Sunday, September 29, 2013

Man, before I talk about the rest of the post I have got to say that I am the most blessed guy, God’s undeserved grace is so overwhelming sometimes!
Last Monday my old host at the hotel told me to come see her and her husband on Saturday when they got back from a short trip I went over there this Saturday afternoon and when the husband saw it was me at the door he threw his arms up and was like “hey it’s our favorite boy”! And then she came out and gave me this enormous hug that almost smothered me even though she’s about a foot shorter than I am J.
Aw, we talked for like fifteen minutes about how things were going for me, life back in the states and just some random topics. Then they envited me over for lunch and got my number so they could call me over for dinner and other things when they were in town (they life about 18miles away for the offseason of the year). What’s a guy to say to all that? Ah, I just feel so blessed right now, I’m so thankful the Lord gave me such awesome contacts here in Spain.

Haha, oh yeah, that cheek pinching you see in some movies that are set in Europe, totally a true stereotype! I experienced it twice today from my the lady at the hostel. Haha, I was dying on the inside thinking, “she actually just pinched my cheek, she really just pinched it”! Haha, I will forever remember my internal reaction :-D

 Yes!!! It was nearly impossible to determine if there was a pool in my town but it turns out there’s actually a huge sporting complex (I don’t know what’s up with the Olympic symbol thought because the pools only 25meters). Ah, I was one happy camper!

 The entrance to the place
 The outside wall. Terrible pic of the words but it’s called the Complejo Polideportivo Municipal (Municipal multisport complex).
 Ha! So for those who remember my little excapade with random Spanish holidays I’m now prepared for when they shut the water off in celebration! Take that Spaniards! Bring on your little fiestas, my trenches are dug and my guns are cocked ;-).
 Hahaha, okay so I was making dinner, stepped back, and was like, “oh I just gotta get a picture of this.” Hahaha, it’s the most bachelor looking meal ever. Yeah, basically just pull the guts out of the fish and chuck it into the frying pan. Whew, one of these days I’ll get a bit more civilized, but hey, it tasted awesome!
 The bus station in the morning. I need to go to my provinces capital to apply for my TIE (tarjeta internaciónal de extrajero = international foreigner card).
Strange but it’s only about 7:50 right now. Because Spain is on the west side of the European Union and the EU is all on the same time zone it gets light and dark really late relative to the rest of the European countries. 
 Oo, the habor across the bay from Cádiz. Looks like a happening place.
 Here’s the city of Cádiz. A really neat costal town.
 The sailboat of welcome.
 A government office we passed coming into the city. As you can see from the palm trees, it’s a bit of a blustery day.
 Super fuzzy because I took it while moving, but there must have been some big sporting event in Cádiz in 2012 because there was this big monument and a bunch of national flags.
 Hahaha, okay I was really bummed this picture didn’t turn out but again we were moving. This guy with black shirt had the siloettes of the evolution monkey to man thing but the man was turned around talking to the last monkey saying, “dejad de seguirme” (Quit following me!). Haha, I thought that was pretty good.
 Now we get around the historic district. Amazing architecture.
 Check out that cruise liner in the distance in the harbor!!! That has to be the most massive boat I’ve ever seen.
 La puerta de tierra, (the bridge of the land), supposedly a critical historic landmark but I have no idea why it’s so important. Haha, I was on a mission this time in Cádiz, next time I’ll have to do a little reading.
 More of the puerta.
 An awesomely incorporated museum into the left side of the puerta from where I was standing.
 Haha, the weirdest sculpture I think I’ve ever seen. I deem it… creepy ;-)
 The puerta coming back.

 Really a beautiful place with a gorgeous day to boot. Love walking these historic (but modernized with asphalt) streets.
 La puerta from below.

 Now that’s a train station. Haha, looks like more of an airport, they definitely favor forms of transportation that are kind of foreign to us Americans.
 Back on the bus and en route for Chipiona. Looking forward to getting back home.
 Off in the distance there you can see solar panels all pointing directly upwards. They really have a lot of them around this area (more pictures below).
 It’s pretty neat how they follow the sun as well. I mean of course they would but it was something I hadn’t thought about and seeing these guys pointing directly up I was like, “oh yeah, I guess you would have to do that.” ;-)

 Ah, back in Chipiona, this is really starting to feel like home base now after so much traveling. I’m familiar with the streets and starting to recognized faces, saying hola or buenas días and getting a hola and a smile back from them. It’s so much fun!
 The little cyber café where I go to upload all these photos. I only have a 1.5gb a month to use in my room (trust me, I didn’t like that option but there were none better). Nice little place with fast wifi (pronounced by the natives as weefee) and I’m getting to know the people who run the counter.
 Got a little rainy while I was there, heading back on wet streets.
 Man, I love this little town! But have no fear American friends, I’m coming home ;-)
 Hahaha, okay so this is an inside joke (Smiths) but I took out the trash in the morning, went swimming, arrived back at my apartment and was like, “uhg, it still kind of smells like the fish I threw away, maybe the bag leaked into the can a bit.” Haha, then I looked at the name of the can. Hmm, no wonder it smells kind of funny. ;-)
(okay, maybe it’s not that funny but it made me crack a big smile in the moment).
This kind of isn’t the most obvious photo because I took it while walking and didn’t want her to notice me taking a picture of what she was doing, but hosing off the walks in from of their houses seems to be almost a daily norm for the people of Chipiona. Every time I walk anywhere at least one person has to stop hosing to let me pass.
 Hey hey! I was walking back from the pool a different route and passed my school! Check this feller out, it’s actually a lot bigger than I expected. Can’t wait to start on Monday J

 Hmm, I’m guessing the word STOP must be universal because that’s definitely no Spanish ya’ll.
 Haha, again, this isn’t all that funny but I guess it struck me a strange cultural anomaly. “How are we going to get this sign to stand up? Why, of course we’ll just stab it into one of the yams”! Haha, okay.

 Boy, talk about a hopping day at the market! I was going to get a pound of sheep (cordero) to stew up and I had to wait for a bit over twenty minutes. I had to take a number they were so slammed.
P.S. Check out all those cured hams hanging in the background. Such a Spanish tradition.
 The guy on the left thinks I’m such a hilarious American and I declare this guy talks faster just because he likes to see me strain my face trying to figure out what in the world he’s saying. Haha, it’s great. He’ll say something in SUCH fast Spanish and then look at me grinning. I always chuckle and answer as best I can, and he’ll smile and grab me whatever we were talking about. Boy, just need to hang out at market a bit more to improve my Spanish ;-)

So these are the carts, no hand baskets, aw I don’t know what they are that the market has. It’s like trying to categorize a spork, some things just belong in a class of their own lol.