Posted by: Españamanda | November 18, 2009

Winding down

Its hard to believe i have only 7 days left in Spain…this time. Because of the inevitable pace of Spanish paperwork and red tape, my contract and visa application have been delayed.  It looks like i’ll be home for at least a month or two, a situation i have mixed feelings about.  While i’m anxious to get home and be with my family and friends, i worry that spending so much time away might be a setback in my Spanish language progress, and be like starting all over again, culturally, when i return.  However, it will give me the opportunity to save some money and be better prepared for life here in January or February.  So, que sera sera.

Beautiful lady on the beach in PalmaMary Frances came to Palma for the 2nd time this weekend.  Of course 2 days is never enough time to see what you want to see, so we narrowed it down to a few things that have either been part of my everyday life in Palma, or parts of Mallorca that i felt were especially breathtaking.  This included a beautiful sunset bike ride down Platja de Palma through the barrios of Portixol and Molinar.  We watched the final light disappear on the horizon while sipping terrible margaritas (but hey, its the experience that counts, right?) at a little bar/restaurant that sits out on a spit, far away from traffic lights and city noise.  On Sunday we rode with Joan and Mariana to the Tramuntana villages of Valdemossa and Deià.  We wandered around the village while Mary Frances and i fantasized possibilities of living in such a place (after all, its only 40 minutes or so from Palma), and then had just enough time to drive down the steep, windy mountainside to Cala Deià (literally the ‘cove’ or ‘bottom’ of Deià).  Its an absolutely gorgeous, hidden gem that i had the opportunity to hike around a few weeks ago.  On Sunday it was nearly empty – the bar/restaurants were closed for the winter, yet the water was calling out for us to dive right in.  Incredible.

Cala Deià

Now we’re back in Barcelona, while Mary Frances finishes up her last week of work and we try to go out with a bang – experiencing as much as we can in this final week.  We have a concert to go to with friends tonight, then hopefully some day trips to Sitges and/or Costa Brava this weekend and early next week.  i am feeling so grateful for this window of time together, knowing it is the perfect way to end what has been the trip of a lifetime for us both.

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Posted by: Españamanda | November 7, 2009

Thoughts.

A visit to Sóller with Missy

Hello to you who haven´t given up on me yet!  It´s been a long few weeks, and there is just so much to tell – I´m not sure I can sum it all up.

To be honest, this blog hasn´t turned out to be the self-reflecting journolog of my “nueva adventuras” here in Spain that I had originally set out to create.  Being here has given me a bad case of writer´s block; possibly due to hearing and beginning to think everything in Español, my narrative tendencies have faltered a bit.

A month or more ago, I posted a status on Facebook that said “Is it possible to need a vacation from your vacation?”  The responses were mixed.  It seemed that those who had traveled extensively, or perhaps spent an extended amount of time unemployed as I am were completely understanding.  However, the majority of responses were along the lines of “Cry me a river!”  Understandable.  5 months ago, while finishing my thesis and preparing for my defense in the midst of unceasing worry and stress, I too would have told someone to quit their whining.  Not that I would ever want to revisit that headsplitting window of time in my life, but let´s just say the grass is always greener on the other side.

I am incredibly grateful for this experience.  Never before in my 31 years had I spent more than 3 weeks away from home (and by home, you all know I mean just one place – Tallahassee).  I´ve been here now for 2 ½ months.  Crazy.  I came here wide-eyed and relieved, eager and anxious to start a new and exciting life abroad, complete with weekend trips throughout Europe, lounging on the most beautiful beaches in the world, flirting with exotic people, and embarking on a career I could only have dreamed of.  While many of those experiences have actually happened, many have not, and I couldn´t have anticipated the emotional rollercoaster I would experience, feeling so incredibly…alone.  What a strange thing for me.  Someone who has been entirely surrounded by family and friends my entire life, in an environment I know like the back of my hand; one I could navigate with my eyes closed. 

There have been moments that were so overwhelming, moments that saturated my senses into a state I thought surely a dream.  One was standing on a beach called Es Coll Baix when I first arrived in Mallorca.  The sound of the waves disappearing through the pebbly shore, the clarity of the water that was such a ridiculous shade of blue I am certain I had never seen before, the warm sun on my skin and the impressive sheer cliffs on 3 sides of me.  Another was walking through the old part of Palma in the yellow evening light, towards the massive La Seu cathedral and the shoreline, which would take me to a bar to meet some friends.  There was diving with Mary Frances into a Mediterranean cove, in water so clear I was sure it was only 10 feet deep, only to discover it was really closer to 40.  Yet another was a short walk, maybe 30 feet, between my apartment and my across-the-street neighbor´s, in preparation for a dinner party with a new group of friends.  For whatever reason, these events have marked my time here with a sense of independence, strength and hope.  A sense of gratitude so great that I was brought nearly to tears, realizing that there was no possible way I could have envisioned this life for myself growing up. 

