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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Vacation is Over—Almost

We are just getting back from an extended Easter break that started last Wednesday for most folks. Most everything was closed on Friday. Nothing was open on Sunday which was followed by another holiday on Monday. Today things are pretty much back to normal except Valencia Club de Fútbol, so don’t expect much in the way of buying goods and services today, either. I suggest that you just kick back and wait out these holidays. They have to end eventually…don’t they? Tomorrow is a local holiday so maybe the holidays don’t have to end.

Industrial production has certainly plummeted this past week in Spain but if you are looking for a place to invest I can tell you that kite flying has jumped up 85%, beach combing has risen 90%, and little kids kicking balls around is off the charts. As far as my own stock is concerned, I have invested very heavily in cycling. In the last eight days I have been out on seven of them. The one day I missed was because it was pouring down rain—not that I haven’t been rained on a few times when I did venture out. Each ride was about two and a half hours. That’s a total of 17.5 hours of riding in eight days. If I’m not careful I just may get into decent cycling shape. It’s not like I have any choice in the matter: everything is closed.

I left my heart-rate monitor back in the States but I can feel that I need a rest day today, at least from cycling. I cleaned my apartment pretty thoroughly already this morning. That’s usually a good sign that I’m bored. I read the Spanish newspapers online. That’s usually a good sign that I’m too lazy to go outside and find a real paper to read and a real cup of coffee to drink. I feel like I need about eight hours more sleep after sleeping almost eight hours last night. This is unusual for me, but I’m not used to riding 17.5 hours in eight days—at least not lately.

So today everyone is pretty much back to work like any normal work day. But wait a second…do you hear that…let me just open up the window. That horrible screeching you hear that sound a lot like an 18 wheeler slamming on its brakes at full speed is the Valencian workers coming to an abrupt halt today. You see, we have a little football game this evening, a date with destiny in the form of the squad from Chelsea in the Champions League deciding quarter finals match. No time for silly stuff like bike riding or working.

The game is here at Mestalla Stadium a block from my house. Just for fun I plan on taking pictures of all of the mayhem. We don’t have riots here, or violence, most of the unlawfulness comes in the form of extremely creative illegal parking. The plaza in front of the stadium fills up to the brim with fans trying to watch the game on the TVs facing the café terraces.

Win or lose, tomorrow is another holiday here in Valencia.

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