Xan & Bob

10 months in our new home

Today marks 10 months since we arrived here in our new home. Almost a year! How is this possible?

Most changes to our new lifestyle have been fairly easy to cope with. I mean who wouldn’t love living in a hilltop vineyard village that is so close to the sea? Being blessed  by such incredible neighbors in the village has been icing on the cake!

Some changes such as slow internet that drops out can be frustrating. We knew that due to the location of the village that it would be slower than we were used to but it has actually slowed a lot since we got here. Patience is a virtue but a reliable internet connection would be appreciated. Hopefully we can get a technician out here that can help us. We do try to take it in stride but with both of us working from home it does drive us crazy at times.

We had shipped a few of our small appliances when we moved. TVs, microwave, Saeco coffee machine, electric tea kettle, Epson printer. Once we got here we bought a couple of small converters and one large one for the microwave, coffee machine and kettle. A few months ago we thought it smelled like burning plastic and we figured it was the kettle so we put that away and used the one we bought when we first arrived here. Well, last Saturday as Bob is making brunch the converter stops working. We have bacon in the microwave and are making cafe lattes with the coffee machine. Great timing huh? He makes adjustments and we have a wonderful brunch. Then we start messing with the converter.  It turns on but as soon as we plug anything into it it shuts off. Not good. We take the cover off and see that one of the wires has become detached and the plastic coating on the wire had melted. Ah…so perhaps that was the burning plastic we smelled. We’ve only had it since May and it cost 200€ so we are not thrilled that it has broken. The wire just needs to be re-soldered but again we have only had it since May. I get on to Amazon Spain and send a message and photos to the seller, BestStuff UK. This is on Saturday and Amazon give sellers 2 business days to respond so we were pleasantly surprised when we received an email within an hour apologizing for the issue and explaining he would show the image to the technician on Monday. Great! Monday afternoon another email explaining that they are looking for a carrier to pick it up and bring it back to them so they can re-solder it.  WOW! This turns out to be cost prohibitive and I suggest they just replace it but that model is no longer available though he suggests two others. Today they refunded our money. No sending back the other converter. Just a sincere apology and here’s a refund. I immediately went back on to Amazon Spain and found one of their other converters from BestStuff  UK and ordered it. The whole experience has renewed my faith in customer service! Of course items like this don’t ship Prime Amazon so we won’t have it until the end of next week but like the slow internet we will cope. 🙂

As I mentioned one of the other things that we shipped here was our Epson printer.  It is a wide format that prints A3(11×17) paper size. Bob uses this a lot for his race track design stuff. We thought, wrongly it turned out, that we would be able to buy the Epson printer cartridges here. Epson is a global brand so no problem. Wrong. Printers sold in America are different and even thought the cartridges look the same the chips in them are different. Epson Spain actually suggests that I order them from Amazon in the U.S. and have someone ship them. Helpful. Many months ago I ordered a good supply on Amazon U.S. and my sister Vicky shipped them to us. We are now low on ink and I was about to order more but we decided to look into the cost of doing that including shipping charges vs. a new printer. We talked to the great staff at BitComputer in Sitges and found out that we can buy a wide format printer here for a lot less than we paid for the Epson. So last week we ordered an HP printer for 109€ ($140). The Epson cost over $300 when we bought it a couple of years ago and to be honest we have had a lot of issues with it so weren’t convinced that Epson was the way to go again. Today we went into town and picked up the printer. And of course the other positive is that we can easily buy ink cartridges here. I have not wanted to use the other printer much because I knew we could not just go down the street and buy more ink. Now I just need to find a place that recycles electronics here so we can dispose of the Epson.

Today is also the last day of January. Looks like this year is on track to fly by just as quickly as previous years. Time flies whether you are having fun or not. On that note it is time for a bit of cava to celebrate our 10 month anniversary! Here’s to dreams coming true.

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