Spain: Days Two & Three
With the arrival of a third party member, the trip to Spain continued to get more interesting.
Hard to believe as it is for me, despite the fact that I went to bed at around ten o’clock last night, I did not wake up today until the late hour of two o’clock in the afternoon. I had initially woken up at six thirty in the morning due to excessive bird chirping, but some ear plugs given to me by my mother fixed that problem, and I went right back to sleep. That’s fourteen hours of sleep for me, which might be accounted for if one considers that I did not sleep at all the previous evening. I thus got in two days seven hours per night, if one wishes to do that much math.
Upon waking up, I noticed that my mother was not in her bed, which made sense since she said that she was going to pick up her friend Wanda from the airport. (We should have gone to the same airport, as this one was two hours away). By the time I had finished my morning routine, my mother and Wanda had returned.
The first thing we did upon her arriving was to do a little gift exchange, which has been more frequent since Wanda moved to London with her husband. My mother gave Wanda some pants, and Wanda gave me a pocket currency changer / calculator and a small box of Darjeeling tea. I dared not tell her what I thought of the maker of the tea, Twinings, for it involves the mentioning of snails and their regular excretions.
We went to the same restaurant where we ate dinner, and found the food to be similarly excellent. We had a seafood soup and fried calamari. It’s hard to get away from seafood around here, but with the Mediterranean ocean so close by, this is at least somewhat logical.
After lunch we went for a walk on the beach where I found out that people don’t really always concern themselves with wearing the upper halves of their bathing suits, when appropriate. This is not to say that we were at a nude beach, but women at least went without top at will. It wasn’t that long of a walk, but walking on the sand can make a walk seem longer than it actually is, as I keenly recall from my experiences in Mexico. At one end of our walk we stopped at a small restaurant for water and ice cream. Well, I had the ice cream, everyone else had just water. Specifically, I had a chocolate covered / caramel layered vanilla ice cream bar. Small, but delicious.
We then walked back and while my mother and Wanda sat for awhile, I went back to our flat to get something to drink. I had some of the special vanilla milk beverage that we got at the grocery store yesterday. I also took a little time to write a letter to Andrea, whom I already missed a lot. I wrote the letter on the Chocopanda stationary, though since I noticed that there were twenty four pieces of paper for twelve envelopes provided, I decided it would be a good idea to use the hello kitty apple stationary (which came in a larger quantity and without envelopes) for every page after the second. I suppose you could say that I am somewhat methodical when it comes to things of this nature.
Reasons Not to go to Discos
By the time Wanda and my mother came back to the apartment with some things they bought while out shopping (including a magnificent spread that we had been served on bread at lunch) I was starting to get hungry again, so we decided to go on a walk on the boardwalk that is near our flat and to eat at a restaurant at some point along the way. We finally found one, being not too far from the small place we had gotten water from earlier, and we decided (on the advice of some passing Spaniards) to eat there. There I found myself sharing paella with my mother, and drinking that lovely beverage known as sangria. My mother and Wanda did not like it, but I thought it was quite nicely made.
I couldn’t help but notice all of the people smoking, along with the cigarette vending machine, which I cannot help but think is a bad sign in regards to my little addiction. My mother asked about discos in the area, which I refuse to go to as I can’t imagine anyone going who isn’t there to pick someone up. I of course have no desire to pick someone up, as I am engaged to be married. With that, the evening came to an end.
At approximately two thirty in the morning, according to my never-fail Harry Potter wrist watch which my fiancée’s mother purchased for me on the occasion of the death and resurrection of a religious figurehead of the Christian variety, I woke up feeling the need to use the facilities (also known as the restroom, the loo, or two hundred dozen other names given to it by people of aristocratic and Harley Davidson riding nature) and simultaneously began a sneezing fit the likes of which would normally be seen any time my wonderful wife to be is anywhere near freshly cut grass, or the fortunately fictional pollen marketplaces.
