This morning at the hostel I showed three travellers from Barcelona (Barthelona) how to make pancakes. Each morning, a bag of pancake mix and a griddle are supplied by the hostel, along with toppings like syrup, jam, and butter.
In an international environment such as the hostel, one notices that making breakfast pancakes is an American thing and quite unknown to others. The Japanese have okonomiyaki, Koreans also make a vegetable pancake, the French and Dutch have various types of crepes, and the Chinese have moo shoo with pancakes. But these are different than American breakfast pancakes. We even have restaurants devoted to pancakes or where pancakes are the main attraction. I showed the Catalan guests that the pancakes are ready for flipping when the surface of the pancakes are full of little bubbles. I made one batch of pancakes with mashed banana, cinnamon, and diced apples in it. I didn't go into the various names for pancakes: flapjacks, hotcakes....hmmm, what else are they called?
Later, I asked them if Catalán is taught along with Castilian Spanish in schools in Catalonia. Yes, they said, and in fact, Catalán is taught even more than Spanish now. I was happy to hear that, as Catalán was long suppressed under Franco. I then tried out the one Catalán song I know called Rossinyol. It's a very pretty song about a nightingale (rossinyol) that I learned about 25 years ago from Joan Baez's all-Spanish album, Gracias a la Vida. The Catalán guests said I pronounced everything in Catalán perfectly!
Later, while doing my laundry at the laundromat in PG, I went across the street to get a decaf americano, with room for cream, as a treat. As I was entering the café, I saw a group of about 12 people seated together at the tables outside. They were speaking French. I recognized Elizabeth from my exercise/dance class. Smiling, I greeted her with Bonjour! Ça va? Later, another group member invited me to join their French group. They meet each week at the café to speak French, including a couple of native speakers and Monterey Peninsula College French instructors. C'est chouette! Yet another thing to enjoy in my ever-expanding world of enjoying. I have also agreed to takeover leadership of the Thich Nhat Hanh sitting group from Nancy who is starting an additional evening sit at another location.
Later still, I ate a yummy leftover lunch while parked at Lover's Point with Yuki & Jesse. Lunch was farfalle pasta with diced fresh tomatoes and thinly sliced green onion mixed with olive oil and black pepper. I also ate steamed kale with lemon, olive oil, and a sprinkle of fennel pollen. The fennel pollen (grown/collected in California) was a gift I received in yesterday's mail from my friend Amy in Illinois.
After lunch, I heard my cell phone chiming its ascending "Calypso" ring. I've had this cell phone for two weeks. My first cell phone. It was Wanna, a MIIS friend from Thailand who currently lives in LA. She met me at Lover's Point and we walked and talked on the trail with Yuki. A beautiful day. Clear water, blue skies, and sunshine. We met lots of dogs--Yuki did the meeting, really, and the tail wagging. I noticed many birds in flocks taking flight in unison, sunlight catching the undersides of their wings as they flew together in the sky.