What a Blustery, Flustery Day
I´m going to start by admitting that I don´t know if ¨flustery¨is actually a word. If not, I´m going to pull a Billy Shakespeare and create it defining it as ¨an adjective able to be used when you are a twenty year old American walking 8 miles a day in freezing, violent, Spanish winds, taking care of two Italian teenagers, and trying to find a way to not spend two nights on the dangerous streets of Sevilla.¨ If you thought that was impressive, just wait until you see the synonyms!
The definition above is more or less a summary of what I´m going to write now - quickly as they´re getting ready to kick me out of here in T-minus twenty minutes. We are experiencing wind here like I´ve never experienced. It is so cold and so strong. I swear, you up your calorie burn by at least 20 percent just from having to walk against it. As my bus/metro pass has run out and I´m only going to be in Valencia a grand total of ten or eleven days this whole month, I´ve decided to save some money and walk. Everywhere. Currently against very competitive gusts.
It´s a good 35 to 45 minute walk to school from my house and on Mondays and Wednesdays I have to walk there and back twice (the Spanish eat lunch at home, no matter where they work or go to school.) I´m not complaining. Beach season comes a solid three months earlier here and covering a cool 4 to 9 miles a day on foot makes me more confident for that. Maybe I´ll wear a T-shirt and shorts instead of a sweatsuit this year (I kid, I kid. But seriously...)
The timing really all depends on a few things. First of all, what time of the day or night I´m walking. Since I live alone, I walk alone and I discovered (knife in hand) that some of the shortcuts I take during the day are not exactly safe to take at night. So in the morning, I can hop, skip, and jump around town in about 35. At night, those precautions cost me a solid ten minutes but I get to keep my money, body parts, and sanity so it´s a good deal in all. Then there´s the energy factor. If I´ve only slept a grand two hours (as was the case come this past Tuesday morning) you better believe I´m not as light on my feet as when I´ve slept a good six or seven. Sometimes I have to wait for traffic, although I have become quite a good darter (garnering glares however from mothers holding onto their childrens´hands , telling them ¨that is NOT how you cross a street Pedro.¨) But the real killer can hit when I walk back to school after Marísa has tried to kill me by forcing so much food down my throat that my major organs have to burst to accomodate it. I honestly think a pound of spaghetti-cream-egg-meat surprise (so much better than that eloquent description makes it sound, I promise) cost me a solid seven minutes one day. You know what? I´d do it again. :-)
Quick recap: I walk a lot. The wind is cold. Moving on.
We currently have two Italian girls staying with us. They are absolutely precious! I thought they would be college-age, like myself but they are in fact only 14 and 15. I have a baby brother who´s fifteen (and taller than me, but that´s beside the point) and I can´t imagine being okay with him jumping on a plane and living with perfect strangers. Granted, Italy is closer to Spain than the States and if their fathers have lungs like mine, we may even be able to hear them from here (if it weren´t for that stupid wind)...In any case, I have taken them under my wing, showing them the metro and the buses, answering a monton of questions, checking to make sure everything is alright. Luis makes fun of me. ¨Look at you! You´re such a little mom. ´Girls, how are you?´ ´Girls, do you need anything?´ ´Girls, how was your day?´¨ (To be fair to him, picture a six-foot something Spanish man -or male model, however the case may be- saying all of this in falsetto Spanish while waving around limp arms. Yes, that´s right: I said ¨fair.¨)
The thing is though, I remember how overwhelming it was for me when I got here. Since it hasn´t been that long, I remember all of my doubts and fears and questions that I more or less had to figure out on my own. So I´ve made sure to give them all the help I can. And I have to say, they really are wonderful. In fact, they are cooking all of us Italian dishes tonight! I don´t know if it´s because they aren´t fans of Spanish food or they just want to, but I know I´ll be happy to not cook. Marísa has kind of left things to me which she and I both know I love but it´s been an added challenge. Moving on - and wrapping up because I can hear the computer lab Nazi coming!
This is for all my prayers out there - the hotel I was staying at lost my reservation on my return from Morroco. As it´s in Sevilla during Semana Santa, I can´t find a place within a one hour radius. It´s unbelievable. I´m racking my brain and trying everything I can think of. Sevilla, although beautiful, don´t not have a reputation for being the safest city, especially at night. So keep that in your prayers.
I´m being yelled at in Spanish - gotta go!
All my love!