|Software Pancake House: Spain
World tour, 1989. Their vehicle was moving through Spain, taking them from Barcelona to Madrid.
They were drinking Absinthe and mineral water from plastic cups and laughing at the smallest things. "Something in this stuff here, "wormwood, like the star in the book of revelations". Something in this stuff makes this spaghetti western landscape glow from with and without. Jesus how this looks like Colorado! Maybe Colorado looks like this.
In the distance the silhouette of an enormous black bull sits stoically atop a wind-tortured mesa, just that and nothing else for hundreds of kilometers. They laugh. For this they drag out that moldy dog-eared word "surreal". It fits, nevertheless.
They stop at the roadhouse, but it's on the other side of the highway, so they run like prairie vermin, hurtling the divider, sloshing their cups of absinthe everywhere. They go in and order Tortillas Espanolas, which they discover are small omelets made with potatoes. "Little flat ones" or something like that. It feels like they are in some sort of parallel-universe Utah where even the food in roadhouses tastes good and the coffee tastes like it actually grew in the earth once and was roasted and ground by human beings. Not like the U.S., where everything tastes like it was made for consumption on the space shuttle. Coffee is more than just lukewarm brown fluid containing caffeine here in Espagna.
For all their expatriate disdain for things American, they are nonetheless delighted by the fact that you can buy Fritos and Nacho Cheese flavor Doritos in Spain and they comment repeatedly on how good they taste as they devour endless small bags of those corn-meal concoctions, vaguely talking about taking a few bags back home with them. It seems that corn is unheard of in Northern Europe. Back in Belgium the prefer their frites and mayonnaise. They love that shit. Potatoes fried in rancid fat with a dollop of mayo sitting atop them like a wad of stringy pus. Jesus.
Madrid seems to be in another universe. Sitting in vans covered in crumbs and spilled drinks and up to your ankles in cigarette butts, that's what touring is all about. No time to stop and too much time to go. Without our bladders and our stomachs for an excuse, we would never get out of this fucking van. But, there is this Spain, this absinthe, these corn chips. Can't bitch, no. Can't bitch.
Spain by Blaine L. Reininger is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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