coffee

borrowed bike

My lovely Danish cat lady host and bike-lender is pushing a healthy Danish six feet tall, so the first thing I did today was ride the borrowed bike directly to the coffee shop out of which my friend the proprietor also rents out bikes and ask him to take a wrench to its seat height for me. Then I hung around a while, getting rowdy on a latte—I guess now commences a slide back into caffeine, as everywhere there is no other choice—and advice on how to live. He told me to seek out Jewish painters and/or musicians in Berlin, that they will anchor the energy I’m out here after. He said, Danish people are like fucking ice.

Barcelona is trying

I said,

I like it here.

Barcelona is trying.

but not too hard.

I talked with a local — actually a native of Venezuela but I guess she’s been here for a while — who said very vehemently otherwise.

said it with clarity, and texture, and substance.

but still.

I just watched a street sweeper spend several minutes going after a leaf.

I think it might be hotter than what you favor.

but I also think you’d like the way the food and drink are good without making a Thing about it.

there’s a G&T obsession — did you know this already? — and pretty much every dive offers vermut de la casa…which I guess means house-made vermouth.

I had such terrible coffee all throughout France, and it took me getting to Spain to even realize, consider my perspective legitimate, give it voice.

I said this to la patrona at the Basque B&B where I worked for a while

and she was like, “Well, yeah.”

“French coffee sucks.”

“Everyone knows that.”

(except she said it in Spanish.)

here, I’ve figured out how to order what I want, and it’s so consistently excellent and so cheap, and then I sit and watch the old hombres have wine and snails for breakfast.

pieces of sheep everywhere

~i wrote~

Are you guys battening down the hatches? I’m in Essaouira, recovering from some kind of virus — Africa is not. fucking. around — but still caught word that storm’s a-comin’ far away in another spot in another ocean I call home… The coffee here is excellent and the orange juice is even better, but since Eid on Wednesday there are pieces of sheep everywhere — yesterday I went to change my bus ticket and literally tripped over a foot on the sidewalk outside the ticket agency, still trussed at the ankle — which isn’t my favorite. All in all, though, having a great time.

my endless summer is almost over

08h15 EEST

Beach Bar Finikas

The first amazement of today is how sleepy this resort town is. I was up at seven and, by half-past, out and ready to be writing with a cup of coffee as one does in any functioning municipality, but this is the first establishment where I found so much as a sign of life, and still I was 20 minutes too early to be served. They told me I could sit and wait, though, so I am. 

The swathe of sand that underlies most of the table seating at this beachfront restaurant is raked carefully, with very few footprints in it, which means it is part of someone’s job to take up all the furniture, rake the beach, and put all the furniture back while stepping anywhere almost not at all. Who is that person, and what are they thinking about while they do it, and how does my or anyone’s patronage fit into their socioeconomy and consciousness? Who came up with the best practice for the fewest footsteps, and who enforces it, and who has anxious work dreams about it? These are droll observations for people who work in restaurants. 

This seat is directly beneath the gap between the end of their structural overhang and the roller of their awning, and I am chilled by the condensation dripping onto my shoulders. My endless summer is almost over. Maybe I won’t after all wade out while I wait into the Aegean, which is so still I don’t recognize it. Even the waves sleep late here, I guess. 

Now my coffee has arrived and is, as expected, a proper cup of sludge. I asked for it Greek with milk — διπλό ςελληνικό ςκαφές, με γάλα— and then when the waiter brought it there was visibly none in it and so I was like Hey can I have some milk and he was like There already is milk in there. But I will bring you a little more and brought me four additional creamers that I poured in, one by one, watching them be swallowed up by darkness.

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