dreaming of breakfast in bed

by Evans Yonson

(Note: The series Mondays in Africa were originally written and published on September 2005, as a countdown for The Light Traveller’s leaving his university residence in Madrid, Spain.)

madrid – when i came to spain late september last year, i realized i have changed. i’m not a morning person anymore. i hated waking up very early especially in those cold -ber months till january when i had to get out of bed and drag myself to the escuela oficial de idiomas. after almost 5 months, i started getting back my routine. but with a different twist this time. i would wake up at 8, take breakfast, go back to my room, and to dreamland again. and since the cleaning ladies would always get in to my room while i’m still in bed, i have a post-it on my door saying NO LIMPIE, POR FAVOR. GRACIAS. (Please do not clean. Thank you.)

Desayunos (breakfasts) are very light unless you devour cereals by plates. I eat two slices of toasted bread with margarine (sometimes butter) and strawberry jam. a glassful of apple juice, sometimes 2 when i am so thirsty. and a cup of milk with chocolate. that’s it. very light. i used to take cereals with chocolate but i had stomach problems after, which gets in the way of my second round in bed.

i prefer to sit alone. why? because i hate talking in spanish during breakfast. it’s so annoying and it gets in the way of my sleep. breakfast for me is part of my dreams. except for the cleaning ladies you meet along the way, i don’t talk at all. spanish-speaking dormers can be so irritating in the morning where they talk about so many non-sensical things very early on.

if you’re not eating your breakfast and lunch, you’re allowed to take baon with bocadillos, fruits, orange juice, and water. bocadillos are your short french bread with cheese and the other is always with meat, fish or ham. i started having bocadillos when summer began. i take my breakfast and get my baon and go back to bed. lunch is taken at 1330H (aka 1:30 pm). by the time i really get up at 12 noon, i will be very hungry so the baon counts as very handy and cost-effective.

my last african breakfast will be on the 1st of october. i can’t leave with an empty stomach, they say. take my breakfast then my baon.

i wonder what lies after. will there more breakfasts of these stuff beyond africa? after all, one year of this routine is really habit-forming. will i still be dreaming in bed about breakfasts? we will see. and i will be counting.