Thursday, 2 April 2009

Batteries, beer, bare chests and breakfasts

OK, I admit, I may have been a little over-excited to finally get online on my laptop the other day. Not that I´ve managed to get a dongle or anything else but I did at least find a cafe within walking distance (10 blocks, but it´s exercise!) of the house, where I could use their free WiFi. Well, I say free - I spent over 5 Euros on breakfast in order to sit in there for an hour and a half. But it was good to be on my own computer at last, instead of the public ones I´ve been using. At least it meant I could email my CV (such as it is) to a few places.

I´m shocked at how short a time my laptop battery lasts though. I´ve played about with the power settings til I´m blue in the face and I´m pretty sure it understands that when it´s on battery power it´s meant to use the lowest amount of power possible. I don´t have any peripherals plugged in, I´m even trying to only have a couple of websites open at one time and yet, when I switch on it tells me I have something like 2hrs 45mins. Within 20 mins, it´s telling me I have an hour left, and then that hour runs out in about 40 minutes. It´s infuriating!

I realised last night, as I swigged my first beer of the day while I still had the hangover from the night before, that I haven´t actually had a day with no beer since I arrived! Oops. I´ve been pretty good food-wise - plenty of fresh veg in my fridge and I haven´t totally lived on patatas bravas and tortillas, but I have so got to stop drinking every single day. I sound like a complete alcy (is that actually a word?) now!! So for a couple of days those nice people at San Miguel / Cruzcampo / Mahou will have to live without my custom.

So yesterday I went to look at a room in a shared flat. A completely new experience as I´ve never shared before (well, yes, I shared with Sid but I already knew her!). I was a bit pessimistic as the only other place I´d looked at was dreadful - a poky little room with almost no light, in a dilapidated old building, no outside area and no internet access. This place was a revelation! A big, 3-bedroomed place, newly refurbished, beautifully decorated, comfortable room with loads of storage and huge windows, etc etc! At the moment there´s just one Irish girl living there, but there is also a double room still advertised to rent so it´s possible that at some point there may be 4 people living there. Still fine though the queue for the bathroom will be interesting! It also had a huge sunny balcony with a view of the mountains. But the piece de resistance was the fact that the fire brigade has a training school just round the corner and apparently, the firemen periodically run past the flat, bare-chested, on their way to the park for a training session. How could I possibly say no?! So I took it. I move there on April 14th for at least 2 months. If nothing else, the fact that I have rent and bills to pay should incite me to try harder for a job.

Last night, I went with Julie and Behram to a new bar in town which was meant to be having "international evening" and turned out to have a pair of hiphop freestyle guys testing out the PA in readiness for a gig next week. My idea of hell quite honestly, so after a couple of drinks we bailed and hit Cafe Madrid which has a huge intercambio every Wednesday evening. Really busy but good fun. Met some great people, chatted lots, got some good hints of places to go and convinced half the Spaniards that they´d missed a treat if they´d been to the UK and not gone to Brighton! I guess from my side of things it wasn´t exactly intercambio as I spoke almost only English all evening but I´m determined that once my 3 days of Spanish lessons are over next week, I´m going to start practicing. Having said that, I did spend 15 minutes speaking French!

Talking of practicing Spanish, this morning my 2 next door neighbours (2 very sweet guys) trapped me outside bringing my washing in and insisted on showing me round their respective houses. Not quite sure why though it was interesting to see just how small a space one person can live in. The house right next door to me is miniature! Like a little doll´s house! But then for the next 20 minutes they bombarded me with Spanish about anything and everything. House prices, South American Indian souvenirs hanging from the ceilings, the fact that I only need to knock if I need anything (would you believe, one of them actually said " a cup of sugar...." - I always thought that was a terribly English thing!) - for the most part I got the gist of what they were saying but not the nuances, and I pretty much said nothing back! Bless them, they tried to slow down but without the vocab, I didn´t really stand much hope. I think I´m wrong but at one point I´m sure one of them told me that the necklace he was wearing was not made from beads as it appeared, but from the dried dung of a very small South American animal that jumps really high! I smiled and nodded as much as possible but it must have been pretty clear I was lost!

So today is "doing stuff" day - nothing too exciting mind you. Recycling, clearing up (as my landlady is coming to stay at her own house tomorrow night!), writing out some ads to post for English teaching/conversation, and some relaxing in the sun which has thoughtfully come back.


Hasta luego, everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Well your blog is coming along nicely!
    If you read mine you will have seen that week wasnt great, MANY issues.

    Well keep it up - Sin Jamon, lol!!1

    ps - cheap laptops have cheap batteries - put it on the lowest power saving settings, and dont open 4 programs at once, or better yet trade it in for a MAC - 4 hours battery life - or upto 8 with the new battery.