Yet there have been other times; times when I had no form of communication with my family and friends, times when I felt it was utterly impossible for me to speak to anyone without faltering, times when money ran out and my computer died and everything felt out of control and out of my hands.  The pendulum of emotions i´ve felt here is incredible.  I think i´ve probably led Mary Frances to think i´m bipolar, as she is the unfortunate beneficiary of my thought processes from day to day.  But, despite the dizzying ups and downs of forging ahead in an entirely new place, I am certain that these months have changed me, and become the foundation for a life with less fear of adventure and change.  I can do this.

I am returning home at the end of the month, to work and save money for a month or two while I wait for my visa.  When I return to Palma early next year and begin work, I know it will be with a fresh persective, the promise of new friends, professional and intellectual stimulation (which I desperately miss), and real beginning of my new life here.  In the end, I suppose everything works out as it should.

Posted by: Españamanda | October 13, 2009

a brief update

Sunnin´in Palma

Sunnin´in Palma

i know, i know, i´ve been terrible at keeping up with this blog!  Its been a combination of writers block, lack of consistent wireless internet, and being too busy doing things to actually write about them.  Today i thought i would share some photo albums and a bulleted list of some highlights from the last couple of weeks.  Hoping the writer´s block wears off soon…

 

Back in Mallorca with highlights from:

  • Fira Dulce (a sweets festival) in Esporles
  • Beach trips in Palma and Dique
  • Day trip to Valldemossa

And once again, back to Barcelona, where i am waiting for Missy´s arrival on the 16th!  Sooooo excited to share some of Spain with her.  Look for LOTS of fun stories then.

 

Posted by: Españamanda | September 24, 2009

La Mercè Festival…and stuff

Traditional Figures de La Mercè 2009

Traditional Figures de La Mercè

Ok, ok, i extend my sincerest apologies for leaving my 2 regular blog readers hangin’ on my Spanish adventures!  My visit to Barcelona has been great so far.  Mary Frances and i have spent lots of time exploring her *awesome* neighborhood, La Gracia, and the little cafes, bars, and squares that all seem to be open at alternating and unexpected times of day.  i have been working on some last changes to my thesis (before publication), and until recently, the lack of wifi in Mary Frances’s apartment relegated me to a sweet little cafe down the street called El Bistro.  Over the course of a week i made friends with Carlos and Ilena, the unlikely duo that run the place and are always there to greet the handful of customers who stream in for a bocadillo de tortilla and cerveza on their lunch breaks.

Last weekend we decided to venture out a little more and play tourist.  On Friday, Mary Frances played hooky and we visited La Sagrada Familia, the famed unfinished cathedral of Antoni Gaudi, and the next day, we hopped a train to Figueres, which is only 2 hours away, and is famed as the birthplace of Salvador Dali.  The Dali museum (the reason for our visit) did not disappoint.  A wonderland of the bizarre and an insight into the twisted psyche of Dali, we meandered through rooms with various series of sketches and paintings inspired by historical figures and events, giant objects forming the abstract face of Mae West, and looming, trenchcoated, hollow-eyed dolls that form my worst nightmares.  Outside, in addition to commemorative statues and large paintings, was a massive courtyard streaming classical music from an antique car with a large naked woman on the hood, driven by a creepy legless mannequin.  Totally wild.

In an effort to save money we’ve been preparing a bit more food at home, which involves shopping at one of the many incredible markets located on nearly every corner of the city.  The most famous of course is La Boqueria, in the heart of the city.  Last night we met there to buy some fish (a blog post in itself) and produce.  We started our shopping trip with a couple of cervezas and tapas in an adjoining cafe, and were finishing up just as we heard the approach of what sounded like a Scottish marching band (not kidding).  We paid up and hustled outside in time to see about 15 minutes of a short but impressive parade, kicking off the start of the Festival de Mercè, an end-of-summer tradition honoring Mare de Deu de la Merce, the Patron Saint of Barcelona.  It’s a 5 day festival that includes world-renowned pyrotechnic competitions, fire running, concerts, parades, and the famous castillos, nerve-rattling human towers that reach up to 9 levels.

