This time, jet lag has kicked our asses. I’m not sure why. Usually, by now we are on the right time and ready to go. Maybe it was all the cancelled flights and drama. But it’s time to focus on living. Here’s what is making me happy!
The Mail – Just went down and got our mail. There is a lot of it and it included our health and dental insurance cards. I feel better already, knowing we are good to go should we encounter a health related issue.
There were a plethora of flyers and circulars from stores, including the grocery store near our house. Normally, these would be tossed forthwith, but today I went through each one to discover which stores might have things we need. Interesting read.
I discovered that when the grocery store advertises meat, it’s not the attractive cooked version. More the raw, scary version. And there are about 100 different kinds of legs of ham. I can’t tell the difference yet.
I also noticed that right there in the free grocery circular are more personal items you wouldn’t see in a more prudish, US grocery insert. Mine today contained a full color page for an ‘Orgasmic Night Box’ complete with lube, mask and feather tickler. Now you might say ‘hey, they advertise condoms back home’ and you’d be right. But this went a little further describing the night I could expect should I choose to invest in this box of fun!
So of course I ran right out and bought it!!! Kidding. Maybe later. I have other priorities right now. Super sexy things like bath mats and forks. Perhaps some drapes so I don’t scare the neighbors when I get out of the shower.
The Grocery Store – I’m digging grocery shopping here. So many choices on the ice cream front. I bought some ‘ExtraBom’ sandwiches for Jeff today. He’s happy now.
And they all have a huge gluten free section. I bought gf bread today that felt like real bread. Never found that in the US. Even Udi’s was tough and they’re the gf leader in the US.
The meat selection is to die for. We are meat eaters so we just stand and stare, salivating. I think this got Jeff over the hump after landing in a windy/rainy deluge in the dark. His protein level is back up. And so is his mood.
Public Transport – I used to spend a fair bit of time in large US cities for work. On the West Coast, public transport is spotty. On the East Coast is available and convenient, and dirty.
In Valencia, it’s easy, clean, artful. It takes about two minutes to figure it out. No more taxis for us. We are all over the Metro, like college kids. Except here, even old people like us take it.
Family Time – Walking on Saturday, we noticed it was Dad’s and their kids. Everywhere. It’s Fallas so they had their wooden boxes full of fireworks with even small children, on street corners, school yards, balconies. Setting off fireworks.
No freaking out over the fact that a 5 year old was setting them off. But it was more about the fact that they were together having fun.
On Sunday, we went to lunch and the restaurants were filled with extended families, all together sharing a meal. This seems to have fallen away in the US. I don’t remember this from my childhood and my kids certainly wouldn’t from theirs.
When I grew up, I moved away to another city. My kids saw my parents or siblings rarely. Yesterday it was nice to see another way.
People are Cool – Ok, so you can’t stereotype everyone in a country, but we went to the bank where I opened an account last November and there was a queue. It was terribly civilized. The original person had moved on to another branch but the woman who assisted us was lovely and efficient. Jeff remarked on how much better the service is than our bank back home.
We’ve not met rude, arrogant people yet. I’m not sure where they keep them, but I want a notification if they let them out for some holiday or other.
Finally, I learned out internet provider has all our immigration docs and will be calling me tomorrow to set up the install. Life just got a bit better. So far, we still can’t believe we live here now, but it’s starting to feel, if not like home, a little more familiar.