Clothes dryers are a rarity in Southern Spain (possibly rare in Northern Spain, too). Self-service launderettes are apparently rare here, as well. A week’s worth of laundry done by a professional service costs between 18 and 43 euros — that’s between $27 and $65 (local laundry as opposed to El Corte Ingles), so that’s not a practical option, although it’s what we did during our entire hotel stay. For large items (like linens and towels), finding a self-service laundry in the neighborhood is still a priority for us. But, we have an excellent clothes washer in the kitchen and a clothesline outside the window.
|SO MANY NEW EXPERIENCES.|
Even our ritzy friend, Albert, does his laundry this way. He can’t comprehend why Americans would "ruin" our clothes (and waste all that electricity) to machine-dry. So, today, I took another step toward becoming Sevillano. I did a load of shirts and hung them on the line. We’ll have to pick up a drying rack for the bathroom. In the’70s, I remember sitting and drinking beer in my sister’s backyard in South Yorkshire while I watched her hang clothes on the line. This is the first time I’ve ever done it myself. Such incredible excitement!
Before leaving California, we contracted with a shipping company to send to Spain our five pieces of furniture and multiple boxes of cooking supplies, books, art, and other miscellany. We obtained quotes from two different companies. The first company was huge, with an international body that handled everything from start to finish. The price tag was also huge.
The second company was still quite large, but contracted out the components of the move, shipping to England where the Customs process was a breeze and then drop-shipping to Spain. Their quote was about one third the price. In our situation (a lack of independent wealth), it was a no-brainer.
And that’s exactly what it’s turned out to be, a process with no brains. Jerry was told delivery around August 1 would be no problem. The rep in Florida was a very nice guy, but not quick to respond to Jerry’s emails or phone calls. He always had some good reason for his delay. And he was always very prompt to respond or follow up when a payment was required.
|THE VIEW FROM ONE OF THE BALCONIES THURSDAY NIGHT — WHILE I TALKED TO THE SHIPPER.|
Once the items were shipped, Jerry began to work with a rep from a partner company in England. He had the same first name as the rep in Florida (let’s just call them “John”). He also had the same response-time problem, along with the same ability to have a good excuse on hand. English John asked if a large truck could get to the address. Jerry said that no large truck could fit anywhere near our street. It took weeks of calls from Jerry to English John to get a delivery date. On or around 1 September, we were finally told.
Thursday night at 11, I received a call from the driver saying he would be here around 9 Friday morning. He asked me if there was room on our street for his very large lorry. I told him absolutely not. In the morning, the driver rang our bell. He had walked about a half mile from where he had left his very, very large lorry. He spoke no Spanish except to ask me when I answered the buzzer in Spanish, “Hoe-lah. Ha-blow in-glaze?”
This one cannot be blamed on our lack of Spanish competency.
To wind up a long, boring, whiney story, our stuff will be driven to Malaga tomorrow where it will be moved to a smaller truck and sent the two hours back up to be delivered on Friday. Jerry and I wrote a scathing letter (well, scathing is an exaggeration) to the two “Johns” we contracted with. Frustrating, but obviously not tragic — and still worth the hugely lower price tag. Less than a week and we’ll have our stuff… we hope!
|ON OUR WAY IN FOR LUNCH TODAY.|
PAELLA AND TORTILLA
After lounging in bed all morning, we discovered we had no food in the house. So we went downstairs at noon for breakfast. We came back upstairs, we reviewed and Jerry sent the “Dear Johns” letter, and I had my very satisfying encounter with the clothesline.
|PAELLA, TORTILLA, AND CERVEZA.|
A few ours later, we took a stroll in the neighborhood, did some shopping, and then stopped at Café Santa Marta for a late lunch. They have excellent paella and tortillas (egg and potato “pie” here as opposed to the tortillas of Mexico). We had both. Jerry’s two Coca Cola Lites were the most expensive part of the meal. My beer (a small glass is called “una caña”), Jerry’s sodas, two tapas portions of paella, and our shared tortilla — and the cost was significantly less than a simple lunch at Burker King — and so much better. Amazing. And delicious.
|THE ARCHWAY OVER THE DOWN ESCALATOR LEADING TO OUR SUPERMARKET.|
IN THE FORMER BUS TERMINAL. JERRY NEEDS TO GET BACK THERE SOON.