Las Palmeras

23 July, 2019

San Vicente del Raspeig, Sunday July 14, 2019, 4.00 am

In the meantime, we have been on leave for a week. As usual, it looked completely different from what we had planned, and what I had expected. The only thing that went as expected was the two visits to friends. On the one hand there was the baby-visit to our broker-and-so-much-more-in-one person. It was a very nice visit, nice and extensive chat and enjoying having to do nothing. A wonderful baby with a wonderful dimple in the cheek, so ini-mini. I had forgotten how small such a newborn baby can be, even though it was already 5 weeks old. It seems so very far away in a distant past that my children were so small. I can hardly imagine anymore when I look at how they have grown into beautiful adults, looking for their own future. Each in their own way. The two youngest are now graduating and are looking for a good job. I hope they find something they feel good in, where they can grow as a person, develop their talents to the full. I also hope that they dare to choose for their happiness, no matter what. Not taking too much into account what others might think, but that they go for challenges that they want to take on, that bring them satisfaction and happiness, just like I did. I just hope they don’t postpone it as long as I did. Life is too short to get stuck in work situations from which you think you will never escape, and to convince yourself that you can only do what you have done for years. Fortunately, the mentality of today’s young people is completely different. Young people dare to make conscious choices when it appears that an earlier choice does not give them sufficient satisfaction. Unfortunately, that also has the downside that they have often become “job hoppers”, and give up much too quickly when something is less obvious or when it is a bit less pleasant. Well, everything has a downside, I suppose.

Strange how my thoughts twist and I deviate from my original text. I have no grasp of it myself, and in my writing I never have any idea what my story will lead to. The only thing I know in advance is what I want to say in my first sentence. It is sometimes as if my keyboard and fingers take over from me and start to lead a life of themselfes. I admit, I don’t feel like censoring myself, even though my writing goes on the internet. I am not ashamed of what I write, I am not ashamed of my thoughts or feelings. Because they are real, because they are part of who I am, take it or leave it. People sometimes ask me if I am not afraid because I am just throwing in my feelings for the outside world, for strangers. It is mainly from a concern that this question is asked. But then I think; what is different from a singer’s song, from a poet’s poem, from a writer’s novel, from an artist’s painting? They are all ways of people expressing their feelings and thoughts in their own way.

We also succeeded in doing some excursions. Unfortunately not all according to the standard plan … that’s how we went on Tuesdaye to Elche. It is a city known for its palm trees. Beautiful and unique of its kind. There is the largest palm forest in the world with more than 200,000 trees, which is very impressive. The parks throughout the city are incredibly well maintained, beautiful flower beds, very extensive irrigation systems, colorful and cozy.

We had parked the car neatly when entering the city on a free parking lot. After a nice stroll and a lunch – which unfortunately was a bit disappointing – on a terrace, we had to drive on to pick up our “green card”, which is our proof of residence, before closing time at 6 pm. I used to count on Wim to find my way back because I was hopelessly poor in orientation. In some bizarre way I have started to develop my sense of orientation in recent years, which means that I often find my way back. A strange sensation how that can suddenly change. It used to be horribly bad. I often didn’t even find the exit in a store, and for weeks I had to find my way around my working space in the past. But that has become a thing of the past in recent years, and that has also made me much more independent. And due to that new development, we created a problem. Because Wim now knows that I can find my way back myself, he had not focused on the way we had to go. He counted on me to have imprinted the parking space in my head, and that I knew which direction we should go. Coincidentally, I expected that he would have done that, with the result that neither of us had made any effort at all to store at least a name or a square or landmark in our brain. The result: you guessed it, we were hopelessly lost. So we had to rely on our feeling to choose the right direction. Because of course I wanted to go for a nice walk and walk through the park, we lost any sense of orientation. The only thing we knew is that we were parked near a school. Then search through Google maps for schools with a parking square next to them.

But if you are in the city of palm trees, there are more schools with a parking lot with palm trees on … so we have visited a number of schools, but never the good one:, (.

After 3 hours of wandering around, really, I am embarrassed, we comforted ourselves on a terrace with a drink. It turned out to be a cosy terrace, close to a playground, between only Spaniards. Very atmospheric, noisy Spanish -so typical- and with children playing. These are actually the nicer terraces, the authentic and non-touristy spots. From there we would come up with an “escape” plan to find our bus again. We did not know any street name or square around the car. So it became a very difficult assignment. Fortunately, Wim came up with the idea of using modern technology and he ran his health app in search of the pedometer, to see if he had kept track of the route. It wasn’t allowed to be. The app did not display it. So back to scratch, but our friend Google finally gave us the solution. For anyone who is afraid of the “big-brother-is-watching-you” phenomenon from Google and species over the internet, I now declare this our ultimate and all-sanctifying lifebuoy. Thanks to the fact that our cell phone is set to allow us to do what we do, we have succeeded in reconstructing our trajectory and thus finding our mini bus again. I was so relieved to see the Lavinia letters on our bus again.

Mission accomplished, after only 3 and a half hours … an extensive city walk, and of course much too late to pick up our resident card. But we live in Spain, the land of mañana, so why should we worry?

Hasta luego,

Annemie or Ana

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