I excused myself to go there, which in retrospect seems absurd as I was the only person in the bedroom awake enough to acknowledge this excusing short of my small teddy bear, who seemed to be making a valiant effort to pretend to be sleeping. I believed him not. Between the conditions of being too hot and being too cold (the fan switch is right next to my head), the runny nose, and the need to visit the previously mentioned loo, it took me just under two hours to get back to sleep. All of this could be a very good explanation for why I did not wake up until a quarter after eleven, when my mother in a typical off-key manner (she means well, but occasionally angers choir instructors) woke me up by singing about the morning, her motherly love, and other related matters.
She had been up since eight thirty in the morning and had already gone for a long walk. The coffee, she explained, had been prepared enough in advance that if I made a strong effort to rush downstairs, it would be stone cold. I do not mean stones which are sitting in the sand at two o’clock in the afternoon, but rather a stone that has been resting quietly in a meat locker. I took this advice to mean that no rush was necessary: this was clearly a misunderstanding on my behalf, as it turned out that all were eagerly anticipating my appearance in the dining area.
That morning for breakfast we ate a little bit of bread with that delightful spread that was to be found at the restaurants where we have been eating recently, though it was only a fraction as delicious as the kind served in the restaurant. I would wager this is related to the fact that the stuff at the restaurant is probably made there fresh, whereas this had preservatives and what not. While eating we made up a list of things we were going to buy when grocery shopping. I managed to heat up my bit of coffee on the stove and, seeing as there was no sugar, I added a dollop of the vanilla flavoured milk to my coffee which made it quite nice.
After breakfast we went to the office of the resort management to get in touch with the people who took care of bringing us here to see if they could get us a good place for the second week, somewhere hopefully closer to Barcelona than the place we already had reserved. While my mother and Wanda were discussing the various details of this with the woman there, I sat and leisurely read the June issue of 19 magazine, which made me feel a little silly as it is targeted towards young women in England and I am none of the above. This did not stop me from borrowing the magazine – they have a sort of swapping system wherein people leave books and magazines and take others. I took that one. I think someone else can leave a few magazines in its place. I like the books I brought far too much to leave them, and seeing as two of them were gifts of my fiancée, that would be a horrible thing to do anyhow.
Shopping in Mojacar
We went to Mojacar where we had been told a great shopping area existed, and decided to have a cup of coffee before settling down to some good shopping. Our waitress was less than thrilled with our lack of Spanish speaking ability, and did not seem all that full of desire to help Wanda figure out the name of the special Spanish chocolate beverage that apparently is regularly consumed in the morning in lieu of coffee. Apparently this is referred to as chocolate, mind the accent when you pronounce it, not that any of us knew it at the time. We also went into a small gift shop to try to find out information on purchasing stamps, which it turns out are to be purchased in tobacco shops. I am reminded of France, where the stamps are also sold in such shops. The post offices apparently close at twelve, according to the book.
By the time we got to the supermarket it was closed for the afternoon, stating that it would be opening once again at five thirty in the evening. It was decided that we should go into the city of Mojacar to look around.
The walking around of Mojacar required first to find a parking spot, which brought to mind the beautiful city of New York with the exception that the streets are much steeper around here. Eventually found one and walking began at once.
Walking is rather tiring when one is going up and down stairs. When one does much of such walking it is especially tiring. Our small group did a boatload of walking of this variety, stopping frequently to take pictures of things from up close or from a grand distance. I think if you look at a collection of photographs you will find that the majority are of things from up close or from a grand distance. This is my photographing things theory.
Speaking of theory, I had an idea for a sort of device a person with a digital camera could surely make great use of. Digital cameras are wonderful in that you can immediately see the picture you have taken, but storage seems to be an issue. Sure, you can just buy more and more of the small cards which each hold 2-64 megabytes of data (I am thinking in terms of Sony’s memory sticks) but in order to have any serious amount of storage you would have to lug along a laptop with you.
My idea is to have a small unit which would have a twenty gigabyte hard drive (they can be
as small as a Walkman now) which would do nothing but serve to hold images and whatever else might be on your memory sticks or other type of flash memory. I suppose the various companies would have to allow their various memory cards to be accepted by this unit. That was my good thought for the day.