I initially meant this to be a comparison of bellies. I find Spanish food irrisistable and my Godmother Mary Anne and her daughter Laura fattened me up while I was in Madrid for a week. Upon my arrival they ensured I ate meat (indeed I do — I just don´t feel an emotional connection to cows) and then brought me to Segovia, where we feasted on lamb and suckling pig — the most tender meats to ever touch my tongue — at a restaurant called Casa Hilaria.
Other meals were more animal rights friendly. Laura’s husband Miguel used his new 1,000 euro blend the likes of Gazpacho and Salmorejo, every night and I licked the bowls. Between that and his vegetable paella I decided I will either marry a Spanish chef or live an unfulfilled life.
But, aside from food, I have also felt a shift in my inner peace since arriving in Spain. Throughout my trip in Europe I have felt myself calming down and savoring life in a way my Manhattan self was unable. Spain has heightened these internal changes. As my old self, if you had held my dinner until 9:30pm, I would have made you regret the delay through snarled teeth. I am now able to peacefully sip a cold drink, leisurely enjoy conversation with friends and happily wait until the Spaniards — infamously late dinners that they are — are ready to eat. And siestas? Yes, please. A mid afternoon nap provides a surprising amount of internal peace. I know I will become antsy with this schedule in due time. But for now, I am relishing in my times of peace.