Last Tuesday Caleb went to his first race since since I arrived. A teammate was sick, so Caleb took his place in Le Samyn in Belgium. He was going to leave for a race that weekend anyway, and I had been dreading this first separation since moving here a bit. I’m not sure what I was so nervous about; maybe it was just the idea of being isolated. But his director called him on Tuesday in the middle of his training ride and said “you’re leaving tonight!” So the dreading was over, and as is often the case, it was definitely the worst part. As soon as he was gone I stopped worrying about it and was fine. I know my way around a little bit, I have lots of things to do to stay busy, and the novelty of living IN SPAIN has in no way worn off yet! It also helps that our apartment feels so safe. Caleb and I had someone break into a condo we were renting in Tucson a few months ago, and when I’m alone I still tend to get a little jumpy. But it would be really hard to break into our new place and that is so comforting!
Caleb and I took a rambling sunset walk through the old town before he left, and explored the old wall. It doesn’t go all the way around the city like it used to a long time ago, but the part that’s left is open for touring around. It works its way up the hill behind the city and gives some spectacular views of Girona on one side and the valley on the other. Pretty romantic at sunset 😉 I won’t bore you with it now, but if you have time look up the history of Girona and this wall, it’s fascinating. So many wars have been fought here. Anyway a couple days later I went back up to the highest tower we had found and did some sketching. I felt rusty, but it was good to practice. Along with my attempt at being artsy I did something else new and fun while on my own: I made friends! Hurrah! Another cyclist’s wife, Lisa, invited me out to coffee and we had a great time. Lisa introduced me to “xocolate” for the first time. It’s basically chocolate pudding in cup (awesome). Then later that weekend, I went to lunch with Lisa and another friend of hers Jen, and on a couple of hikes. They were so welcoming and fun, and it makes such a difference to feel like I know people here.
Here’s some fun random facts about living here before I take off. First: everyday is trash day. This isn’t true of most of the city, but in the old town Caleb and I could not for the longest time figure out what to do with our trash. Every time we went out for that first week we kept our eyes pealed for dumpsters, but there was nothing. Finally we realized that people were piling their trash around built-in, tiny trash cans, pillars, back doors, pretty much anywhere it would get noticed in the evenings, and the trash service comes every night and clears everything away. Pretty exciting, I’m sure you’re pumped to hear about that. Second: siesta. Around 2:00pm everyday, everything shuts down. And I mean EVERYTHING. If you’re out shopping or running errands, you just have to stop and go home at siesta! Accomplishing anything is not allowed. This goes on until about 5:00pm, and then stores reopen until dinnertime, around 8 or 9. (Except for the banks, as I think I mentioned before. They just don’t reopen because…they’re banks. That’s the only explanation we can get from anyone.) It is so random to have to plan your day around a forced break in the middle. It’s also funny to eat dinner so late. If you go out to eat before 8:30 or so, most places will just turn you away. It’s too early to eat, come on!