Hello Raindrops

It’s raining steadily this morning, long cool drips of water that patter the sidewalks and streets, forming shallow puddles. Almost everyone uses an umbrella here in Valencia when it rains, and I joined in, borrowing the one our landlord had thoughtfully put outside the door in a black iron stand. It was the push-button type, and it opens with a satisfying *thwock*. The shops have umbrella stands too, places to hold your sword while you conduct your business or drink your morning coffee.

There are many small conveniences like that around town. Not only umbrella stands, but little hitching posts for “dog parking” and mini lockers for storing your big bags or granny carts at the supermercados. The granny carts lock up with a long chain, and you can put a euro coin into the lockers (you get the coin back) to borrow the key while you shop. It’s one of the many things I love here, those small courtesies. Like the way you can weigh your produce on a machine in the produce aisle and it pops out a little bar code sticker. The cashiers just scan the stickers; everything has been pre-weighed on the spot. I feel like these “small conveniences” are the things you get when you live in a city designed for pedestrians. I want to package these little innovations up and carry them home.

Borrowed Habits

This isn’t the first time I’ve wanted to carry things from other countries home with me. My time in the UK gave me a love of electric kettles, and I no longer make tea in the microwave, like I did growing up. Visiting Japan deepened my appreciation for the washlet bidet. Once you get a bidet, you never want to go back, especially with a heated seat in winter.

And Spain? Spain makes me want to buy a granny cart and haul it around town when I go shopping. Only they probably don’t call them “granny carts” here. I saw a perfectly fit twenty-something pulling hers through the mall, loading it up as she shopped. You can walk miles and miles with one of those things. You can keep a hand free. Some of them are narrow enough to take on a city bus.

I want a granny cart! 😎

Just One More…

Our time in Valencia will be winding down soon, and we’re already talking about our return. It’s always difficult to pry myself out of this place, the second city of my heart. So we’re making our lists of things we want to do before we leave. Just one more cup of coffee at our favorite outdoor cafe. Just one more meal of Valencian paella. Just one more walk through Turia park.

Just one more…

I’ve been struggling with my writing for the last week or so. My brain feels distracted. Glitchy. Progress is horribly slow. Hopefully the raindrops will help me today. The air feels wet and cool, almost as if we’re back in Seattle. Productivity weather. Thinking weather.

Into the book I go!