Living in the endless now
We sold our house a few months ago. We moved into a smaller studio instead, and moved part of our stuff to Spain. To the "Valley of Happiness" to be precise, "El Valle Lécrin" south of Granada. Of course we had read in advance and provided detailed information about all do's and don'ts, pitfalls and challenges. Moreover, we should get used to the other culture. And as with everything you cannot estimate in advance, our preparation was not completely unnecessary. We were immediately confronted with a number of surprises.
For example, the house that we were renovating was not yet connected to the electricity grid. Not a big problem according to the estate agent. A matter of 'switching the button' he promised. In addition, pipes needed to be replaced. We already knew that, but that replacement could take about three months. Of course we had not expected that. We were very happy to get started with kangoo and safety glasses from the first days. That plan was canceled from now on.
The house that we temporarily rent turned out to be darker and smaller than in the photos, not too clean and cold, very cold. So on to the local ferreteria for some gas heaters. Neighbor neighbor Pepe offered to deliver wood for the wood-burning stove and the landlord reimbursed us the cleaning costs.
In the Netherlands we had already started taking Spanish lessons. That worked well. However, the practice was more difficult. People in Andalusia speak quickly, very quickly. And before I have 'constructed' a sentence, I am two minutes behind. In the meantime, the Andalusians continue to talk cheerfully. After three minutes I have already lost the thread of the story.
The super fast internet that was installed in our rented house regularly failed, as did the power. Rain, wind and thunder were the culprits.
And then the chlorine chapter! Water comes mixed with chlorine from the taps here. At least so it seems. Dutch water is known as one of the healthiest in the world. And even there we used a water filter, to filter the last scraps from the water. The decline in quality was therefore large, very large. Under the motto "make your complaint your strength", we were faced with the necessary challenges during the first few weeks.
After a while we seriously wondered if this was what we had been looking forward to. After we returned to the Netherlands in December and there we saw the gray skies, traffic jams, stress and full cities, we looked at each other and we knew for sure. We did not regret it!
In Amsterdam I was surprised that I always found it so cozy in one of our favorite coffee shops. Even now, mid-winter, while it was dark and gloomy outside. Lights and candles were burning and the music also contributed to the pleasant atmosphere. In our house in Spain I could also put on lights, candles and music all day, instead of just by nightfall. That immediately gave a different atmosphere! We decided to drastically increase the frequency of the Spanish lessons and from now on we got the water from the source, 5 meters from our house. If the Internet fails again, we now shout to each other: "Coffee?" And walk leisurely to Los Naranjos, the local restaurant. With the terrace in the sun, a view of the snow and oranges, we both order a 'cortado'. And because we cannot really fully work on our house, we immediately attach a walk through the orange fields to it.
I believe we are learning pretty well. The good Spanish life. Mañana, mañana. And furthermore enjoy a good life in the Now!