Do you ever want to move to a city … just for a restaurant?
It was one of those places that could do no wrong. Where every single bite of every single dish was a delight to the senses. I had to stop, but I was commenting on everything, all the time, with every dish. I was ready to move in or work there or retire around the corner. Something, anything, to allow me to come back on something of a regular basis. Or ever.
Our waiter (the first time we went) said he worked in computers, but it paid about the same and at Stilo Campo:
I talk with people all day, I’m happy, no problem.
He talked about the horrendous unemployment in the country and how lucky he felt to have a job at all. But compared to a computer job, here he got to be with people, talk with them, and not sit in a cubicle all day and type. [Translation note: this is in his pretty-OK English and our pretty-not-that-really-great Spanish with lots of hand gestures e.g. typing on keyboard while sleeping.] He kept suggesting dishes (because we couldn’t decipher the Spanish) and he kept getting it right. At some point I wasn’t sure there was anything not good on the menu. We ordered as much as we could not because we were hungry, but because it was going to be a mini-gourmet plate of taste fiesta.
My friend (who we’re visiting here in Almeria) said that only in a few cities in Spain do the tapas come free if you order a drink. So just in case you missed that, with every (alcoholic) drink you order, you get your choice of plate of tapas.
This is where the Alcoholics Anonymous rocket and the Weight Watchers asteroid collide and cause a celestial catastrophe.
Some tapas were so special that you paid a surcharge of a Euro or two. But if you just got another drink you’d get another dish. As if you were thirsty–or hungry. But it didn’t matter. It was just so good you didn’t want to leave without trying that one more thing.
When the bill came is when I wondered (aloud … ) how we could stay in this town longer. “What if we came for a month next year instead of just a week?” We wouldn’t go everyday, maybe only every other day.
- Beach + Pool
- Stilo Campo
What else could you possibly need on a travel requirements list?
This is the sort of Lifestyle Design that’s possible with a change in perspective, a balancing of priorities and some planning. This is where the mobile work life comes into play. This is the possibility that something “out of the box” like international longer-term home exchanges makes crazy ideas like this … not so crazy. It’s often the planning that bogs people down. I get it, it can be a lot. So start small. Try a short-term trip not so far away. Try home exchange for a weekend. Is your job flexible? Could you make it work with some decent WiFi and some late-night-trans-Atlantic conference calls (for free with Skype)?
The friend we’re visiting is dear and near to my heart. I would love to spend a month in Almeria: improve my Spanish, get on a motorcycle again (he’s a fanatic), learn what the tapas at Stilo Campo are actually called. Get the kids in Spanish school for a month. Find a home exchange so it costs zero dollars. It could happen. It’s up to … me.