Sunday, March 16, 2014

a bit of variety

Martin's IPA | Belgium

Belgian beer! IPA!! Sunshine and brightness!!!

Last week was, by all accounts, a shitshow. Among many shitshows so far in the MBA, but this one stood out. You see, dear reader, I came to Spain with the promise that I would be different - more positive, more social, more engaged. Ah yes, that magical, wonderful, meaningless word. We've been through periods of intense work, high stress, a crush of deliverables ... but I've always managed to (more or less) get through it all with a smile. Last week felt different. I felt defeated, overwhelmed, but most concerning, a bit deflated. Just in a bad place emotionally. And we all know how emotional this wino gets. Terrible. But last week, I let it get to me. It was a combination of personal issues, lack of sleep, stress, whatever ... but my mood was awful. 

I needed a moment.

Some time alone, just as the weather here is beginning to get balmy, was just what I needed. Had a good afternoon of wine and jamón shopping on Saturday. Perfecto. A bit of time to reflect, to get my head straight - remind myself of all the reasons why I came here, why this is such an amazing time in my life. A few sips of a Brunus Montsant, a few slices of jamón, and I was back. 

Beer is dismal here. Spanish beer is, well, Spanish beer. And the variety (and quality) of imports leaves much to be desired. But occasionally, one finds the exception. An IPA from Belgium, full of that bright, citrusy hop character. Finesse and balance on the palate, finishing with a most pleasing bitterness. Can you see I've been desperate for some good beer? What I wouldn't give for some proper North American craft brews ...

So things are getting better. I'm always hopeful. The sun is shining, Barcelona is hitting 20C, and final exams or not, I'm going to enjoy myself. Because that's what I came here to do ... to be happy. Simple, isn't it. 


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