1. why is running gear so expensive? socks for $20 each? i need to date a nike executive on the side.
2. i picked up a barcelona travel book today. buying plane tickets and booking hotels--it's all virtually done nowadays. no one gives you real tickets, no one sends you your reservation papers. emails don't really make you feel like you're going on vacation. but buying a nice, new, tangible, crisp travel book--that makes the trip seem real. the book i bought is frommer's "barcelona day by day." i went through every single barcelona travel book at barnes & noble. i think this one had the most to offer while still being small and portable. it also comes with the subway map and street maps. i always wonder at the tourists who carry around the 5 pound travel tomes with them. i guess it could be helpful for folks like me if i need a boost to see myself in the hotel mirror.
so while tickets may not be tangible anymore, they are essential, and they are booked. i'm going feb 18-25 with my mom. 3 days in barcelona, 3 days in malaga/costa del sol in andalusia. if you have been to barcelona or malaga and have any tips, please let me know, esp. if it's for restaurants. living in nyc has made me realize that i really don't want to be that tourist who only eats at olive garden, bubba gump, and ruby foo's, then declares that new york city, and hence america, has amazing food. in order to find good authentic spanish/catalan food, i've been searching for restaurant reviews in spanish, but it's not really easy to sift through them. i can't stress how important this is. we only have 9 meals in barcelona and we must make the best of them. there is no room for failure.
3. talking about running to excellent dumpling house in my last post made me crave it so i went today. i will go out of my way to eat things i want to eat (this is in direct contradiction to the "path of least resistance" principle i usually follow). thus, even though it's unpleasant, i will go to edh by myself to eat my chow fun chicken dumpling noodle soup. why unpleasant? because they seat you with strangers. ok now, i know. i don't expect you to give me a 4-seater to myself. this is chinatown, not per se. i get it. but they don't just do the staggered-2-strangers-to-a-table-for-4 deal (which i'm ok with). they seat strangers IN FRONT of you. i mean, where are you supposed to look? i end up just staring down intently at my bowl of soup as i eat it.
today, i thought i'd try to increase my odds of not having a stranger IN FRONT of me by going at 2:30pm. so i take a deep breath and walk in. they seat me at a table for 4 where one guy is finishing up his meal. no problem. the guy finishes and leaves. my soup comes and i'm happily eating away when another guy comes in 2 minutes later. they "stagger" seat him, as usual. still, no problem. i go back to eating my soup. then i look up and i can't believe it. this guy...he VOLUNTARILY sits IN FRONT of me. why is this happening? what happened to him as a child for him to think this is ok? how do people live without a basic understanding of social dos and don'ts? why why why!? when there are only 2 of us?? i just stared at him in complete disbelief and horror for a while. it gets better. i sprawled my things in front of me, assuming that there'd be a stagger situation going on. so, my teapot was right in front of him. does he ask for me to move it? no. does he apologize for breaking social norms? no. he takes the liberty of moving my teapot next to me. he touches MY teapot. at this point i'm in shock. i just sit there for a while wondering what i'm going to do. i really want to eat my delicious food but i can't go on like this. so i move my soup over to the next seat, stand up, make more noise shuffling over than necessary to express my disapproval, and scoot over. and now for the best part. he looks at me with this confused expression on his face, sort of a "what's the problem hm?" in response, i gave him a "i know something that you don't know but you should know" look and said, "i feel very cramped." but, really? you don't get it? i mean, is it just me? someone please tell me that my disbelief is warranted.
this experience makes me more uncertain than ever about my flying-solo future at edh, which is really sad. can you get similar dumpling noodle soup somewhere else in chinatown? until i find a replacement, i might just have to stick with a takeout-only plan for edh.
4. training starts tomorrow.