A week and half of scuttling back and forth with empty boxes and bags, and returning with full boxes and bags; a week of doing nothing which brought in income; two Big Macs, three empanadas, countless cokes/pepsis, three or four chocolate bars, one dulce de leche cornet and a sticky bun later I am ensconced in my new abode.…..moving house is a comfort food zone.
I’ve packed up my stuff. I’ve unpacked the former landlord’s stuff. I’ve packed the current landlord’s stuff, and mostly my stuff is unpacked, possibly as much as it ever will be here. I’ve been locked out twice. I’m covered in bruises, scratches and dry skin which weren’t there a week ago. Trixy is confused. Heck, I’m confused. Moving around the corner it turns out is more confusing than moving towns or countries.
When you move towns or countries you have a definite sense of being somewhere new. It’s exciting. I don’t have that. My local supermarket is still my local supermarket. My local bakery is still around the corner, it’s just a different corner. I am around the same distance from the vet, the Chinese restaurant, my favorite bars and the beach, and the ice cream parlor is that bit closer. In other words, not a lot has changed, except that I am now paying less rent, and have less cleaning – yay to both! But right now it’s just feeling like a waste of a week or so of my life.
I was seriously thinking of moving “up north.” The north of the island is greener, prettier, has preserved more history, and culture of all sorts is easier to source. I am at a point where I could have made the move without too much loss of income, and rentals, I believe, are cheaper, especially inland. Austin lives kind of half way these days. So why didn’t I make the break?
Well, friendships are the first thing which spring to mind, and all that implies. Whilst friends are strung out all over the world these days, there is a comfort to being close to folk one knows one can rely on in a pinch, enjoy sharing mutual pastimes with and who accept you with all your faults for who you are, and, of course, reciprocating all of that. Relocating means starting over, to some extent, that delicate process of “trying people out” to see if they are compatible with your own values, ideas and prejudices, and, natch, vice versa. That, indeed, is one of the joys of travel, but “to everything there is a season,” and I think I’m storing up my need to challenge my expectations of friendship for some real travelling. Right now I am in a place where I need to knuckle down and get stuff done, and not think too much about anything else.
The second thought is about El Médano. It still never ceases to amaze me in its “different” attitude to life. It’s fifteen minutes from the more popular resorts, but it’s a world away in terms of lifestyle. On a Saturday, when there is a small market in the town square, you can spot the British tourists who have wandered down from the major sunspots; having ambled round the stalls, they drift around the town with a air of bewilderment. Maybe they find the almost constant winds disturbing, maybe the hippie or the surfer-dude types make them feel uncomfortable, maybe it’s that in coming to El Médano they are made to realize that all the world is not an offshoot of the UK, whatever, it seems they scurry back to their pools and pie & chips before the sun goes down. El Médano also provides me with great dog walking without too much effort (see my #walkingwithTrixy hashtag on Twitter), and with a little effort even better dog walking. It’s also that bit closer to Santa Cruz, which makes the thought of driving up there no big deal. And, like having to test and try out new folk, a move elsewhere would mean finding new shops, eateries etc, and I am not in the mood for that right now.
And – after all these years I’ve decided I hate moving, by that I mean the physical labor and the sheer boredom of it. It’s unusual to hate things you’re good at I think, but maybe I just had my fill. In all my life there were a couple of houses I wanted to live in forever. The first was the house in which I grew up. Perhaps that is the inevitable longing of childhood, because for sure the place would have fallen down by now, had it not been pulled down in the late 60s. The second bore a remarkable resemblance to the first, in that it was a converted farmhouse, and it’s where I lived when my children were born. Both were old houses and both were in the country, so there must be something in that, although right now, to be honest, I have a yen to live in a city, with all the conveniences and entertainments and possibilities that implies. And so the itch is never quite scratched!
Does this mean there are no more moves in my future? Very probably not, because whilst I am grumpy about having had an utterly boring week and half, I know that somewhere else will call me one day; one day when I have the money to do something about it!
For now it’s just going to be good to get some work done, and to enjoy not having to do so much darn cleaning….normal service is about to be resumed!