Tuesday, May 29, 2007


On Saturday, we took a bus to Segovia—we wanted to do a day trip someplace that Andrew hadn’t been, since he’d been to Madrid several times before. Once again, it was unbelievably cold, and even rainier than it had been in Madrid. My feet, still clad in sandals, were soaked immediately upon leaving the bus station. Fortunately, there was a chino (the politically incorrect name for a corner store) right across the street, where I was able to buy socks and sneakers—surprisingly cute for just ten euros. Warmth.

Segovia was charming, even in the rain, and we saw the large Roman aquaduct that runs through the main square and visited the cathedral and the castle. At the castle, we made the precarious climb into the tower—precarious because the spiral stairway was narrow, and it was the way both up and down. Of course, there was no castle employee to organize any kind of system; it’s Spain. People were squeezed into the tower, pressed against the wall to let others up or down. Claustrophobia lifted an eyebrow, wondering if it should spring into action; fortunately, the climb wasn’t long enough for that.

The highlight of our Segovia sojourn was lunch at the Mesón de Cándido, reputed to be the oldest tavern in town and famous for its cochinillo—roast suckling pig, a specialty of the region. We were both a little wary of the suckling pig, fearing that it might be carved at the table, with its head on display, or even served to us with the head. This may have proved difficult to bear. Fortunately, after we finished our sopa de castellana (a kind of bread and egg soup) and setas segoviana (Segovian wild mushrooms), we were served portions of the pig—with no head in sight. Andrew, however, had two little pig’s feet on his plate, which we tried to ignore.

Outside, it was raining, and we took our time enjoying our cochinillo and bottle of red wine. When we neared the end of the bottle, we began (once again) mourning our departure. “We wouldn’t be having suckling pig and a bottle of wine on a Saturday afternoon in the U.S.,” Andrew said. “We’d probably be mowing the lawn.” “Or fixing the screen door,” I added. These are two activities that come up a lot in our discussions about moving back to the U.S., which we tend to link with moving to Sacramento. “Can you even get suckling pig in the U.S.?” I asked, ignoring the fact that we’d never even really wanted suckling pig until today, and that we were both wary of the pig’s crispy roasted skin, and that, given the choice, we’d likely order something other than suckling pig. It’s not, of course, the suckling pig that matters. We’re at three weeks and counting, and we’re starting to dig in our heels.

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