“Do you have Pepsi or Coke?” “Coke.” “Cerveza por favor.”

Yes, that was me while traveling through much of Spain along the Camino de Santiago. Many of the little cafe bars – especially in Basque Country – would frequently have Pepsi signs on the outside, but no Pepsi on the inside. Here’s me enjoying one of my few treasured bottles of Pepsi I did find along the way. pepsi_spain

So frequently…okay maybe more than frequently…I would choose beer instead. (I saw the word “biere” far more often than “cerveza” which many Americans are more used to.) It’s quite easy to get used to drinking beer for lunch AND dinner. But I most certainly did enjoy my morning tea with its companion croissant. I just wish I could remember where it was I ate the most delightfully freshest croissant I’ve ever had in my life.

I have to admit I developed a love/hate relationship with the food along the trail. I think experienced peregrinos will know what I mean: the Pilgrim’s Menu. Designed to be fuel for the trail, there were a lot of carbs and a lot of protein. And the choices can get rather repetitive.

One of the items I never want to see again is a bocadillo.  What is a bocadillo, you ask? bocadilloA huge hunk of bread with some form of pork between them. See how that sandwich is almost as big as I am? There were, of course, some really good bocadillos on really fresh bread. And then there were some stale ones, like the one in the picture on the right.

Did I mention that you get french fries with almost every meal? And fried eggs too? (It must be the horror writer in me that caused this Freudian slip: when I looked at my trip notes just now, it said “fried eyes”) Ha! Hey – I could use that in a story. Hmm…do you think Hannibal Lecter would ever want to eat a zombie’s eyes or eat a zombie’s brain? But I digress.

The fried eyes…uh, I mean eggs, have followed me home. They’re now finding themselves topping foods I’d never before considered combining them with: a nice filet mignon, a glob of chili over a bed of rice, a basket of french fries. Oh – there’s those french fries again.


But back to the beer. I much preferred the San Miguel brand to Cruz Campo which was served on Renfe (the trains) and in Barcelona.
 As you can see, #PenguinAboutTown also preferred San Miguel. And both of us were delighted to find that Spain is such a civilized country they offer beer in vending machines! But…sigh…no Pepsi.




Zombie Rhyme Time

I love the English language. Yeah, it pisses me off sometimes, or maybe it’s just the way people abuse it, unaware that “there” “their” and “they’re” don’t mean the same thing and aren’t interchangeable. But I digress. I love the way we can play with English. Word games, riddles, rhymes, and puns. (My story “The Human Jean Gnome Project” is basically one long pun. You can find it in my e-book, “Gnomes and Aliens” on Kindle.) Really, is there a language sillier than English?

In that vein, and because I’ve had little time to ponder this week’s blog posting while I work on curing my chronic zombiefying migraines, I composed a couple of zombie rhymes for you:

As you cower in fear

of the undead far and near

Holed up in the local mall

armed with just a bowling ball

While tvs play old game shows

would it shock you all to know

that the gruesome zombie

only wishes to shop at Abercrombie.



Should the zombies catch you in Europe

surrounded by blubbering tourists

Just remember this old refrain

the brains in Spain lay mainly in the drain.