We have pushed away from the dock. Officially. We had to give our 2 months notice on the apartment in Valencia. I did that April 1st, thanking our landlord for renting to two crazy Americans, and woke up to an email this morning from him.
Javier has been a dream. Always so responsive for any issue. A kind soul. When we rented this apartment it was because of him. It wasn’t the penthouses that I had viewed in other areas. But he was so nice and I thought it was best to have a nice landlord when packing up and moving to a new city, far on the other side of the world when we didn’t speak the language. And I was right. Although, at the time I thought ‘One year. Just until we get our bearings.’ It’s been tres anos. How it went by so fast, I have no idea.
His email was heaped with praise for us, as tenants. We always paid early, and sometimes two months in advance, if the exchange rate was good. We knew we could call on him for anything and he would come. He checked on us during Covid lockdown. Worried we might need an explanation of what was being proposed by the Spanish government.
I also gave notice to all the leases we have. So the clock is ticking. It feels strange. Like we are unmoored in Valencia. Just waiting on Dr appointments and the movers.
We met our next door neighbors at the elevator. They told us they had news, too.
‘We are moving. We bought a big apartment in the City of Arts and Sciences. No more duplex. Upstairs downstairs. I am fed up! We are moving in May. We were going to come tell you.’ They looked so sad. ‘You have been the perfect neighbors and we hope we get neighbors like you at the new house.’
But it’s them who have been wonderful to us. Always helpful receiving packages. And helping Jeff when the police called to tell him I had been taken to the hospital. He was freaking out and struggling to understand. They took care of everything and drove him.
But we had news of our own to share. We told them about the farm in Galicia. And they were so happy for us.
‘You need tranquillity, Kelli. To rest and recuperate. Being in nature will help your heart.’
Paula is right, of course. But it’s so hard to leave this all behind. And it’s interesting to see how the timing works out. Our lovely neighbors were moving anyway. Life moves on.
We have told each person they are welcome to visit us in Galicia. Expat friends always say ‘Can’t wait.’ But Valencian friends are more hesitant. They never understood our love of Galicia.
‘I have never been up there in my life. Maybe someday. You know, it’s very rainy.’
A true Valencian needs sun and fireworks.
We are very, very excited to move. And to execute all our exciting new plans for the future. It’s real now. The clock is ticking. But I will miss this place – el Compatimento – our first home in Spain. Yes, the deal is done. Time to look forward. Yet today, over morning cafe con leche descafeinada, I will take a moment to appreciate how lucky we have been to land in such a wonderful place, and to meet so many wonderful people, during such a turbulent time. And to shed a few happy, grateful, tears.