Eating Healthy

Jerry stirred up another gourmet success from the pages of “The New Spanish Table.”  Tonight it was Garbanzos Salteados Con Gambas (Chickpea and Shrimp Saute).  Fresh shrimp that he meticulously peeled and cleaned.  Before the shells and other stuff were discarded, they were used to make the stock.  It didn’t look like much food when all was said and done, but it was very filling and ended up being more than enough.  It was also exceptionally delicious.  And we were pleased to note that it was extremely healthy and high in protein.

GARBANZOS SALTEADOS CON GAMBAS

So, after our satisfyingly delicious and healthy dinner we went for a walk in the slowly cooling night air.  When we reached La Alameda de Hercules, we stopped at our favorite spot for a couple of cups of chocolate fondant ice cream (which contains protein, riboflavin, calcium, and other essential vitamins and minerals).

A NOT-SO-STONY STONY VISAGE ON THE CATHEDRAL.
I THINK SHE MIGHT HAVE JUST HAD SOME CHOCOLATE FONDANT ICE CREAM.

Don’t Get Your Knickers in a Twist

While Jerry was still working but not long before we left Irvine, we went clothing shopping.  Among our purchases, were several new pairs of a variety of brands of underwear for Jerry.  He prefers Lycra-blend boxer briefs — his favorite brand being Under Armour, while I like the fit of low-rise cotton briefs by Kenneth Cole, DKNY, and Calvin Klein.  Probably more information than I should be sharing, but it helps the story.

In Jerry’s new assortment were two pairs of Nautica boxer briefs.  One day, when he came home from work, I was sitting and visiting with Jerry while he changed out of his work clothes and into jeans and a T-shirt.  He took off his pants and as he walked across the room I noticed something odd.

“Jerry,” I commented, “your underwear is on backwards.”

He immediately looked down at the front, then twisted to look at the back and replied, “What?  No, they’re not.  The label is in the back.”

I said, “Well, so are the Y-front and the pouch.”  I was stunned as I stared at the obviously awkwardly fitting boxer briefs.  “Don’t they seem to be shaped kind of funny to you?”

He took them off, inspected them, and realized I was right, although he couldn’t comprehend why the designer would move the label to the front of the waistband when everyone else puts it on the back.  “Ludicrous,” he said.

I agreed it was an odd thing to do, but couldn’t stop laughing and told him I couldn’t imagine going an entire day without realizing something was wrong. I teased him about not even knowing how to dress himself.

The next day, Jerry was getting dressed for work and I walked into the room just as he was pulling up his pants. 

“Jerry,” I said, as I stared at his waistband.

“What?” he responded distractedly as he continued to pull up his pants.

“Jerry,” I said, more pointedly nodding my head and rolling my eyes in the direction of his waistband.

“What?” he demanded.

I responded slowly, enunciating carefully, “Your underwear is on backwards.”

Over several weeks, I shared the story often and Jerry was a very good sport about it.   Even when it happened again.  Yes, three times!  And some days after that, he came home from work and dropped his pants to display boxer briefs with the brand name “Levis” stitched repeatedly around the waist band.  Backwards.  He had those on inside out.  What a dolt!  It’s a good thing he’s cute (well, among other fine qualities).

WHAT GOES AROUND
Wednesday morning in Málaga, we got up early.  We both set aside our clothes for the day (underwear, socks, jeans, shirts, belts) and then packed the rest for the trip back to Sevilla.  After I showered and shaved, I began to get dressed.  But I couldn’t find the underwear I had set aside.  It was not with my other clothes for the day.

Jerry was already dressed and sitting at his computer checking email.  I muttered that I must have repacked the underwear I had set out for myself and I pulled another pair of underwear from my bag and slipped them on.  When they were up around my knees, I looked down and noticed something peculiar.  I was already wearing the missing pair of underwear.

Jerry and I were meant for each other.

An Afternoon in Torrox

After a much too short visit to the Mediterranean coast, Jerry, Jorunn, and I arrived back in Sevilla Wednesday afternoon.  It is much easier obtaining a seat facing forward on the train when you travel in a party of three.  We had a set of facing seats with a table between us.  Jerry was looking in the right direction from the start and didn’t have to spend the trip standing in the hall by the vending machine.  The table provided lots of room for our books, for Jerry’s laptop, and for our “treats.”  Jorunn rolled out a box of Norwegian chocolates for the ride home.  Total bliss!

 THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA AS WE APPROACHED THE TOWN OF NERJA,
WHICH WAS RIGHT AFTER WE MISSED OUR TURN NORTH TO TORROX.

As planned, we rented a car Tuesday morning and drove east along the coast from Málaga and then inland a few kilometers to the town of Torrox.  There are three versions of Torrox — the original town a little away from the water, Punta de Torrox (the point that dips into the Mediterranean Sea), and Torrox-Costa (unsurprisingly, the town on the coast).

THE MAIN PLAZA AFTER LUNCH.  TIME FOR SIESTA.

The “towns” on the coast are contemporary and have no charm whatsoever, just an enviable location on the water.  The original town — our destination — is situated high above.  It is historic, picturesque, and has beautiful views.  It is the first “pueblo blanco” (white village) Jerry and I have had an opportunity to visit in Southern Spain.  You’ll see from the photos why these villages are known by the name.

VAARIN, JERRY, AND JORUNN JUST BEGINNING THE CLIMB FROM THE PLAZA.
WE HAD NO IDEA WHAT WE WERE IN FOR.

Torrox was settled in the time of the Phoenecians and Greeks who traded in olives, figs, and wine.  The Romans increased the town’s stature by producing a type of anchovy paste (no thank you).  The Moors arrived in the 7th century and brought new agriculture, terracing, and irrigation that is still in existence.

