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Argh, Sundays

Didn't sleep so well last night. There was a futbol match, which Valencia apparently won (I'm deducing this from the many explosions around 9:30pm) which meant that the bars were full and loud until about 3am, including a group of guys were seemed to be playing their own futbol with beer bottles in the street below my window and had a kind/unkind friend with a very loud motorcycle who apparently shuttled them home one by one by one by one...

When I did get to sleep I had some rather gruesome nightmares and will probably be vegetarian for a couple of days.

I would have liked to stay in bed much later this morning, but mornings in this hostel are a careful dance of getting breakfast, making small talk and trying to get out the door before I interfere with housekeeping (there's no such thing as Do Not Disturb signs here). The owners are very, very kind, but it's also a little like living with over-attentive grandparents. They always are curious where I go, where I've been, they fret when I stay in my room too long, and it is impossible to sneak out without being noticed.

Sundays in Spain can either be deliciously relaxing, or a royal pain in the ass. In summer, if you have made sure you went to market on Saturday, all you need to do on Sunday is relax. Walk in the park, enjoy the quiet streets, watch the little kids play with pigeons. Nothing is open but museums and some clothing shops, so you might as well stop rushing and just chill.

In winter, it can be a pain in the ass. Yes, the streets are quiet, the museums are open, but the parks are too cold, the coffee shops are all crammed full and are counter room only, and most problematic: I can't seem to find a good place to just sit and get some studying done. Frankly, that's all I want to do on Sundays, but Spaniards don't seem to be in for the "student coffee shop" with expansive tables and mellow atmosphere. No one bothers you if you linger, but the tiny round tables aren't good for much more than reading a pocket paperback. The bookstores don't have cushy chairs, and the libraries aren't open on the weekends. There seems to be a few bars around town that may suit my purposes on days other than Sunday, as well as a laundromat. It kinda makes Sunday feel like a big waste of time where you count down the hours until Monday when the world returns to normal. Yes, this is a very American problem. I think Spaniards usually study at home.

Currently I am in my hostel room and I'll try to get some work done here, but it's bloody cold. It is a bit too early for me to need to do laundry...would it be odd if I just went and studied? Clearly being odd isn't that much of a deterrent for me, or I wouldn't be in Spain, where I'm always doing something just a little odd. Still, I've been asked for directions every day I've been in the country, so maybe I'm doing something right.

Yes, I am complaining a little.

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February 2010
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