Thursday, September 4, 2008

it's been a while...

Tonight is Wednesday night; September has begun. Today was the fourth. I just returned a while ago from dinner with Vicente and his wife Rosa. I apologize to all of you who check my blog often enough to realize that it has been a while since I have written. I have been in a state of flux here with moving to a different house and such. I have had no internet connection near here and my phone has been out of range/ out of minutes.

It is very different for me living here in the port. I am right on the main drag that runs along between the port and the rest of the town. There are lots of little caf├ęs and ice cream shops here on this street and a lot more people than in Alquerias. For the first time since I have been here I am quite alone and surrounded by people who speak very little or no English. (except for Vicente´) It has helped immensely already with my confidence in Spanish. I have found that I now can make some small talk when I go to buy lunch or have a coffee, and lately I feel compelled to do so.

I was strolling along the waterfront last night (I think), and a waiter came out of one of the shops and was trying to hustle me into a seat. I was in the mood to be hustled I guess because I let him. I told him I had just moved to the beachfront and had been living in Alquerias. I watched as he took stock of me and my accent; then he asked me if I knew Nanny Congorno, which I do. His name was Tony and it turns out he was the owner of the place and we have a friend in common. I ended up sitting and talking to him for an hour or so about random stuff before he closed for the evening. It was very cool. Today I stopped back in and had a coffee at his place rather than any of the others. Evidently he is pretty well known for being an all-around good guy because his place is paked every afternoon and well into the evening. I think I’ll be a repeat customer until I leave.

As I’m sitting here writing, I am realizing that quite a bit has happened since last I filled you all in on my daily doings… All last weekend I had two flat tires on my bike. I ran off the road a bit and into the grass and dirt as I was trying to put away my camera, answer my cell-phone, and dodge a car all while riding with no hands. Yep. Bad idea. The picture turned out pretty good I guess, the phone call was successful, I dodged the car, and got two punctured tires in the process…I ran over about a hundred sand burrs that just filled my inner tube with holes… So I walked the last 2 miles home in sandals… that was Saturday I believe.

We were supposed to be out of the house on Sunday, technically. We didn’t really get out until Monday afternoon/evening though. I had to load all my things in Katie’s van to bring them out to the port, and I also had to wait for the bike man to decide to be open so I could buy some new tubes for my tires. The owner was very cool about it all. He was in and around the house all weekend working on things and painting for the next renters. Katie and I were in and out of the house and always joking with him about something… It was all in Spanish…so, at least I think we were joking. He told us that if we ever wanted to come back to this part of Spain, we were always welcome to stay in one of his houses.

Katie made it out of here on Monday afternoon sometime, headed for Sevilla. The las I heard from her, she was a few hours away and had just finished swimming in a clear cold river… I am sort of wishing that I had given my notice and ridden south with her. Ah, well.

I was a bit under the weather on Monday, but since I have been fine. I have no refrigerator here in this apartment, which Jorge, my boss said he would remedy… but nothing yet. So I have been eating fresh bread and fresh fruit, and only buying enough for each day. I guess it’s not really a problem, come to think about it. There is a corner grocery all of about half a block away… Its just nice to have a cold drink occasionally and not have to walk and get it.

The weather has changed here. It is pleasant and sunny during the early part of the day, changing to quite hot for about an hour just after noon, and then the afternoon has been a bit cloudy with a stiff breeze off of the water. I have been working in the mornings this week. It is nice to be out in the cool part of the day, but the time I would usually go to the beach has been cloudy and windy. No sunbathing for me. I was hoping to show back up in the states with a tan so dark that my mother wouldn’t recognize me… but it looks like I’ll just show up looking like I did when I left… minus about 10 pounds.

I want to know more about the passive heating and cooling of Mediterranean architecture. I have no air conditioning, but the house is never hot, and there is nearly always a breeze. Perhaps I should ask Vicente’s wife Rosa, she’s an architect.

I’ve got lots more to talk about, but I feel sort of like someone who keeps saying things just to keep you on the phone.

I have quite a bit of time to myself these days so I might write a lot. You just might not get to see it until I find some Internet.

Until then

Fran Pretending he is shy.

With Nando his brother in their house.

the good ol' T.N.A. ambulance.

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