A Shark Free Beach Visit.

Apparently, these kinds of trips to the beach are a rarity on the east coast these days. (Does East Coast get capitalized?)

It is now Saturday, a few freckles past 5 pm, even though in my mind it is maybe 1:20. Since I’m trying to be “officially” working here, I do set an alarm during the week. Oddly, I think I might even work better at that half-awake level since that’s how I usually get things done during the school year. All that to say, I didn’t set an alarm this morning and I was surprised to wake up after 9. After a shift adding bibliographic notes to the ALMOST-fully-drafted new version of “Huevos” (I am more excited about this than if someone actually served me “Huevos” and fresh OJ in bed on a gold tray with glitter and unicornios), I packed a sammie and pedaled to the beach. Since I love tracking my bici use online, imagine my surprise when I saw that it took me 23:00 minutes to get there and 23:07 to get (and I went a different route. Whaa.) And, since I love having blog fodder, I snapped some photos on the way and on the beach. photo 1-51

I hath found ze bike lanes. And I like it.

photo 2-45

Palm trees to make us feel tropical. And Torre Agbar in the distance, which is cooler at night when it lights up in different colors.

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Torre Agbar up close.

My goal was to go north of La Barceloneta, the main city beach–with the contamination, the tourists, and the ambling vendors you would expect of a main city beach. Though Nova Mar Bella is by no means a “Top 10” beach, the water was clean, the tourists were mainly ME, and only one “Cerveza, Beer, Coca-Cola” guy walked past. Nova Mar Bella is actually a pretty ordinary beach…it’s right next to a huge parking lot, a few high rises dot the skyline behind it, and the sand is about as natural as the blondes sitting next to me (They truck it in from quarries).

photo 4-36

I ditched the bike and crossed the highway (on a pedestrian bridge) and the parking lot to make it to the Mediterranean.

photo 5-27

How normal people get shade.

photo 1-52

How I get shade.

Other than my sandwich, which I inhaled on arrival, I had brought leeltle of value with me. But, even so, I wanted to be sensible about where I left my bag when I went for a dip. My genius solution was to plant myself right next to the lifeguard stand. The reasoning was that passerbys would think the bag was his, and wouldn’t mess with it. As an added bonus, the mini-umbrella of his skyscraper chair provided me with a 2X2 patch of shade…perfect reading space! I made it through about 30 pages, which at the beach is worth at least double and then pedaled back home.

photo 2-46

Looking into the reflection of my sungrasses, you can see top selfie-form. (Okay. So it was embarrassing. But I took it for the blog!)

This week, on the whole, has gotten progressively better. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were nuts. They came, they went. I felt a little out of place. But, Thursday I had some time to relax, catch up on the schNews, and Friday, I went climbing with a new colega, Anna. She actually knew what she was doing and she showed me a couple of routes I had either not seen or ignore, so it ended up being much more fun than going by myself. Since we stayed longer, I am also sorer. But, that is a good feeling!

After biking home, I picked up some essentials at the grocery store (chocolate, cheese, half a melon…), took a quick shower and joined a small horde of Catalan seniors at the 8 pm showing of “Il capitale umano.” I promised myself a movie this week and I wasn’t disappointed. The theatre is right across the street, costs only 3€, and I got to practice my Catalan by reading the subtitles. (I think it’s pretty revolutionary that there is a theatre hear that shows only V.O. with Catalan subtitles. For a country that dubs everything to overly breathy Castilian, I give them two thumbs way up!) The theatre was intimate and cute and my smuggled chocolate made the previews sweeter. AND THE MOVIE. After starting kinda okay, it got better and better. And by the end, I really felt the catharsis I’ve read about so many times but never been sure I actually experienced. Anyhoo. If you see it (and maybe you should), you will likely think “Hey. My problems aren’t so rough after all.”

Academic progress this week was good. I have read all of my [self-]assigned pages [which included two short story books, some articles, and a few other bitz and pieces] and I am coming to an almost-done point on the draft of the article-that-would-not-end. I kinda like it too. I hope my reader {A., that may be you, pretty please??} finds it more logical than the first mess I sent.

Things I’m grateful for:

-Orxata. This is the most refreshing and delicious summer drink. It has the texture of good soy milk, but it’s made from tiger nuts (¡Rawr!)

-My brunch skypes. D. breakfasts, I lunch, we chat about not-too-much and all is well in the world.

-Two movie nights (N., my Barna friend, and I are going for a British comedy tonight). I keep thinking of my film profe, who waxes poetic about watching a movie on a big screen, in a darkened room, in the company of others. It really can be magical.

-Energy and drive to get stuff done. Hope that sticks around!

photo 3-45

Green flag means no sharks! (Or something like that.)


One thought on “A Shark Free Beach Visit.

  1. Huge yay for academic progress. I will get there eventually… I sometimes remind myself that I’ll have a month when I get back! I love the way you got some shade. We pale girls have to find a way! Also, no shame in the selfie. Your face’s [halfway] appearance is appreciated. 🙂 And finally, I keep forgetting my gratitude… oops! I’m grateful on the inside, promise! Just not when I type, apparently. I think we can also be grateful for no sharks. 😉

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