When they first introduced me to their group of friends, Trevi smiled and said “Hoi Solly!,” imitating my American accent in Spanish but speaking in English. “Califorrrrrrnication!!!!” (I put several r’s to try to stress the fact that the r’s were rolled). He touched my arm, did his little dance and started cracking up.
This was the first day I was inducted into the “Sally y los intocables” (Sally and the untouchables), our band. We will cover songs such as Californication and Ride Sally Ride, with incredible Spanish accents and the album photography will be various photos of us hiking, all in which Trevi has one leg lifted in the air, his signature pose.
The first time our group went hiking, we started out by having “Happy Coffee.” Happy coffee is what Ana likes to have before hiking. It’s a coffee and a Magdalena (a small, plain, Spanish muffin) to get you feeling warm and energized before hiking in the cold, sometimes wet, North-Western Iberian countryside. We did this in a teeny Portugese village, where all of the buildings were made of stone, and there was a central stone building in which bread was fired, it had no chimney, instead there was a black line showing where the smoke sat in the form of a uniform cloud at the upper quarter of the cottage, this upper portion is where they smoke chorizo and other meats for preservation. [Side note – I didn’t bring a camera with me that day but the others did, so I will get pictures and add them later]. We finished our Happy Coffee and waited for the cows to cross so we could get back to our car. By the car there were sheep, a dog, chickens and a shepherd. The image was beautiful. It was really green, in between the stone bricks there was grass forcing its way through. A cow stopped for a drink of water at a public trough and one of the sheep looked at us as if we were strangers in its village. We certainly were. We got in the car and drove to the trail we’d be hiking. We hiked down to a waterfall and then up to the ruins of a Monastery from the 9th Century, yes, pictures will follow. After the hike we had lunch, the bread was dense, a dark khaki color and steam was creeping out of the basket; there was a red wine, a hard cheese and sausage. For the main course we had bacalao (cod) with potatoes, a very common Portugese dish and another meat dish which I am not quite sure what it was.
Throughout the day, I discovered that Trevi, and many other Spanish peoples’ understanding of the word “Californication,” which comes from the popular song, and album by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. is fornication in California. I had never thought of that. How many times had I heard the song, on the radio or at a friend’s house? I always interpreted the song to mean “of California,” like a way of life, a mentality, a state of mind. I really don’t know what the Red Hot Chili Peppers intended with the song but trying to read the lyrics doesn’t help me. They are quite ambiguous, genius if you ask me, but don’t really answer Trevi and my uncertainties. Well, it’s more of an uncertainty for me because Trevi doesn’t care about what the Red Hot Chili Peppers nor I think the song means, he likes his definition. I have decided, well, as I always thought the song meant, that it was about the Californian way of life, furthermore; a love for one’s state. It doesn’t help that California is the best state to be from, but anyways. What I’m saying is there’s something to be said about one’s home. Where they were raised and sharing common beliefs, memories, interests with those people. It’s like when you travel and you meet someone from your hometown, or when you are abroad and you meet a fellow country-person, or better yet, someone from your state or region or whatever you want to call it.
I love it here in Galicia and I love hiking with Sally y los intocables. I love meeting people and traveling and just discovering little things, but I will say, there is a fat part of my heart that belongs in California.