The feature image (repeated below) is courtesy of a local Spanish child named Carlota who taped this to her front door. She writes, in Catalan, “Jo em quedo a casa” (I stay at home).
We’re Even More Locked Down
We are now almost 3 weeks into Spain’s lockdown. Spain continues to average over 800 new deaths each day and just surpassed 11,000 total deaths, behind only Italy (almost 15,000).
Remember how last post I commented that I was nervous about being stopped by authorities? A few days ago we got busted by the police. We had taken our dog to the beach. We stand far apart and call him back and forth. 4-5 laps and Brighton’s done. When we got there, I was surprised that that there were no footprints on the beach as it was 4:30pm. About 60 seconds in, police pulled up, lights flashing. They waved us over. After about half a sentence of Joy’s Spanish, the cops asked where we were from. Not being from Spain probably saved us. He politely, but pointedly, told us that all beaches in Spain are now closed. Additionally, we are only allowed to have one person walk the dog, and only long enough for him to do his business. And if they catch us again, we’ll get a heavy fine. We are supportive of this tighter lockdown. In the meantime, Brighton is asking to go out for a walk 6–7 times/day because he’s feeling cooped up.
Sadly, no way I’m getting in my steps and exercise now as I’m not going to attempt a half-marathon on my balcony. (A London man did this by running 5,500 laps on his balcony. I suspect I’d have to do about 20,000 laps. Thanks to our friend Lillian for forwarding on this exercise tidbit.)
Keeping Ourselves Busy
Unlike most of you, we have NO household chores to keep ourselves busy. Most people can do things like throwing out all the unmatched tupperware, sorting through old photos, weeding, cleaning out the garage, etc.
On the other hand, we’ve been in the apartment long enough that we periodically need to clean. I’ve discovered that not only can I vacuum the entire apartment without having to move where I’ve plugged the vacuum into, I don’t even have to pull out the full length of the electric cord.
In addition to a lot of reading, streaming videos, and playing games on my Switch, I have been spending time doing three free online Coursera classes: Intro to probability, an art history class, and “Magic in the Middle Ages” class. I’m busy!
It occurred to me the other day that I’ve been wasting our time in Spain. Here we are in the land of siesta and I’ve yet to take a nap. Dammit!
Other Random Lockdown Thoughts
- Masks – the one thing we wish we could buy but can’t find. Joy’s taken to wearing her neck gaiter to cover her face. When it’s my turn to go shopping, since I have no mask, I feel conspicuous.
- We are so lucky to have a balcony that looks out onto the bay and the lovely forbidden beach. Watching the seagulls is mildly entertaining, particularly when they’re chasing each other. I suspect one of them thinks he is Jonathan Livingston.
- You know who I feel sorry for? Pickpockets. How are they supposed to make a living without crowds?
- I’m about a week away from wearing a baseball cap full-time. I usually get a haircut every 5 weeks. It’s been 8, and at best, it will be another 2 weeks. Fortunately, I bought new caps in the countries of San Marino and in Andorra to add to my collection, so I have two to choose from.
Keeping in Touch, Remotely
It’s been great seeing and chatting with friends and family via BlueJeans, Zoom, FaceTime, etc.
Ironically, when my brothers and I all lived in the Bay Area, we didn’t get together often, and rarely all at once. Now, we have a standing Saturday date to get together to work on cooperative online puzzles. The threat of death is a powerful motivator.
I’m looking forward to trying out other cooperative games. I’ve bought Drawful 2 (~ pictionary) and the JackBox Party Pack game bundle (a murder mystery trivia game, dictionary , etc.) If anyone wants to try out these games, let us know. Just remember that Europe is now 9 hours ahead of California.
We attended a wedding! Joy’s nephew, Josh (aka Tyler), married Emma in a lovely, albeit small, ceremony. Only 10 people were physically present, including the priest, photographer, and videographer. The wedding happened at 1am, our time, so Joy and I attended from bed. In our underwear. Many others also attended remotely. I wonder how many of them were also just wearing underwear.
Getting to “Know” Our Neighbors
The family in the apartment across the hall has a child who must be 6-7, I’m guessing based on his voice. We’ve never seen them, but we sometimes hear them. If we hear them out and about we always wait a while before leaving our apartment. I suspect they do the same if they hear us.
We rarely hear this kid (or the family) during the day. But most nights at 10pm, he and his dad play games, we assume, based on the sound of kid’s delight. Sometimes it’s loud, unabashed singing, unfazed by the fact that he doesn’t yet know he can’t carry a tune. I really enjoy hearing this kid. The first night we heard him, my thought was, “It’s 10pm. Shouldn’t this kid be sound asleep?” But then I remembered we’re in Spain and this kid is usually heading out at that time to eat dinner with his parents. The other night the kid was up until midnight. A few nights ago they were playing the song Dance Monkey fairly loudly and the kid was singing along. (His English is pretty good.) I assume he was also dancing because how could you not to this song? If you’re not familiar with Dance Monkey, it is catchy. Here’s a link to the song and lyrics. I suggest dancing to it in just your underwear: https://youtu.be/QL60uWjiXrw