Listening to a Rick Steve’s podcast a couple of days (weeks? hours? Does anyone count time in the summer?) ago, I heard a Frenchman talking about the petit pleasure of Paris. Parisians indulge in petit pleasures because, frankly, it’s not practical, cost-effective, or necessary for them to indulge in big ones. I like this concept. So, I’ve been putting it in practice. This week, I started by having my first coffees of the summer at a BEAUTIFUL little café down the street, sipping my 1,25€ cappuccino (or, café con leche, cortito) while translating some short stories, and people watching the Island’s classiest residents.
Today, I kicked it up a notch. I don’t know if my indulgences count as big or little, but I will tell you they have been much appreciated. From the perspective of a “foreigner” (which is a word I’d rather not use because of it’s connotation of permanent un-belonging), it is really easy to go to the bakery, buy laundry detergent at the supermercado, and just hang at the beach, all while keeping a comfortable distance from too much interaction with the locals. It is a little more interesting, but occasionally more difficult, to actually operate like Menorcans…i.e. see an ophthalmologist, get a haircut, pay a bill…
But, I was feeling inspired this week and I decided to do things that were one-half personal stretch and one-half delight! You can decide which is which.
Number one: I made an appointment with a local dentist (do you know how much it costs to see a dentist in the States? A filling might as well be made of gold,not that polymer stuff they actually use, because they’re a fortune!) I went to a chain dental office first (yes, they have those here. McDental), but I left after they couldn’t tell me their prices. That smelled fishy. The next place I tried is run by two women dentists and since I was feeling some girl power, I made my appointment with them. The check-up is free here (woohoo!), which is nice. The cleaning is about the same price as it is at home, unless you have something like a Groupon. I don’t much care for the little metal jackhammer they use to clean your teeth, but I’ll deal.
Number two: I got my hair cut. I like the funky chunky layers they do here. Being amongst a culture of ladies who don’t blow dry is just my speed. Note to self: hair appointment at 9 am is not a good idea unless you want to dream about being late to the appointment.
Number three: I got a massage. This was funny. The massage was 30€…about $40. It lasted about 50 minutes. So far, winning! Now, Puritans, turn thine eyes! So the massage place is just a little room on the side of a tiny (150 sq. ft.) natural food store. I had gone to the bathroom beforehand, which was a good thing; this is not a spa–there was no bathrobe or steam room or even a terlet. So, when I got into the little massage room, the lady said, “You can leave your things there.” A.K.A. She’s not leaving the room and I have to get down to my skivvies in front of her. Good thing I’ve practiced that at the beach because 5 years ago, I would have shown her some raised eyebrows and puckered lips. She squirted gallons (liters?) of delicious eucalyptus-orange-oil on me, leaving me greasier than kids from Jersey Shore. In some ways, it was a no-frills massage–the bed was single wide (no big butts allowed) with no special donut for my head; a single hand towel covered me; the a/c was off. Yet, in other ways, it was perfect; it was in my budget; the lady was nice and gentle; I walked 5 minutes down the street to get there and 5 minutes back. I can’t complain.
So, those are my little pleasure for now. Hopefully the skeeters will stop attacking me at night so I can sleep better and avoid dreams about being late.
Just for kicks, here are a few beach photos. I’m not planning on going to the beach today, but I figure week-old pics are probably more interesting than shots of the dining room chair where I’m sitting now…
Super windy day in the North of Menorca, trekking around Cala Pregonda. (The first one is the mid-trek siesta.)
Bubbles! The wind and the waves sent them flying through the air and on my lips!
Afternoon at Sa Mesquida…