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Monday, August 19, 2019

Of unknown festivals & newly discovered blisters!


Although I remain very sane in Spain, if there's one thing that drives me nuts is the bureaucracy and laissez-faire way of life over here.

(Hmmm... There must be a Spanish word for "the policy of leaving things to take their own course." The literal translation is dejar hacer, that's boring, so the nearest would be when people say "manana" or "depende.")

I moved into my new place the other week and had some paperwork waiting for me at the town hall, so I pulled a few errands together and planned to knock it all out Friday.

Currently car-less, there is a great public transportation system, but with no easy way to get from A-to-D, I mapped out what would be an 8-mile round trip. I can do that - and it'll be a nice way of seeing the local towns and checking places out.

El Camino de Stupido

Friday morning, I'm all set. Water in the backpack, a couple of snacks, my hat and suncream. Off to the town hall, and after a pleasant 40-min walk I end up in front of the old building, only to discover hundreds of kids and parents enjoying the beginning of their annual, local festival. I stood in front of the huge, brown doors for a few minutes, but they stayed closed.

*Not how the town square normally looks!

Darn. Ok, off to the bank as I need some info/paperwork from them. Only a 5-minute walk, but I felt the first stages of a few blisters forming. (In my silliness, I'd decided to use a pair of new insoles in my already comfortable shoes - because I was worried about the long walk and thought the insoles would be of some help...)

On the way to the cellphone store I see this... now you tell me :)

After confirming the blistering attack, I threw the insoles away and went to open the bank door, but it was shut.


Yes. While some shops and businesses were open for the local festival, the bank had decided it needed a holiday.

Ok, then. My last stop was the cellphone store. That was 40 minutes away and the reason for going there was I'd received a text the night before saying "part of my order was waiting at the store." As I was waiting to have Wifi installed, maybe this "part" was my router - and that would be well-worth the walk? (I'd called the store using the Google-found number, but the line was disconnected...)

I had a dilemma. I was walking to another town, so were they having a festival? Or were they part of this one? What if they were closed, too?

I was a shell of myself at this stage, and so was this old gas station...

Ah well, in for a penny, in for a pound. Let's go find out.

I stopped halfway and bought a beer from a guy selling fruit and vegetables on the side of the road. I was quite delighted that at least his stand was open, especially as the little beer that could tasted like the nectar of the gods.

Hey, I'm not talking bull. Any chance of a lift?

After 50 minutes, to my ongoing delight, the phone store was also open. I walked in, all sweaty and stood under the A/C, arms spread for a moment like I was about to give a sermon. Arms dropped to my side, I waited under the cold, luxurious air while the clerk dealt with her customer.

Ten minutes later, she smiled at me, remembering I'd been in there a couple of days earlier to arrange my order using my best Spanglish.

I told - and showed - her my text and waited expectantly for her to grab a router-sized box and make my day. Instead, she just went, "Ohhhhhh...no" after clacking on the keyboard for a minute or two.

My heart sank, and then she explained there was nothing here for me.

"But I have a text. It must be true."

She shrugged and said no, but said she'd call when the mysterious part came in.

"Do you know when? Tomorrow? Monday?"


"Vale, gracias," I said and left the final errandy place, as empty-handed as I'd began, while my feet had made out like bandits and picked up lots of new blisters.

Google Maps does lead one down interesting paths...

I had a 75-minute walk ahead of me, but turned it into a 90-minute trip by stopping at a bread store to get a LARGE beer. I sat on a bench musing about the wonders of Spain, and at the end all I could - and can - do is smile.

...And of all different types, too!

The way of living over here is way bigger than I am - and I love it - to be honest. It's so different to anything I've ever experienced, and it's never boring!

So, when am I going back to get my paperwork and the mysterious package?

Made it home! (Soon after this picture was taken, subject was found relaxing in a chair, with feet up and yet another adult beverage in his hand.)


Elephant's Child said...

I would have been contemplating a useless temper tantrum. I am glad you are much more adult than I am (albeit younger).

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's really frustrating. Hopefully there are no festivals next time you venture out.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

You need a bicycle. I enjoy walking, but once my feet blister, I'm a baby about it. Hopefully, you get your internet up and working. You must stay connected to your peeps.

Mark Koopmans said...

@Liz: Oh, don't worry!! The bicycle story is coming next week!!

CWMartin said...

It would be so hard for most of us Yanks to enjoy that day without a murder at the end... thankfully, I am learning to.

Jo said...

I remember, I remember. My parents lived in Alicante for several years so I know what you are talking about. Sorry about the feet.

Debra Renée Byrd said...

Oh, that sounds stressful haha. Although, that anyway-the-wind-blows attitude sounds right up my alley.

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