Friday, July 09, 2010

too easily migrated

just created the new blog with blogger's wondrous new fangley stuff (pinch me was quite manual/old skool) so that's it, we're movin' on over...

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

window on my new world

Standing in front of the window, open onto this narrow street of low sun bleached houses, I work on the laptop perched on a waist-high dresser. There is no desk in my padre-in-laws' apartment and the kitchen and living rooms are their noisy domains, so this morning I have decided to practice yoga poses as I edit and type here in our bedroom. Not sure if this will become a permanent routine. Our new temporary life here allows me creative freedom and the license to decide that later.

Grace lies on a makeshift bed on a rug by our bed, looking up only when a dog barks down the block. Birds chirp, buses and motorcycles pass by, rough Spanish ladies' voices shout out. It's 10:30 a.m. and the sun's heat begins to build. Concentration will be a challenge for me in San Juan de Alicante.

here in the spanish summer sun

So we've been in Spain for almost 3 days now and are obviously still adjusting. Surprisingly, it seems G-dawg is the one who's found it easiest! She's already quite attached to her grandpa (who today took her out alone for the first time) and grandma (who talks non-stop to her when she thinks no one else is around to hear it!) and is being permitted access to whatever sofa, chair or bed she desires to sleep on.

We are so proud of how brave she was during the long voyage. I have a feeling she must've slept some once our Tokyo-Munich flight took off since we made sure to wear her out the day before (not to mention the stress of the last two weeks, what with so many strangers traipsing in & out of our house, from movers to embassy properties people to party guests). Plus frankly I think the in-flight part must have been way less scary than the hour plus ride to the airport, during which she insisted on looking out the window most of the time, and the hour plus between the time they wheeled her kennel off to load her and the actual scary-noise filled take-off. Not to mention the transfer from that plane to the Munich-Madrid flight.

Anyway, when we finally landed in Madrid she was thirsty (the still quite-full level testifying to how she never mastered drinking from her kennel bottle, no matter how hard we tried to train her on it, with peanut butter even) and the grateful recipient of a huge handful of cookies before we even got her out of the airport. I think airline staff did give her water between the flights, evidenced by the odorless wetness of her blankets directly under the water bowls hanging from the kennel door, and that is thanks to our friends Stephan & Erin for helping make a great sign to stick on her cage, but 20+ hours is a long time to go without food. So as soon as we arrived at our hotel, where her grandpa met us, she snarfed back a huge bowl of the batch of food he had prepared for her.

She didn't love the hotel that night and was still nervous around her grandpa the next morning when we all got into the car for the 3.5 hour drive to Alicante. She was tired I could tell but the situation wasn't ideal for her to sleep in the car since she & I had to share the backseat with a big box. She curled up but couldn't feel stable as she was too close the seat edge. So I finally took A's knapsack, stuck it on the floor right in front of her seat & put folded newspapers on top so she could have a shelf to rest her head on, which she gladly did & proceeded to sleep for the whole trip!

Our routine here seems to please her. A & I both wake up quite early and take her out for a long walk. We're still exploring, looking for green spaces where she is allowed (most people don't pick up dogpoo here so dogs are banned from the nicest parks). It's not too hot in the morning, as it's quite dry here and though the sun is strong and the day soon starts to heat up, the morning (and night) breezes are cool. On the way back, we stop for cafe con leche (cafe latte) and then head home for breakfast.

Noontime walks are short as the sun is really strong and so she hangs out in the cool apartment with whomever of us is around (we've yet to all go out together and leave her alone). Her afternoon/evening walk is later than in Tokyo because of the heat too, with the sun only setting around 9:30 p.m.! I want to take her to the beach one day soon but it's quite a long walk and she's not even allowed on the sand (only the boardwalk/path) so I'm not sure it's worth it. Maybe we can find a place she is permitted and get grandpa to drive us. I want her to meet the sea!

Meanwhile, we have yet to get internet access a la casa so I'm at a cafe at the moment, but we hope to find a USB prepaid modem thingy tonight when A goes to a different branch of the store as the local one has run out and waiting for a shipment. When we do get hooked up, I'm going to be breaking away from Pinch Me & starting a fresh blog for Spain. I'm still kicking around names for it, but welcome suggestions. Am currently leaning towards "somos caracoles" (we are snails).

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