Today we were invited out for some festival activities by Mary Frances’s boss Eva, and her mother, Marta.   Marta was introduced to us not as Eva’s mother, but as someone we were very fortunate to have along with us… one of the original founders/organizers of the festival!  Despite the panic-attack-inducing crowds, we were treated to a first hand tour and explanation of the origins of many of the festival traditions, and the feisty personality of Marta, who is a total pistol, and probably one of the coolest people i’ve ever met.  Seriously, i would totally hang out with her, like, anywhere, any time.  Also joining us were several of Mary Frances’s coworkers and her neighbor, Regina.  It was a great day getting to know everyone, and an introduction to the festival that we were quite lucky to have experienced.

This weekend there will be a fire running event where flame retardant clothes are encouraged.  Stay tuned for more stories and pictures.  For now, its bedtime. 

Oh, and check out the new albums to the right.  Night!

 
Posted by: Españamanda | September 16, 2009

Back in Barc

Its Wednesday, and i’m back in Barcelona with Mary Frances.  We had a great weekend catching up, doing a little exploring, and having our first real Mediterranean experience.  MFJ arrived Friday afternoon, and we spent the afternoon relaxing before heading out to my new friend Heather’s diner for some Americana comfort food (ala veggie burgers and nachos with some of the best homemade hot sauce i’ve ever tasted).  It was the warm up to a night that didn’t end until the sun was rising.  We bar hopped and danced our fannies off with a group of gals i’ve recently met, and then ended the night sitting on a big stage in the middle of Placa Mayor, sipping agua con gas and reveling in the complete silence that is Palma at 5:30am.

Joan picked us up the next afternoon around 2:00 (need i say we had not left the house yet?) and we headed to Alcudia to his family’s beach house.  “Es Moli” was built when there were no condos or hotels, or even houses in sight–yet despite their presence now, the view of the ocean and surrounding landscape is still incredible.  We headed out on Joan’s boat and cruised along the rocky coastline until we found the perfect spot to swim, then dove into the most crystal clear-blue water i have ever seen.  The depth was an illusion, and was probably between 30-40 feet deep, although from the boat it looked like 10.  Swarms of little blue fish with black spots on their tails were curious about us, and quite happy when we started throwing crushed crackers into the water, dazing into the depths while we sipped our ocean-cooled cava.  We were treated to a beautiful sunset on the way back, and then finished the night with paella and wine in Puerto Alcudia.

IMG_0369

The next morning MFJ and i wandered Alcudia for a while.  We saw the ruins of a Roman city called Polentia, and wandered inside the stone walls of the “old town” of Alcudia.  After a rainy bus ride back to Palma, i had a few hours to show Mary Frances around.  The city is beautiful, and i am in serious need of some history lessons to be a proper tour guide (currently i’m on the hunt for the perfect guide book)!  Our flight left Palma at 12:20 am, and we wearily arrived back at her apartment in Barcelona around 2:30 am.  Fortunately, MFJ’s job is relatively flexible, so we were able to sleep in a bit before tackling the day. 

As it turns out, access to technology is again the thorn in my side.  My wireless access card expired, and recharging it when the company only deals en Espanol is muy dificil.  Add to that my inability to call the company due to a prepaid phone for which i cannot remember the PIN code, and you’ve got one out of touch gal.  With a dwindling US checking account, sitting at an internet cafe all day and buying cafe solos is not the best option for me, so i’ve had to get creative.  Hopefully, with the help of a few gracious bilinguals, i’ll get it all straightened out today.  i have a few thesis edits to submit by the end of the day, then a little publication formatting to do before sending the manuscript to my colleagues, then…its back to vacation time! 

We have given ourselves a budget of 20 euros or less per day, and rocked it out last night at the neighborhood market.  Dinner was a huge salad with hearts of palm, avocados, red peppers, cukes, olives, toasted sunflower seeds, homemade dressing, and fresh sauteed fish.  Today is sunny and warm–a nice change from the dreary cold drizzle that’s been falling the last couple of days–so tonight we hope to take a picnic to the beach and sit in that much-appreciated sun until it sets.

Posted by: Españamanda | September 8, 2009

ups and downs

Mary Frances asked me how my day was today.

i answered, “well, it started out good, then got really bad, then got really good again”, to which she replied, “isn’t that like every day here?”  She was quite right.

