Friday, January 27, 2006

My Last Day in Spain

I´m in Barcelona at an internet cafe right near the famous ¨La Boqueria¨market, and you can look forward (or not) to my posting thousands of photos of it when I get back, because I´m just saying that it´s paradise for foodies, and even if you´re not a foodie it´s still paradise, only with sheep heads and entire dead piglets in cases. It is the wonder of the food chain writ large, and with great beauty.
I just sat at a little bar with a naughty name (did you know that ¨Quim¨is a name in Catalan?)and had the most tasty, wonderful breakfast of fried artichoke hearts, some garlicky potatoes and two meatballs. All around me was the din of Catalunians shopping amidst miles of gorgeous produce and butcher stalls, and fish monger stands. I want to get one of those enormous cleavers so I can WHACK the hell out of my dinner preparations every night. It´s very satisfying. *whack!*

I had such a nice night last night meeting JAUME DE MARCOS of UU blogger fame. We met with another American UU (who has lived in Barcelona for 23 years now) and had tapas near the Cathedral, and drank cava and Jaume is just as cute and charming as you would imagine. We had a very interesting talk about the international Unitarian Universalist scene and I encourage you to learn all about it through the organization ICUU (I´ve got that wrong, right, Jaume? I hope you will comment and correct me).

Jaume is so much a gentleman that he won´t even tell you when you´ve got black eyeliner all smeared under your eyes and look like a very friendly raccoon. Muy simpatico.

I learned the traditional Catalan toast, which goes ¨Santa, forza y al canut!¨or something like that, which means, roughly, ¨Health, strength, and to the erection!¨ It´s a reference muy antigua to the time when people had their ¨canuts¨by their side, something like a horn, for protection. Or they kept their money in it. Again, Jaume will have to comment and clear this up for you. I intend to learn this by heart and use it all the time, as I think it´s the best toast I´ve heard yet.

Speaking of being by cathedrals, I visited the famous La Sagrada Familia temple yesterday and although I´m not in the habit of bursting into tears at the sight of enormous religious edifices, viewing this one for the first time was overwhelmingly emotional and I stood in front of it for the longest time, just wiping away tears and marveling. This may be the origin of the aforementioned racoon eyes (a girl sometimes forgets to look in the mirror when she´s traveling) and I promise to write more about it when I get home and can post photos. Let me just say that (1) it was a monumental shock to be so emotionally moved, because I just trotted off to see the thing with the attitude that, ¨oh, this is a big important site, can´t miss it¨and (2) Antoni Gaudi is my new hero.

I think that will have to be it for now, PeaceBangers. Love from Barcelona.


Blogger boyinthebands said...

Canut, as in codpiece?

Oh, dear, now I'm thinking of the Sacred Cod.

Blogger Jamie Goodwin said...

now that is one toast you must post phoneticaly, that is one I would love to use!

Blogger Jaume said...

Hi Peacebang and everyone!

It was both a pleasure (because she is so nice and charming and smart and beautiful outside and inside) and an honour (being such a much-read and loved blogger) to meet Peacebang, and I just regret that the time was too short to enjoy this blooming friendship. (sigh!)

So, talking about the toast, it is actually "Salut i força al canut!" and it originally meant "Health and a lot in your purse!", but "força" may also mean "strength" if used as a substantive, and "canut" may me misunderstood with the man's virile organ (ehem!) so many people think that it actually means: "Health and have strength in..." So, pick your choice when you say it.

I am not sure about phonetic spelling, but you should read as if it was Spanish (it isn't, it's Catalan, a Romance language actually closer to Provenzal, the language spoken in southern France, than to Castilian Spanish), and remember that the ç reads as an "s".

Blogger PeaceBang said...

Jaume, I'm blushing!!

Jamie, it goes like this:

ee forza

But try to say it with a Catalanian accent, and not a Scandanavian one.

Blogger Jamie Goodwin said...



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