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Monday, November 20, 2006

Domingo Flojo

, Lazy Sunday

If you aren’t to judge a book by its cover then you certainly shouldn’t judge Valencia by its airport. It seems to be a work in progress but at the present time it is rather far from impressive. In fact, it is without a doubt the least impressive public structure in all of Valencia and hardly is fitting of such a beautiful city. The main train station downtown is absolutely majestic, as are a lot of other municipal buildings.

My brother got on a plane back to Chicago this morning. I was disappointed that we weren’t able to take public transportation to the airport. The subway doesn’t go out to the airport but that extension is under construction. I thought that one of the city buses went out to the airport but I must have been working on old information. We had to get out the door before daylight and we hadn’t walked 50 feet when a cab passed down our little side-street. Sun was just coming up and the rest of Valencia seemed to be on their way home to bed after a long night at the clubs. The cab driver was so agitated that he almost ran over us when he turned off the ignition with the car in reverse. He said that he had just dealt with a very drunk passenger. The cab was only 14 Euros and I didn’t charge him to listen to his previous fare.

As inexpensive as the cab was I intended to take a bus back to town just on principle. There is a shuttle from the airport that dropped me off behind the Estació del Nord for 2.50E. I just had to walk around the train station and catch the #19 back to my apartment. The next time I have to take or pick someone up at the airport I’ll know what to do. Let me know when you are coming.

I would like to find a more permanent place to stay before the end of the week. Today I will begin looking in earnest. I also will start a more intensive study of Spanish. I’m watching Malcolm in the Middle in Spanish as I type this. I’ve never seen the show before in English. It’s pretty funny. On the other channel there is a Jim Carey movie called Bruce el Poderoso (Bruce the Powerful?). I normally wouldn’t be caught dead watching a TV sitcom or a Jim Carey movie, but in Spanish I can write it off as an educational experience.

The weather continues to be absolutely perfect. Sundays are pretty slow in Valencia. Almost everything is closed. Automobile traffic is sparse as they and jaywalking becomes slightly less than life-threatening. Valencianos spend Sunday afternoons filling the sidewalk tables of restaurants along the streets in quiet, urban neighborhoods. The adults sit around and sip wine while the children kick soccer balls around on the open boulevards. It would have been difficult to find better weather than we’ve had here for this kind afternoon. There seems to be a sidewalk restaurant for every family so the buses going to the beach at Malvarosa are about the only things crowded on Sundays like today. There are even enough football fields to go around.

As lazy as I felt today I decided to take a very small detour on the walk back to my apartment. I was rewarded with the discovery of a bus stop only one block north of where I live that has four lines going pretty much everywhere. I was walking about four blocks to catch the #19 to the Plaza de Ayuntamiento. I was living like an animal back then.

I haven’t even used the subway yet. I haven’t really needed it as the bus system is so efficient. I have rarely waited more that 10 minutes for a bus and usually it is less than five minutes. Of course, a bicycle would cure most of my transportation issues, but as much of a bike fanatic as I am I figured a place to live is a bit more pressing.

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