We’ve arrived in Spain and it’s….. well…. its…. different. So far it’s warmer. It’s a different language, but we seems to be doing ok with English. We picked a hotel from the internet and when I saw it I thought we had arrived at the Spanish equivalent of a Formula 1. But happy days it’s not – we’ve got a shower and toilet!
Even though we didn’t travel for very long today (maybe 4 hours) we are both tired, probably the heat. We have just come back from visiting a shopping center across the road where we had coffee and pastries to fortify us until dinner. Tomorrow we will take a train to Barcelona and leave the bike here at the hotel. We are making decisions about the computers – do we leave them in the room or on the bike or at reception? And, is the bike secure enough?
We were definitely not this worried in France.
I think I know why…… As soon as we tell people we’re off to Spain or Barcelona, the subject of pickpockets comes up. Then stories about theft. I think we’re starting to hear the same stories with different names. Even this morning when I was flicking through the guide book for Spain (we only opened it this morning!) there was a section on gangs of thieves ready to rob you on the side of the road if you stopped!
And because we have little or no experience of Spain our Spanish information jar is now top heavy with scary stories. This is not helpful! Well actually it would be helpful to keep up away from Spain! But it hasn’t done that, so…… we’re here now.
We didn’t realise until just now that we are making decisions based on a one-sided view of an entire country. Not only that but this is turning up an ugly side of us! It turns out we’re very attached to our stuff! Now, I remember somewhere there’s a Buddhist saying, something about giving up your attachment to stuff? I always thought that seemed fine and dandy but how do you get on with your life if you’re not taking care of your stuff. I think I understand that differently now. Now, I think it means – being attached to your stuff (i.e. worrying about losing it), is very, very hard work but you can make your life easier by not worrying about your stuff!
So note to self, Spain is a great place to be to learn how to live the easy life – don’t worry about your stuff getting stolen!
Time has passed and we have returned from dinner at a little tapas bar in the shopping center. We had met the owner earlier when he apologised for assuming we were English as we were reading the English menu! He remembered us when we returned to eat and told us they would be the only restaurant in the center open tomorrow, as it is good Friday. So being a good Irishman (and woman) we asked if they would be serving drink. So he says “Yes drink, no meat, just fish” then a little wink “but we will have meat!”. Later we were checking the weather for tomorrow and the waitress told us there would be rain, so we took the opportunity to ask her about trains to Barcelona. Off she goes and brings the train timetable from her handbag to show us how frequent they are.
We are warming greatly to Spain!
Be well, Mairead.