NEVER LOOK BACK.

We parked the car and began a brief, steep climb to the main plaza, where we had a very pleasant lunch with Jerry’s first cousin once removed, Vaarin.  We heard no Spanish being spoken in the plaza.  Vaarin spoke Norwegian with the staff and with Jorunn, and some English with us.  The tables surrounding us were filled with Brits.  The waitress was a young blond who spoke English with a Norwegian accent.  Jerry and Vaarin shared stories and family photos.

STILL CLIMBING.

After lunch, we hiked up the surprisingly charming and exceedingly steep streets of Torrox to see where Vaarin is spending her annual 5-week escape from Norway (which is already cold and, as usual, rainy).  The climb was daunting, but the views were stunning.

THE VIEW NORTH FROM THE ROOF TERRACE.  SO WORTH THE CLIMB.

Once we arrived at Vaarin’s house, we then climbed three flights of stairs to the roof terrace.  Breathtaking (both the views and the climb… especially the climb).  We sat and visited for a while and, once Jerry’s sweat-soaked shirt had dried a bit, we began our descent to the car.

THE VIEW EAST FROM THE ROOF TERRACE.

Vaarin insisted on taking us the scenic way down, showing us her favorite streets and views.  It is like walking the hills of San Francisco, only smaller, quainter, steeper, sunnier, and hotter.  Vaarin’s stamina is awe-inspiring.  It must be that Viking stock (Jerry’s stock was watered down by his father’s side of the family).

ON THE WAY BACK DOWN.  VAARIN’S FAVORITE VIEW SOUTH TO THE MEDITERRANEAN.

The First Few Hours in Málaga

The train ride down to Málaga was a pleasure.  Sevilla’s train station has a sweets shop.  Jerry ate a bag of chocolate-covered raisins.  We shared a package (of two) chocolate-dipped Oreo cookies.  When those were very quickly gone, we shared a package (of six) traditional Oreo cookies.  Maybe we should stop at a market and pick up some healthy snacks for the ride home on Wednesday.

THE VIEW NORTH

Our assigned seats did not face forward (remember the January train rides?) but we didn’t even bother asking. Once onboard, we simply changed our seats to ones that faced the right direction.  Jorunn arrived at the hotel just a few minutes before us.  Jerry charmed his way into the hearts of the front desk staff, and we ended up with a deluxe room with a beautiful view.  Jorunn is just a few doors down (well, she’s at least got a really nice big bathroom).

THE VIEW EAST.

We all unpacked, called Jerry’s cousin in Torrox to make plans for tomorrow, and then headed up to the sixth floor roof terrace for mojitos and peanuts.  I was too lazy to head back down one flight of stairs to retrieve my camera, so smart phone photos will have to do (yet again).  A rental car will be delivered to the hotel in the morning and we’ll drive the 46km to Torrox.  Dinner in an hour — more or less.  SO relaxing.

I Need A Vacation Like Nobody’s Business

It’s hard work not working.  Well, it’s hard work moving to another country, finding a new home, trying to get utilities connected, learning one’s way around, assembling furniture, learning where to shop, trying to get utilities connected, buying and repotting house plants, missing family and friends, trying to get utilities connected, hanging pictures, trying to get utilities connected, and doing it all in another language.

A LITTLE BIT OF GREEN INSIDE TO GO WITH THE GREEN OUTSIDE.

Did I mention trying to get utilities connected?

It’s also a complete joy to do all of the above (except trying to get utilities connected, although that was a complete joy when finally accomplished).  And I am grateful for every minute (well, ALMOST every minute, since sometimes I am an ingrate) of this great adventure we have created for ourselves.



MY SENTIMENTS EXACTLY

In any case, we are now a bit run down.  We also haven’t transitioned from attempting to create a new life here to actually living one.  So, we are very excited to have the opportunity to get out of town for a few days and to then actually come home.

SOME MORE GREEN.  WE STILL NEED MORE… AND LAMPS.

We have a dear friend, Jorunn, from Oslo, Norway (met through our wonderful cousin Inger) who will be in Málaga. Coincidentally, Jerry’s first cousin once removed (his mother’s cousin, his grandfather’s niece…) — from the other side of the Norwegian family — is on holiday in Torrox, which is about a half hour further along the coast from Málaga.

Jerry only discovered this first cousin once removed (and other extended family from his grandfather’s line) about 10 years ago and they’ve been in email correspondence ever since.  We had great plans in 2001 to go up above the Arctic Circle to meet this branch of the family, but hard times hit at the hotel and we couldn’t get away.  We hope to be able to make that trip in the near future.

THE TWO OF US.  NOW SURROUNDED BY FAMILY.  (HAD WE KNOWN HOW MANY WALLS
WE’D HAVE, WE WOULD HAVE SHIPPED MORE OF THE FAMILY PHOTOS.)

So, we’re taking the train down to Málaga Monday to meet up with Jorunn.  We’ll spend Monday night in Málaga and then we three will head up the coast (either in a rental car or by bus) to Torrox to have lunch with First Cousin Once Removed and her nephew (Jerry’s second cousin). We’ll then head back to Málaga for another night and we three will then train back up to Sevilla.  Can’t wait to be relaxed tourists in Málaga.  Can’t wait to see Torrox.  But, I especially can’t wait to see Jorunn again and to meet more of Jerry’s Norwegian family.

I wonder if I should start practicing my Norwegian again.  No I don’t wonder.  That’s just too much for my already addled brain to contemplate.  Uff dah!