I'd rather have my scrotum caught in a revolving door than go to Woolworth's on a Saturday morning. In Spain they do have equivalent supermarkets – many with revolving doors, so there are some intriguing possibilities opening up – but reliance by locals on these corporate behemoths is a lot lower than it is in Australia.
We've been going out to eat on average twice a day, which is what the locals do. There are about a hundred eateries within 10 minutes' walk of our apartment, many of them with at least one Michelin star on their fridge.
Expensive and fattening? We can eat ourselves to elegant sufficiency and drink two glasses of excellent wine for around $9 Australian each. And in just over two weeks living here I've lost 2 kg (Jess didn't know her pre-Spain weight, but she is reporting the need for a new belt). So, on both counts, no.
Don't get me wrong, if we ate in the same style as we did in Australia we'd be the size of a small casa by now. But here when you go out, you eat, you drink, you walk, you repeat. When you do it this way you tend to feel full after only two or three pintxos (especially if they're like the one in the photo up top. Plus you're consuming dozens more different kinds of fresh ingredients than you get with any single large feed. There's A LOT more seafood, which I can report has rendered my toilet visits far less traumatising than they used to be.
No driving, no need for a taxi or even a bus. My stupid watch tells me we're averaging 12,000 steps a day. It's flat and many of the roads are car-free though you do have to occasionally swerve for an old lady, most of whom seem to be on rails.
The food isn't all fine-dining quality, but it is all fantastic. Even the cheapest little dive bar will offer up a tortilla to die for, or a cider-braised chorizo on toast, or the finest tiny egg-and-chips you'll find anywhere.
If you find yourself in need of something more familiar there's hot dog houses, burger joints, American smokehouse, sushi restaurants, Indian, Thai and Peruvian all over the place. Regrettably there's also McDonald's, which just goes to show that the Basques have a terrific sense of humour.
Well, we're vamos-ing up the pub. Catch you later.