Tuesday, July 17, 2012
In bureaucratic limbo...
The pictures are me in my new hat and Max with his Pokemon that he made at the Mini-Club. He's wearing his Lionel Messi shirt, which he is very pleased with.
We are still here in Empuriabrava, and we are still waiting. We sent off the contract for the boat earlier today, so now the real fun begins---transferring money to pay for it, registering the boat, etc., etc.. Naturally nothing goes as fast as we hope it will, so we're in a waiting game. Max has become a regular at the "Mini Club" here at the hotel and Frank and I spend most of the morning dealing with paperwork and practicalities. Then we pick Max up and in the afternoon after lunch we usually hit the beach or the pool. Max always wants to go to the pool at 4:00 with the Mini Club, so Frank and I get some alone time. Then we pick him up around 6:30 and go to dinner around 8 or so. Max loves these late hours, although it's difficult to wake him up in the morning. Frank is not crazy about them at all. Me, I'm just getting frustrated being in limbo, but there's not much we can do about that at the moment.
Empuribrava is a weird town. It seems to have been built purely as a resort town. There seems to be very little history here (although Salvador Dali was born not too far from here and there is a museum in his honor) and little to do outside of vacation-y things. Everyone runs around in bathing suits all day long and you can see people in various shades of brown--you know, the vacation sort of brown which will make all their friends jealous when they get home. This hotel is largely populated by families and older couples. I guess it's not quite right to call it a hotel because the accomodations are apartments. The beach is a five-minute walk from our apartment and the building has a beautiful pool. All day long people lie out in the sun and I really hope that all these pale British people are wearing sunscreen or they will be very sorry!
When someone gets in the elevator it is difficult to know what to say to them because there are so many different languages in use here; it's always safe to say "Ola" and that's about it. Sometimes someone will say something to someone else in their group and then you know who they are. The other thing that is weird about the elevators is that they are small. They have a weight limit of about 525kg and sometimes someone needs to get out. I have never seen an elevator refuse to move because of too much weight in the US. Considering the obesity epidemic, I guess the elevators there must have higher weight limits.
Max seems to be growing overnight, literally. Yesterday he couldn't reach our floor number in the elevator and this morning he reached up and pressed it. Now we know where all this food he's been eating is going!
There are restaurants and shops which cater to people on vacation--sun hats, fun summer dresses, swimsuits, and beach toys--all over town. It amazes me as an American who has always been (unfortunately) pretty judgemental about what other people look like that most of the women seem perfectly happy to run around in bikinis regardless of what they look like, The men are not off the hook, as they often wear swimsuits which should only be worn by Olympic swimmers and probably not even then. I am not advocating the American male swimsuits which look like capris, but it does seem that there must be some sort of happy medium.Of course, it may be that I just need to get over it and buy a bikini but I'm not quite ready to do that yet. The downside is that I'm getting a really weird tan line.
The time has also come, I think, to start looking for work. I am very lucky in that we are not depending on anything I earn to survive, but I am beginning to feel a bit restless. When I was teaching all year long I never felt this kind of restlessness in the summer because I knew it was a vacation which would, unfortunately, end. Now I have no idea what is coming next and it is up to me to find out. I originally was going to call this blog "Helen Grows Up at Last" but decided that it wasn't a really accurate title. I'd like to think I've been grown up for several years now, but what I was referring to was the fact that this is the first time in my life when no ready-made options are presenting themselves to me and, frankly, that seems like a frightening state of affairs to have this responsibility. I will figure it out eventually, I know, but any advice on how to start would be greatly appreciated!