Tuesday, September 29, 2009

On the Way to the Way

Today was perfect except for staying awake. The back of an Air France Flight is always interesting. Last night it was crush the plastic cup. The guy two seats to my right spent at least an hour between three and five monotonously compressing the sides of his plastic wine cup until they shattered, then compressing the pieces, the pieces of the pieces, etc. He was joined by a swarm of others. They sounded like a mass of maniacal killer crickets. So waiting six hours for my Bilbao flight at Charles de Gaulle was no fun, on no sleep. It's unnerving when you snap awake from an unplanned nap 10 minutes before your flight loads When I got to Bilbao, I spent a few hours dealing with the discovery that my Spanish cell phone gives all its display options and error messages in Spanish. Duhh. And of course the Spanist telco messages explaining why your call didn't go through are in Spanish. Nothing like a challenge when you're groggy. So why was the day perfect? Bilbao. What a grand city. After solving the mysteries of the Spanish Cellphone, I set out for a late walk, and ended up having dinner in the old town in the perfectly proportioned 18th century square, with its palm trees stationed at each corner. Of course, dinner is a relative term. After circling the square to see which of the dozen or so cafes was serving the best food, I found that the only solid food in evidence was ice cream being slowly spooned by two grandmothers, and a plate of tapas mixta ordered by a festive crowd of businessman. So I settled into the tapas option, which were filling if not nutritious. No one else was in any hurry to eat. They weren't even thinking of it. When I left the square at 9, the kids in my iPhone picture were just warming up.

Thought for the day: Has anyone studied the circadian rhythms of the Spanish? They are proof that sleeping at any particular time, or for any length of time, is just not hard wired into the human genome.