IPA saves the day

Can you believe I’ve been in Barcelona for five days? In fact, it feels like nearly double that. With all of the adjustments and new stimuli, my days feel long. That’s a good thing, of course, but it’s also a bit emotionally exhausting.

In short, some of my expectations (damn those expectations!) have been dashed, and I’m having to look at this experience with a bit of a new perspective. I won’t go into details now, only to say that what I’m hearing about teaching prospects for an American here isn’t promising … and so I may need to alter my plans – or even change direction completely.

It’s too early to tell right now, so I’m working hard to gather as much information as possible, and I’m trying to stay positive. Whatever happens happens, and I may as well enjoy myself in the meantime.

Speaking of which, I finally went running today! Yeah for sweaty goodness!

sweaty goodness

It may have been a short run, but I still got a good workout, as evidenced by the glossy forehead.

And though I likely need to pick a different route next time (one in a less crowded area, with not quite so many crosswalks), I did get to enjoy tree-lined avenues:

This is St Joan Avenue, right near my apartment.

This is St Joan Avenue, right near my apartment.

And pretty fountains:

fountain

(Yes, I took my iPhone on my run so I could snap some pics.)

But the best part of the day, far and above, was the restaurant Shelby and I stumbled upon at dinnertime. (Have I mentioned that Shelby is here in Barcelona? She’s a Portland friend who’s overlapping with part of my time here, and she’s also taking some classes – not related to the TEFL course I’m taking. And, perhaps it goes without mentioning, but it is wonderful to have a friend here.)

We’ve been lamenting the lack of spicy food in Barcelona – and, actually, the food in general. It … leaves something to be desired. Sure, it’s nice to eat chocolate croissants for breakfast, but one can only take so much white sugar and white bread. Serrano ham is lovely too, in moderation, but I’m already sick of bocadillos and it’s not even been a week.

Not to mention the beer selection (or lack thereof). We’ve only seen Pilsners, and we’ve steered clear, preferring cava instead.

Until we happened upon a tiny restaurant tonight called Red Ant. We were headed to a different place, but the aroma from Red Ant literally stopped us in our tracks. It’s a noodle house with a small menu (bowls of ramen, curry dishes, crispy tofu), and maybe best of all, they have IPA. IPA! In Barcelona! (That’s unheard of.)

We may have actually got a bit teary-eyed.

IPA

Ohmygod, ohmygod, we’re drinking IPA!

The food was everything we wanted it to be and more. (DO I SOUND LIKE I’M GUSHING OR WHAT?!) But, seriously, it’s the first meal I’ve had here that satisfied me in that deep-soul-hell-yes-that’s-what-I’m-talking-about way. They even served Sriracha on the table. Sriracha! In Barcelona! (Unheard of! … Are you sensing a theme?)

Yep, I got fed tonight.

And it restored me.

curry

Documentation of aforementioned deep-soul satisfaction

I believe the universe does, in fact, serve up little reminders and omens just when you need them, and sometimes they come in the form of curry.

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