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Free time…

October 19, 2011

Daily life in Arcos de la Frontera is simple, relaxed, slow, enjoyable, and hilly.  The pueblos blanco is stretched throughout the cliffs in the south of Spain; although it is beautiful, your legs get quite a workout.  I have finally started to get settled in this town, and I have found some favorite spots I like to frequent.  I love this Moroccan lounge which is very close to my house.  They have a fantastic drink menu, with a wide variety of teas, as well as smoothies and shakes.  Every sunday my friend whose parents own the bar make free paella and tapas for my friends and I to come and socialize, talk english to them and buy drinks! It’s a good promotional strategy for their business, because the positive word of mouth spreads throughout the town.  I have enjoyed many cozy nights sipping tea, listening to music, talking with friends, and smoking huka.  Another really awesome part of Arcos is the old town.  The old town is situated at the top of the cliff, and the views of the town from old town are amazing.  The narrow winding roads, the cafe’s, the restaurants, the churches, the hotels, and the gift shops with amazing ceramics and hand painted pictures of Arcos are all lovely eye candy.  The old town is very quant, the houses and all the buildings are white, everything is white, the roads are cobblestone, and most of the restaurants have tables and chairs outside to have tapas and drinks and enjoy the nice weather.  I can’t wait to have a visitor to be able to guide around the old town, and take pictures of the wonderful view of the town from the top!

Another really cool part of the Spanish lifestyle includes their siesta.  In Arcos everything closes down from 2:00-6:00pm, and this has been a major adjustment.  There are no 24 hour corner stores or restaurants, so you have to strategize when you will buy your food, or else you could go starving.  I usually go to the Mercadona (grocery store) right after school before 2pm.  I have been buying food as I need it, usually a bag at a time, because that is all I can carry.  It is really nice to buy only the amount of food you need for the next two days or so, because then you don’t waste food.  I really like this no waste, no car, no excess stuff, and unnecessary baggage kinda lifestyle.  I feel light, I feel free, I feel good!  My weekly schedule these days is filling up quickly, I have spanish class every Monday and Wednesday, I go to my AA meetings on Tuesdays and Fridays, I have intercambio (language exchange) on Wednesday nights, dinner club every other Tuesday, and before the weather gets to cold I am trying to make it to the beach on Saturdays or Sundays!  That leaves Saturday nights, and Thursday nights open to socialize and speak Spanish with people! I am surprised at the amount of people I have met thus far, and I have already been invited to BBQ’s, Birthday parties, the disco, tapas, beaches, and for coffee! I am loving everyone I meet, they are all very kind, patient with my Spanish, and  eager to help me!

I am looking forward to our holiday breaks, because I am ready for another adventure soon!

xx,

M.shay

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