For me, being in a new place like this, with a HUGE language barrier (that i’m working on improving every day) and pretty much flying solo every day, has been muy dificil.  For the past week and a half i’ve been trying to get a cell phone, because without internet at my apartment and no way of contacting anyone, at a certain time of night i have absolutely no connection to the world, aside from walking across town and knocking on Joan’s girflriend’s front door.  Getting a phone may seem like an easy venture in your home country.  However, here i have tried no less than 5 times, only to be faced with a) no one, even in a mega store in Barcelona, that speaks English, b) petulent employees, c) no phones that meet my criteria, d) crazy business hours, e) insane prices, f) fill in the blank. 

Yesterday i was supposed to meet my new friend Enri at El Corte Ingles (a big mall chain here in Espanya) to browse and hopefully buy a phone (859875th time’s a charm, right?), but what my newbie self didn’t realize was that there are two Corte de Ingles in Palma.  So, i sat at one, while she sat at the other–then we both got the brilliant idea to go look for the other person at the other location, which meant we both missed each other by mere minutes.  Grrr.  It was about 9:30 when i sat down at the Noodle Bar (recommended by my peeps at BornToLove cafe, where i spend the majority of my time drinking cafe solo and checking email), ordered a drink, and checked my email.  Enri was online and we managed to meet up for drinks and dinner, which of course turned into too many drinks and a hangover this morning.  But that’s another story…

Today i met her (with a small lingering vodka headache) at 12:30, and we went to El Corte Ingles, only to be greeted by more disinterested and annoyed salespeople.  Within 30-45 minutes we were fed up and headed back into the windy old town streets to the “Phone House”, which i had stumbled upon the night before when ambling home from my missed meeting with Enri.  There i was minutes away from signing an 18 month long contract on an LG phone with unlimited internet access and GPS–only, the salesgirl had no idea how to use the phone.  i wasn’t going to buy something before seeing how all the applications worked, so i finally threw my hands up, muttered some defeatist things like “Well, fuck it, i’m obviously not supposed to have a phone”, and “i guess i’ll just stay disconnected the rest of my life.”   Enri suggested we go to the beach and just relax, which is exactly what we did.

The beach were we went, Cala Blava, is basically a big area of reefs and tidal pools, where people lie out on the rocks and snorkle in the shallow pools.  It was crystal clear and absolutly beautiful.  It was the kind of weather today that was made for beach trips, so my irritation and anxiety quickly melted away as i swam around in the gorgeous water and then warmed myself in the sun.My friend Enri snorkeling at Cala Blava

Tonight Joan took me to Movistar, where i gave up the iPhone dream and bought an adorable little prepaid LG phone for 19 euros.  i am at least now connected (albeit expensively at 0.35 euros per minute), and will worry about ubiquitous internet later, after establishing the Spanish bank account that’s necessary to enter into any contracts (which i didn’t kow until tonight).  Por lo menos tengo un teléfono.  🙂

i’m now finishing up my 2nd glass of vino tinto at the Noodle Bar, a great restaurant/bar in my ‘hood i was unaware of until last night.  Its swanky, has great food, and stays open late.  Not to mention the wifi!  However, it is rapidly approaching midnight, so i’m gonna pack up and head back to mi apartamento before i turn into a pumpkin.  Or, as in the joke Joan told me a few days ago, my crotch turns into a slice of watermelon. 

My friend Enri snorkeling at Cala Blava

Don’t ask.

Posted by: Españamanda | September 7, 2009

Es Coll Baix

**WARNING: this post was written in the buzz of Mallorcan wine and aftermath of an overwhelmingly beautiful, exhausting day.  Please forgive the lack of ‘flow’.

IMGP0494Today was the most incredible day.  i am going to try my best to put into words the beauty of this island that i witnessed today.  Until this point, i have most certainly been impressed by the architecture and Spanish style of Barcelona and Palma both (each in their individual way)–however, last night and today were entirely new and unexpected experiences.

Last night, after a somewhat frustrating day of limited communication and mixed signals between Joan and myself, he and Mariana picked me up for an overnight trip to La Mola (The Mill)–his family house in a coastal village called Alcudia.  We arrived around 9:00pm, and drove into the center of town, then walked a bit more to a small street with several busy restaurants in the midst of old, yellow lit stone buildings.  Alcudia was once the Roman capital of Mallorca, and is surrounded by a stone wall that once protected the village from intruders.  We had a delicious dinner and dessert (mine was white chocolate flan floating in strawberries and basalmic vinegar–OMG!) and shared a bottle of vino tinto (red wine) from the heart of Mallorca.  We were exhausted after dinner, so we slowly ambled home and went to bed.

