October 24, 2011

Ávila, Spain. October, 2009

Whenever I travel someplace that I want to remember, I try to buy something that I’ll use often, calling up memories each time. The luxurious light flannel pajamas I bought almost 30 years ago in Rome (when the dollar was molto strong.) The paring knife from Dehillerin in Paris that I still use daily. The larger, sharper knife from an Istanbul bazaar that I manage to cut myself with every time. The hammered tin faceplates from Tucson in my downstairs bathroom. The drinking glasses from Mexico. I was explaining this “memento theory” to Jay before we left for Spain, asking what he might need and acquire on our trip. A sharpening stone for his kitchen knives. Which is why he quickly learned many possible ways in Spanish to say (or at least to explain) the item he wanted. And why he also picked up, soon upon arrival, the local word for hardware store.

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