Adam Travels: Thirty Years Later
Number of pages: 180
Printing: Newcomers Authors Publishing Group
Autor: Shimon Garber
Editor: Vladimir Belinker
The Beginning, or a Second Trio to Span.
HOLA means “Hi,”, “hello,” or “hey!” But olé is good as well.
“Hola!” Adam exclaimed. “I’m going to Spain!”
And not just to Spain but to Andalusia, the Alhambra, Costa del Sol, Gibraltar, Seville, and many more. A look at the tobacco factory where, legend has it, Carmen worked. Flamenco and Gypsy dancing, bullfighting, and the Prado Museum. There’s beautiful weather, delicious wine Jerez and Malaga, as well as dish paella. This dish is a separate theme!
First Trip to Span
Thirty years ago, Adam and his wife, Nata, went on a trip to Montreal, the capital of French Canada. It was an amazing city, very clean, and the nightlife boiled! Still not very experienced tourists, they took a bus tour through Montreal. For a start, in Montreal, they were taken to a restaurant with Spanish cuisine. Paella, a dish Adam tasted there for the first time in his life, made such an impression on him. He wanted to have this meal where it originated, in Spain. Several years passed, and suddenly he realized that dream came true.
In those days, the worldwide proposal called “time-share.” It seemed so simple and straightforward and, most importantly, a good investment. The essence of this bargain was that anyone could buy a share in a property and become a co-owner of the property for a week or two each year. The properties were mainly hotels. Credit was easy. Buyers of these time-shares could go themselves, give them to friends, or exchange vacation spots with others. There was probably no country where it did not work! One of Adam’s Russian friends bought two weeks on the island of Tenerife. This fabulous island, where it was spring year-round, was in Spain. The friend, for whatever reason, could not go himself and offered his spot to Adam. Adam had to pay only for flights, with a stopover in Madrid, and furthermore, with free hotel accommodation in Tenerife, he could carry out his dream: to eat paella in the homeland of this dish!
The Tenerife story is told separately; otherwise, the story of Spain risks becoming a big novel.
Madrid greeted Adam’s family cordially, but the flight to Tenerife was delayed. At that time, Adam was not only married but had a beloved daughter, Nadya. With their flight delayed, the travelers had nothing to do, so Adam took the family for a walk around the city. Nata insisted on going to the Prado Museum. The bus took them to the city center, and they walked under the scorching sun, asking in Spanish, “Where is the Prado Museum?”
People looked at them somewhat amused. They were surprised and did not disguise their curiosity.
“You are probably Americans?”
“We really came from the United States, and is that so funny?”
Closely examining himself and his family, Adam saw nothing strange. They were all dressed for the season, in shorts and T-shirts and thick, long, white socks and sneakers. How else do you dress in forty-degree heat? Adam looked at how the other people were dressed. All the men were in long pants, and some were even in jackets.
“OK, they have their own culture, and we have ours!” said Adam.
At the Prado Museum, Nata had an awful disappointment. It was the day when the museum was closed! She broke down in tears. Adam tried to calm her down.
“You don’t understand! All my life I have dreamed of seeing the Prado Museum, and particularly the paintings of Goya,” Nata said.
Goya was Nata’s absolute favorite artist, even her idol. She especially wanted to go to the Prado and dreamed of seeing the original paintings, precisely at a time when Iberia, the Spanish airline, had provided such a gift. She was very upset, and Adam promised her that on the way back, he would find a way to stay in Madrid.
“You will certainly see the paintings by Goya. I promise!” He was right, but more on that at another time. They walked in the very beautiful but terribly hot city in search of places where they could taste the famous paella. But there were only restaurants with signs depicting pigs and the word hamonerija. Hamon means “pig.” Consequently, all dishes there were prepared from this no kosher animal.
But Adam and Nata were born in Russia and not religious at all. They decided to see what hamon was and try it. They entered a restaurant that resembled an American bar. Behind the counter was a bartender-butcher.There was hamon in all different forms, including ham, ham sausage, smoked and dried, all parts of the pork body, from head to tail!
The bartender-butcher cut them a few different t types of hamon meat, splashed wine into glasses, and gave them bread, and they took all of it to a table and started eating. Customers on all sides watched them with great interest.
Adam’s daughter refused to eat the hamon.
“It is very salty. I don’t want it!” Children usually don’t like salty food.
“She is my baby, oh, with her childish test!” Adam said.
Adam took all the food to the bartender-butcher.
“Can I take it with me?” Adam finished the leftovers from the legitimate meal by himself.
Iberia, to compensate them for the flight delay, awarded them coupons for lunch at the restaurant.
“Adios, Madrid! See you in two weeks,” said Adam.Back