Saturday, March 10, 2007

Last Miscellany from Spain

-The small food shops (butchers, bakeries, greengrocers) are staffed by women who look like they could be politicians. They are extremely, agressively well-groomed. They wear white smocks or pink aprons or other non-surprising food-service uniforms, but it's clear that their native dress is sensible navy suits with two-inch heels and tasteful gold jewelry. I've never before seen a woman with perfectly coiffed hair and flawless, understated makeup run a bloody piece of meat through a bandsaw.

-The hippest young women here have mullets with very short bangs. The most stylish old ladies have shockingly red or orange (or both) hair. There is a sliver of the population which is both past middle age and extremely trendy (I'm guessing they're gallery owners or fashion designers), and they have bright red mullets with very short bangs. In a month, I have seen five of them.

-My hair is chin-length and brown, I don't have bangs, and I usually dress in what The Great Sarah Vowell calls "the bruise pallet" of black, grey, blue, and brown. As soon as I open my mouth, it's clear I'm not Spanish, but apparently I'm not identifiably American either. So far, everyone who has guessed where I'm from has guessed France. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I didn't think I had enough existential angst in me to look French. Perhaps I have the appearance of existential angst covering my goofy Pollyanna creme center. Or perhaps it's my giant distinguished French nose.

-First Sign Of Globalization at the stadium during the game: In line for hot dogs (sorry, salchichas) at half time, some guys behind us were talking about market optimization and revenue tracking (or something) in Northern Californian accents.

-Second SOG at the stadium: After the game ended, we clapped the players off the field, people started making for the exits, the music came on, and it was Johnny Cash. Ring of Fire? Walk the Line? One of those—it was weird. But good! Who doesn't like Johnny Cash?

-At a huge, packed, dark, noisy book release party, the food was hard to get to, and not too user-friendly. Standing around chatting outside in the spillover crowd, we saw a pizza delivery guy drive up on his scooter, hop off, look hopelessly at the crowd and say, "Juan?" It was a classic tale of yearning and desire, illustrated. One guy really really wants to get rid of a pizza, get his money, and leave, and some other guy is trapped in a sea of patrons of the arts, desperately hungry. We never found out if the guy who eventually traded money for food was the same Juan who called in the first place, or just some opportunistic hungry guy, but within seconds of that box being opened, it was emptied. Maybe the pizza delivery company is onto something...

1 comment:

Jenn Hrabota Lesser said...

oooo, I think my nose is french too!