Xan & Bob

Just another day…

Yesterday we drove into Barcelona to our bank as they kept telling us they had a gift for us. With no other reason to go to Barcelona, we only hoped it was worth the drive, the tolls, and the parking. And it was! Because we have our health, car, and renter’s insurance with them they gave us a Visa gift card for 125€ or about $142! It was worth the drive. Our banker, Roger, has been so helpful since the fateful day back in September when we needed to buy health insurance and the bank had already closed. He patiently answers our questions and also gives us important tips on living here.

Big city life is not something I am used to. I always marvel at the normal every day way that things are done. I’m not sure I could live in a big city especially one as dense as Barcelona. I can, however, appreciate how people navigate through their daily lives.

While we were walking up to the bank from the parking garage we saw a man slowly riding his moped up the sidewalk as he played a distinctive tune on his pan pipe. As we took a closer look we saw that he was the knife grinder. The tune he was playing was to alert people of his presence in case they needed their knives sharpened. Bob remembers the knife grinder from his childhood in London although he had a cart that he pedaled to run the grinder. He didn’t have a moped. How wonderful that such people and services still exist.

Another bonus of our trip into Barcelona was walking past an office supply store. No Office Depot or Staples here. There are small shops that carry the essentials. Except that we have been unable to find hanging file folders anywhere since we arrived. We brought some with us but forgot that letter size here is A4 not our “letter” size files and paper in America. So, the hanging file folders that we brought with us do not fit the file drawer of the second-hand desk that we bought when we arrived. We almost gave up after looking through the store but thankfully we asked and the gentleman asked how many we wanted. He had individual ones in 3 different colors. I asked for 12 and must tell you they were the most expensive hanging file folders I have ever purchased. But, I am a happy camper as now I can truly get our paperwork organized.

As we got near home we stopped at our local FesMes Bricolatge do it yourself store. Working from home means that our office needs to function well. It also needs to be presentable to visitors. Since we arrived we have been digging for supplies in the boxes that we shipped over. At times, this has proven to be frustrating. You know how that is, “I know it is one of these boxes somewhere…I know we brought it.” We have also had our printer sitting on the box that it came in which was on top of another box. So, yesterday we bought the last two pieces of furniture we needed for our casa. We bought a glass-top table which both our large printer and scanner sit on.  We also bought a bookshelf/cabinet for our supplies. As I said this is a DIY store so we spent the rest of the afternoon putting these pieces together. What a huge difference!

Today after going into Sitges to get a haircut we tackled the organization of the office. What a difference being organized makes. I just need to get a couple of pen holders and baskets to keep some loose stuff organized. Now the boxes are gone and we know where to find things. Tomorrow I will also get our paperwork filed in the new hanging file folders. I can already anticipate what a wonderful feeling that will be.

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