New Books, Travel Memories, and Soup

I bought a couple George Orwell books from a used book store in town, Down and Out in Paris and London, and Homage to Catalonia. The copy of Down and Out In Paris and London I think is neat because of its old fashioned adds that include, among others for Jiff shaving stick, Cadbury’s, and a journal evaluating the ongoing war effort (the book is dated 1940).

Reading the book reminded me of being down and out so to speak in Cinque Terre (Monterosso al Mare to be specific) and Copenhagen. I guess it wasn’t that harrowing in the end but it gave me a glimpse into another kind of life that I am fortunate not to have to live day to day. It increased in me the feeling that it is criminal to allow people to live in such a way. However, it made having a comfortable bed with a great view over Corniglia even better after spending a night on an outdoor train platform with trains in transit blasting through every five minutes. It also reminded me of talking all evening with two Frenchman and and young woman from San Francisco at the hostel in Bergen. I talked quite extensively to the older of the two men, who was probably in his late 30s or early 40s and from Paris, about Orwell. It’s funny how I remember so many of the details of the conversation and where each of them was from, what they did etc, but do not remember any of their names. Meetings were a significant part of the travel experience. These conversations went on for hours at times and would being quite engaging, leaving me with a feeling of actually knowing the person. Afterwards we parted ways, and will likely never see each other again.


It is now getting into soup season. I’m sure everyone likes soup, it is such a versatile food that can be pretty much whatever you want. I personally enjoy having a simple pureed soup in combination with a sandwich or salad (non pureed some, due to the different textures in the soup I think are better soup to having with some some fresh bread). Today I made a green pean with mint soup, with sauted onion and garlic, soy milk, dried peppermint, green peas and salt and pepper. And to go with it, open faced tomato sandwiches on homemade English muffins. I spread hummus on the muffins, put the tomato slices on, topped with a pinch of salt and pepper, fresh oregano, a few drops of olive oil, then got them hot in the oven.



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