Football and Food Bawl

The ninth installment of my abandoned Granadino memoir, Flawed Abroad: Useless editorializing from an ignorant, close-minded American on his semester overseas.

Lunes, 17 Ene. ’05, 22.00 (Monday, January 17, 2005, 10:00 pm)

We were supposed to go on a guided tour of the Alhambra and the surrounding grounds yesterday, but since the trip was canceled at the last minute for reasons unknown (I suspect fowl play—damn chickens), I ended up moping around the piso like a constipated basset hound instead, reading, watching incomprehensible television, and basically qualifying as a complete waste of flesh for most of the afternoon. Later that night, Alex C. and I popped over to Hannigan & Sons—a popular Irish pub—for Sky Sports’ oddly detached international coverage of the much-hyped Patriots/Colts playoff game.

Lots of charming local flavor at the quintessentially Spanish Hannigan & Sons!

Lots of charming local flavor at the quintessentially Spanish Hannigan & Sons!

Despite boasting the gag reflex of a three-month-old infant, I managed to nurse three-quarters of a bottle of Strongbow[1] while watching New England blitzkrieg Indy’s normally bowel-evacuating offense. A couple of Americans from another study abroad program were watching the game as well, and we ended up making plans with them to meet for the Conference Championship games next week at a different Irish pub in a strategic attempt to ensure sure we don’t wear out our welcome at any one place. Unfortunately, with the time change, the game isn’t scheduled to start until 00.30 Monday morning, which means that the first class of the day is probably going to suck major cojones del burro.

Non sequitur: Earlier this afternoon I tried to locate some edible snack food at the supermarket, but there wasn’t a single packet of pepperoni or bag of Nacho Cheesier Doritos in the entire store. I suppose that could mean it’s time to explore a more regionally relevant selection of comfort foods, but that freaky ass local staple, jamón serrano, has me afraid to try anything native at this point.


Martes, 18 Ene. ’05, 22.00 (Tuesday, January 18, 2005, 10:00 pm)

More snack food updates: I’m beginning to believe that there is no pepperoni to be found anywhere in Granada. Or peanut butter, for that matter. Hell, I can’t even unearth a simple vacuum packed, triangularly shaped, Nacho Cheesier Doritos® brand corn chip snack product—although Justin claims the Tex Mex flavor here is just that, but with a different name. Unfortunately, Justin also wears a giant diamond stud in each ear and thinks he looks cool, so I will remain skeptical of his Tex Mex theory until some corroborating evidence presents itself.[2]

On a more positive note, there have been a couple encouraging aspects to my recent shopping experiences:

  1. I have never heard a more inspiring version of the Backstreet Boys song “Shape of my Heart” than the one played over the radio at the Corte Inglés supermarket.
  2. If the frozen pizza aisle is to be believed, the most popular combination of pizza toppings in all of Granada is Tuna & Bacon. Umm, yum?

Miscellaneous Observation: The toilets in your typical Granadino household are not very efficient. The main problem is the small volume of water in the bowl prior to the, ahem, “clutch-and-squeeze,” making a one-and-done flushing experience the rarest of accomplishments. The rest of the time, the unfortunate porcelain patron is treated to an unpleasant reminder of his or her most recent meal, which can only be banished permanently with a few…let’s call them “creative techniques.” At first, I thought these annoyingly tardy turds were a product of my own colonic shortcomings, but after delicately broaching the topic with a few of my expat peers, I learned that my poop did not float alone. It was in that moment that I finally understand what Momma meant by her oft-cited proverb, “Poopy is as poopy does.” (Though I still don’t know why she says it to the waitress when we go out to dinner. It’s embarrassing.)

[1] Which, as a so-called “cider,” I thought would taste like, you know, cider, but actually tasted like, you know, ass.
[2] Corroborating evidence: I just polished off an entire 150 gram bag of Tex Mex Doritos®a few minutes ago and, amazingly, it would seem that Justin is correct in his claim. As a bonus, since I have no idea how bad for you 40,5 grams of fat is, or what the calorie content in 3180 kJ is, my dietary conscience is completely clear—although my chemistry teacher would be rolling over in her grave at my inability to convert kilojoules to calories…if she were dead, I mean, and that was the sort of thing dead chemistry teachers actually did.

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