Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Do´s and Don´t´s in Cádiz

I´m itching to post a few pictures of this beautiful town (actually I´m itching to post something else as well, but it´ll come), but can´t as my company laptop´s internet access is too slow, and my USB stick is rejected by the PCs in the internet cafés.

  • Do take a laptop with wireless access next time;
  • Do learn better Spanish;

As it was, way back when I was attending college, there was a (free) Spanish course. I missed more than half of it becuase I´d rather go to the beach (it was during summer). I greatly regret that now, as Spanish is one of the world languages. And while I get along fine in Cádiz, speaking better Spanish would have made things even better.



  • Eat local food in cafetarias, tapas bars and other eateries. Unlike most restaurants, these are open before 21.00 hrs, and provide great value for money;
  • Do order separate salads with your meal (this might be usual in the US, it isn´t in Europe), as the vegetables you get with the main course quite often are not fresh, but pickled;


  • Eat Mexican food: I did it a few nights ago, and it was bad. Then I remembered from previous visits (to other places in Spain) that the Spanish version of Mexican food (keep in mind that restaurants with non-native food have mostly adapted that non-native food to the taste of the natives -- a survival tactic -- and that they´re only rarely ´original cuisine´) is just not to my taste. Just not enough fresh
  • Eat Italian food: ditto. Way too greasy, and not enough attention to making each individual ingredient top notch (like the Italians do);
  • Go to Spain as a vegetarian: I remember reading that Spain was the most carnivorous country in Europe, well above Germany and Austria;

Make no mistake, the Spanish food is fine (if you´re not a vegetarian, obviously).

Also (added after this happening a second time):


  • Have a beer (or a coffee) at an almost deserted Spanish café at 18.00 hrs. I did it last a few days ago on the Plaza Fragela (the one around the Gran Teatro Falla) and today in a bar at the Via de la Palma: in both cases it seemed I was the only (or one of a two) customers around that time. That suited me fine: it was still warm and sunny, both places are picturesque, and in all--relative--quietness I could start up my laptop and work on my fiction. In both cases, though, it becoame quite crowded in about half an hour: at the grand theatre plaza I suspect it was a theatre group (all of a sudden, the owner was setting up *all* his terrace tables, food was being served in large quantities, so I suppose this was reserved in advance), at the street of palms it just became busy with, I suspect, the usual customers. Either that, or I am a crowd magnet...,-)
Quite enjoying myself.

Anyway, back home next week, with one day to post pictures before heading of to Calgary (World Fantasy). From sunny Spain to wintry Canada...