It was nearly noon when i emerged from my bedroom–this is what happens when your sleep schedule is still screwy and you sleep in a completely darkened room.  Sheesh.  We had planned on going out on Joan’s family’s boat, but Joan’s cousin was using it to go fishing, so instead we slowly started our day with a yummy Mallorcan breakfast–toast with tomato spread (basically, the innards of a smeared tomato–no flesh), sprinkled salt, and drizzled olive oil, along with cafe solo (espresso).  i met Joan’s sister Alicia, a cute single mother that speaks (and teaches) English with a British accent.  Adorable.  After breakfast we drove a little way into the mountains to a beach where Joan was certain no one would be.  We didn’t realize at the time (despite his warning we’d be “walking” about 30 minutes to get to it) that it required a life-threatening hike through shifty boulders and loose rocks at what felt like nearly 90 degree angles down the side of a mountain.  But, as Joan said with his handsome smile about halfway down–“the biggests risks have the biggest rewards”, i had no idea the beauty of la playa that awaited us.  With no real words to describe this place and what i was feeling today (please check out the photos in the “Palma Photos” album), i’ll just say that there were moments that i found myself standing in the small pebbles that form the foundation of this beach, staring out at the powerful waves crashing on the shore, close to tears.

We wrapped up the day by driving up the opposite side of the mountain (after hiking *back* up the mountain until i thought my quads might give out and just go ahead and hurl me off the cliff) and having a drink at a bar/restaurant with an incredible view.  They didn’t start serving dinner until 8:00, so we headed back to the Puerto de Alcudia (the port/marina) and indulged in a huge paella mariscos at a restaurant with yet another amazing view.  On the way out of town i noticed an open wine store.  i ran in quickly while Joan and Mariana waited in the car, and whipped out my best Espanol to ask for the owners top two suggestions for Mallorcan wine. Now, i’m sitting on the couch, back in Palma, watching 7th Heaven (i know, i know–its my only English channel!), and sipping one more glass of vino tinto before hitting the hay.  Sun weary, leg weary, and saturated with the beauty, hope, and promise of this incredible new place.

Posted by: Españamanda | September 5, 2009

today is 1 week

My street in Palma

My street in Palma

I’m settling in more here in Palma over the last couple of days.  Yesterday I had my meeting with Carlos, and I think that brought me some much needed peace—just being reminded of why I’m  here and the amazing opportunity I’ve been given. 

The facility is in a town called Esporles, about 20 miles from Palma in the mountains of the northern part of the island.  Is absolutely gorgeous—palm trees, old style Spanish houses on the hillsides, surrounded by rocky green mountains.  The town is home to only about 3000 people, and although thoughts of quiet mountain living were floating around in my head, Carlos suggested that might not be the best idea.  Apparently the 1/3 of employees there that actually live in Esporles complain about running into each other all the time and having to discuss work.  And let me tell you, getting away from work and having it off your mind is muy importante for Spaniards.  So for now, it looks as though Palma it is. 

The meeting went great!  After touring the facility and its amazing labs, Carlos and I discussed all of the research projects underway and he introduced me to a few Ph.D students and techs.  Turns out the Malaspina project runs for 5 years, and the “circumnavigational” portion runs through some of my most fantasized locales – Argentina, Cape Town, Perth, Sydney, Honolulu, Panama, Cadiz… shall I continue?  So as I’m sitting there with my heart racing and dreamy music playing in my ears, Carlos proceeds to tell me that due to funding issues, he’s actually putting me on the Arctic Tipping Points project.  Wheee.  And then, brrrrrr.  Maybe throw a *sigh* or two in there as well.  But the truth is, its still an amazing project, studying the thresholds at which major changes occur in response to a shifting climate.  And…if all works out, he may transfer me to my dreamy equatorial project after a year or two.  A few more details about my contract, pay, insurance, etc., and a short break while Carlos gave an interview by phone to (what he referred to as) Spanish NPR, and I was chasing the bus down the street to go home.

Today is Saturday, and my neighborhood is bustling with activity.  All the little boutique stores and cafes and cervecerias are open, and the street performers are painted up and scaring tourists in the Placa Mayor.  Aside from a small alcohol induced headache this morning, my day started beautifully sitting outside my favorite café talking to Mary Frances and feeling a refreshing (and rare!) cool breeze blow over me.  If I ever find Joan, we are rumored to be going to the beach tonight and out on a boat tomorrow.  My first weekend in Mallorca is going quite well, I’d say.

