the mussle farms. That was nice! The operator showed us how the mussles are harvested, and then offered us trays full of freshly harvested mussles to try. They were much nicer than the ones I tried in one of the tapa bars on Tuesday, which were probably slightly old since they were in the bar. I didn’t eat many of them because I didn’t like them much. I liked other types of sea food I tried on Tuesday in tapa bars but we were not served any of that on the boat probably they were expensive and need to be cooked before serving.
After the boat ride, I went back to the hotel, took a shower and got ready for dinner. It was at a very fancy hotel, probably the fanciest in the city, with a very nice view of the cathedral and the hills in the distance. (The food, though, was much more tastier and exotic in the hotel where the conference was organised.) But I liked the ambience of the restaurant. It was grand. We felt like royalty while we ate there!
23:25 - Aah, it’s getting late. Let’s finish it right now. I will write about the events of Friday and Saturday as an update on this post sometime this week.
I forgot to mention that now my mental health is good. :)
I am glad that I now I have a habit of writing, going for sports, doing certain things on the weekends, wearing certain clothes on certain days of the week, doing certain activities on certain days of the week, etc. I crave for these things when the time comes to do them. I was craving for sports for the whole week. I was craving for writing on Saturday but couldn’t because I was travelling. I was craving for sports and writing today but was busy with other things. At first I thought I won’t write today but then I wrote because this is something I do on the weekends. The weekend doesn’t feel complete if I don’t eat my weekend food on the weekends and if I don’t write. Now I am feeling good. :)
Oh, and I tried apple cider today for the first time. I bought a bottle of it last month as well on one weekend. I wanted to drink it the same evening, so I put it in the freezer to cool it quickly and forgot. I opened the freezer the next day and the cider had spilled all over inside the freezer.
This time I didn’t put it in the freezer. I bought it last weekend with plenty of time to cool it in the fridge, but I couldn’t drink it last weekend because I was busy, and I didn’t want to have any amount of alcohol the evening before I had to travel. I was afraid it would mess up my sleep.
I came back yesterday. I have had plenty of alcohol throughout the week. Infact, too much alcohol! But my weekend would have been incomplete if I didn’t have this one drink. I enjoyed it! And now I understand why Appy Fizz exists in India. It’s basically apple cider (or at least just an apple cider flavoured soft drink, you know) without alcohol. I liked it very much. The first sip instantly reminded me of Appy Fizz, which I liked very much back when I was in India. Now I think I would ask for apple cider the next time I go to a cafe instead of a beer. It’s low in alcohol, and I liked the sour taste of cider.
Alright, now it’s even more late than the last time I wanted to go. Time doesn’t run backwards. Let’s go to sleep. Oh no, just realised that first I have to take the laundry out of dryer and put it in the cupboad… chores…