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Monday, March 05, 2007

March is Better than February

March is Better than February

Life has become appreciably, even measurably better this past week. The warm weather has turned my apartment from a cold meat locker into an open and airy space that takes full advantage of the sunshine. My blood seems to have thinned out enough so that I can get back to my regular workout routine. It is difficult not to become overly-enthused about the weather when it is so unbelievably pleasant. About the only thing that I have to complain about, and it’s not such a big thing, is that Valencia seems to have turned into a free-fire zone like Baghdad or Beirut.

The annual Fallas festival has begun in Valencia which is one of the biggest in all of Europe. What this means is that all of the parents in Valencia seemed to have been locked up in prison somewhere leaving their children to run wild through the streets lighting off fireworks. Yesterday was a constant series of explosions throughout the day. The bombing terrified all of the poor little dogs here so in addition to the fireworks going off you had little dogs going off in barking fits all day long. Add a slight hangover to this mix and you come up with a pounding headache and an almost overriding urge to pour boiling off from your balcony on to the heads of the little shits blowing off strings of firecrackers. Unbelievably, no one else is annoyed by all of the racket. Everyone else just goes on about their day ignoring the deafening blasts. I just grin and bear it.

Today I promised someone that I would go with them to the Plaza de Ayuntamiento for the daily Mascletá. From what I have been told, this is also a bunch of explosions. How do you say “earplugs” in Spanish?

I came into the possession of a new double bed. I had to find a frame for it which I made out of an extremely sturdy pallet and a bit of hardware I bought at the Chinese Wal-Mart. I am very happy with how it turned out and it is as solid as an oak tree. I also picked up a few items to help organize things in my bedroom. It’s amazing how much I appreciate little stuff like this after what seems like living out of a suitcase since I left my apartment in Seattle back in September.

What I appreciate more than the new organization of my living space is the being comfortably warm after shivering for the past couple of months. I actually had to get out of bed last night to open my patio door to let some air in my room. I appreciate the fact that today is a school day and all of the little Valencian terrorists have their hands too full with books to set off ear-damaging explosions. I can’t even hear any dogs barking this morning. The explosive celebration in Valencia’s main square isn’t until two this afternoon so I have a few hours of peace.

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