Posted by: Españamanda | September 3, 2009

H-O-T

HOT in Palma.  Sweatin’ like crazy sitting in my little swanky internet spot just down from Joan’s (my!) apartment on Placa Mayor.  i have so much to do though, i can’t tear myself away just yet.

Its been an interesting beginning to this chapter of my journey.  For starters, i arrived at the airport yesterday and went to check in, only to find that my flight was for the next day.  i suppose it had something to do with the days running together, but i honestly thought that the 3rd was a Wednesday, not Thursday.  My first thought upon hearing how much it would cost to change my flight was screw that i’m paying for a cab back to town.  However, as i sat there for a few minutes, dreading lugging my huge suitcase back to MFJ’s apartment and waiting for her to get off of work, then doing it all over again the next day, i realized that the price was nearly worth the convenience of flying out as i had planned.  So, i swallowed 120 euros and boarded the day’s flight to Palma.  *gulp*

Joan picked me up at the airport after the shortest flight i think i’ve ever been on, and we drove through this beautiful city to his apartment at the very center.  After dropping off my luggage and grabbing my camera, we hit the streets for lunch and to see about a phone plan for me.  Unfortunately, my iPhone dreams (GPS, Facebook, email, everywhere!) were dashed when Movist*r informed us that not only were they sold out of iPhones, they had no idea whatsoever when they’d receive more.  Fortunately though, Joan had scored a payasyougo phone for me, which i’ll be getting activated today.  At least i won’t be completely out of touch anymore. 

Last night i met Joan’s new girlfriend, and we all went out for a couple of drinks at what Joan thought might be a lesbian bar.  Not so much, but fun nevertheless!  After he left on his bike for her place, i ran a bath and relaxed with a cold cerveza and a book for a while before hitting the hay.  So nice.  It was a little disorienting to wake up this morning with no working clock though, and seeing a stalled one that read 12:30.  i thought i had slept half the day away, until i turned on my computer and realized it was only 10:00.  Whew.  i’m telling you, this time thing has me all screwed up.

Tomorrow morning is my meeting with Carlos, my new employer.  i’m nervous to say the least, but should have a much better idea of what my Ballearic future looks like by tomorrow afternoon.  i’ll keep you posted!

Posted by: Españamanda | September 2, 2009

Stage #2

It’s Wednesday morning, and i’m sitting at MFJ’s little dining room table contemplating my route to the airport.  Today is the day i migrate to Palma, Mallorca, to see my friend Joan and meet with my future employer. 

The trip has been amazing so far, despite some annoying inconveniences and mostly humorous setbacks.  Internet access has been extremely limited.  Turns out the “high speed internet” MFJ was guaranteed is actually a little USB plug in device that operates around the speed of original dial up internet service.  Yeah.  The ‘locutorio’ just around the corner is a row of old mixed up computers in an un-air-conditioned shotgun style room.  Nevertheless we’ve spent plenty of time in there sweating our asses off to try to take care of business, such as buying today’s plane ticket and getting MFJ ready for her new job, which started this morning.

One of the “annoying inconveniences”, aside from lack of internet, has been the lack of a clock.  It hasn’t really mattered all that much what time it was until yesterday, when we needed to meet with an American woman MFJ was originally going to room with, who is also staying in her building.  Having no idea what time it was (without turning on a computer), we have been kind of just rolling with what our bodies tell us–up until then had been stay up until 3:00, sleep til noon.  MFJ said, ‘at first i thought we were rockstars, but then i realized we were just living on EST’.  *sigh*

So this morning, although both of us later confessed we wondered why it was so light outside at 5:30am, MFJ’s iPhone (which she can’t even use the applications on without a wireless signal) told us it was 2 hours earlier than it actually was.  Whoops.  Once this mistake was realized, poor girl had to run out the door for her first day of work with about 15 minutes preparation time.  Luckily i managed to feed her some little toast points with avocado as she ran back and forth past the kitchen trying to get ready, and she gulped down some coffee just before walking out the door. 

Otherwise this has been an absolutely incredible experience so far.  We have done some sightseeing, ate some great food (OMG the seafood!), laid on the beach, wandered La Boqueria, and met some nice people.  Our new friend Carlos is going to escort us to some tiny beach towns near Girona in a few weeks, and MFJ and i have decided to have a competition to see which one of us can make a friend with a boat first, so that we can say we’ve “sailed the Mediterranean”.  😉

i’ll write more when i reach Mallorca and fill you all in on the job details and my new home city!

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