Monday, 5 July 2010

german football & basque cuisine

I flew, last week, to a fantastic workshop (technically, two workshops) in San Sebastian (northern Spain). The people, the science, and most importantly, the food, were all terrific. I was taken one night to a 3-star Michelin restaurant (undeniably a rare experience), and the other nights, although starless (Michelin-wise, not sky-wise), were almost as memorable; the food was astonishingly good (I would recommend Mil Catas - way cheaper than the Michelin-starred restaurants that litter the place, and the ‘Pintxos’ are out of this world - Mil Catas won 1st prize in last year’s Pintxos contest). The culinary delights on offer almost made up for the total glee with which the Lufthansa pilot announced, on the flight over, each and every humiliating goal that the English football team suffered at the hands feet of the German team. Things were barely better on the way back: The flight back was delayed an hour - most likely because the German air traffic controllers were too busy watching the Germany v. Argentina match. And once in the air, the Lufthansa pilots did again feel the need to announce with considerable glee the total drubbing of the Argentinian team. What with England and Argentina now out of the cup, I feel I have lost my purpose in life. Not.

Anyhow, my new iPhone 4 makes up for all that. Whether it will help me lose the very considerable weight I gained as a result of the irresistibly good Basque cuisine is another matter entirely. It is even conceivable that San Sebastian will displace Philadelphia as my favorite eating hole. But much as I have been seduced by the allure of San Sebastian, I can assure anyone who cares to listen/read that the best coffee is still to be found in Philly.

There is more to tell, but it will have to wait until after this weekend. I shall be in Germany, no doubt watching an entire nation rise up as one each time their national team scores yet another goal. But while my ears will be occupied with the sounds of German triumphalism, my stomach will be occupied with thoughts of the Basque Country. Ok ... so perhaps my stomach is incapable of thought. But as it increases in size, it is only a matter of time before it achieves self-awareness. World-domination will follow soon after. If I don’t explode first.