Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Friday, February 05, 2010
Right here, right now
Look out across the med. Feel its magic. Imagine what’s on the other side, who’s on the water, the lives that revolve around the water. Just sit there and listen to it, sit there and look at it. It does something sensational to you. It cures all your problems and worries for a moment. You can sit and think about how perfectly at peace and without constraints you are. You can dream of what the future holds and be content with the past. Viewer discretion advised.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
The DL on the 411
There’s been a lot going on. I finished the season off in Australia for two weeks. The flight there is absurd; no matter what continent you go from or what class you fly in. What was it? 22 hours? There were a few Starbucks’ in Thailand, but there were some in London too. The plane landed in Thailand, which was nice after 12 hours or so of sitting business. And it gave a great chance to wander about the airport, sample a dozen Americanos at Starbucks and decide that after the two weeks at the Sun Tour I was going to make that 1 hour layover on the way back to Barcelona into 2.5 weeks.
Spending a bit of time in Victoria was interesting. The racing was also interesting. The team cleaned it up pretty good and I went about finishing my season off as well as I could- which was pretty good. I was anxious to leave it behind after it was over though and bounced out to Bangkok the next day. Didn’t really see much of the Australia thing, but honestly it didn’t seem too much different than America. It’s more or less as close to being America/Canada as you can be without being in America.
And then I landed in Bangkok on the return leg. I was upgraded to upstairs on the 747. So… that would put me in 1st class, which made it difficult to sleep as I knew that I was going to sleep really well. Understand? Probably not, and I can’t quite grasp the concept myself. Thailand was interesting. Asia always is. But I wouldn’t go back. The culture is a whole different world and a dollar goes a long way. Yes I did go by myself, and I met some people that were surprisingly nice given I was about as different from them as I could be and I saw a lot of awesome stuff and got an inside look into their culture. And then I left and that was it. I have no plans to return to Thailand or anywhere third world in Asia, if I go back to Asia it will be to Japan, Korea or Hong Kong. But I’ll probably just sit at Waikiki and hit the surf instead. Plenty of Asian influence there anyway.
I went back to Girona after Bangkok by way of London and Barcelona. Those two and a half weeks in Bangkok more or less represented my off the bike time. I did quite a bit of running in the Bangkok smog and third-worldness as I had in anticipation of the running bought a pair of runners in Melbourne as discounted as an Australian dollar would allow for. It had been a long time since I’d done some good running. With the traffic at a standstill in Bangkok I ran down the 6 laners downtown. It made for an easy choice of route and hit the Starbucks mid-trip for an Americano- yes, American style. Upon my return to Europe I continued the running but limited it to once a week and got back on the ride and began to hit the gym again in Girona. I’ve always wondered what it would be like in Spain come winter and this year I got a good feel for it. I stayed late into the year finally deciding to go back to Seattle on the 12th of December instead of the 20th via Lufthansa’s Barcelona-Frankfurt-Seattle route. With a couple weeks remaining before returning to America my brother visited for 2 weeks, representing the first documented visit of immediate family to my apartment in Spain. It was quite pleasant having him there and he seemed to have a fantastic time. Hopefully in the future more visits from the family are to be.
Coming back to America was a shock for me this year. It was a long time since I’d been to America this time and I’d unknowingly become accustomed to the culture and lifestyle of Europe. It didn’t take long to snap back though and the month that I spent home for the Christmas season couldn’t have been better spent than home with the family. When I left I couldn’t suppress the tears inside, and they’re coming again as I recall leaving my mother, brother and father there at the airport ahead of security with my Dad saying “no matter what happens, you know we’ll be right here for you.”
From Seattle I took a British Airways flight with service through London to Barcelona. There was weather at Heathrow in London and the airport closed. I got a room at the holiday inn for the night and caught a 7:45 flight out the next morning into Barcelona where I sat at the carousel for an hour before realizing they’d lost both my bags. With enough travel for 10 people done, I hailed a taxi for the 1:45 drive to Girona. Got a couple 2 hour training sessions done, and the next day rallied with some of the guys and staff from the team and drove the 4.5 hours out to Calpe where we rendezvoused with the rest of the guys at the Hotel Sol y Mar where we’ve trained the past two and a half weeks. The first and probably last time that I will see a lot of my team mates for the rest of the year.
Coming into 2010 I have mixed feelings. I have a contract that isn’t going to resign itself so there is a bit of pressure to perform… and yet I feel more comfortable than I ever have in my position on the team. In Europe, my lifestyle, what I do, what I know, everything I do, is me. It’s not forced on me, or overwhelming as it once was. It’s everything I want and everything I know. It’s me and it’s just going to get bigger. The best thing about it is that I still have to where my shades because even though I’ve accomplished SO much there is much, much more to accomplish, but… now… my lenses TRANSITION to account for the brightness ahead…
Saturday, January 02, 2010
The American Dream
Monday, November 02, 2009
First things first
As I try to piece together what can be made of a desperate grasp at life in Europe I consistently run up against a problem with my land lord this year. At the start of this season I came over specifically with plans so that I could spend the year completely sane in an apartment that I felt comfortable in for the indefinite future. After several weeks of sampling different apartments and speaking with different agencies I found a place that overlooked the city with splendid balconies looking both east and west and furnished to rent with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a garage and everything in between… I even negotiated 50 Euros a month off the price. It was like an apartment dream, bundled into a little apartment present for Christmas. But then in the stocking above the fire or maybe in the fire there was a little flame called Francisco Gil. He is my landlord, and he is infamous and notorious as a hell monger. He pops up at the most inopportune times in an effort to impede anything that could be referred to as “your life.” At first I was sympathetic with his perspective thinking that if I owned an apartment and rented it out I too would be worried and weary of what my tenants were up to. But then he hammered on and eventually I lost my patience with him and began to feel like the poor helpless peasant under the repressive rule of ‘Franco’ the compassionate Spanish dictator. As of late I have made it my mission to overthrow his tyranny, and instead of cowering under his wrath I have had an audience with local authorities and taken my case to despatx d’advocats garriga pradas (attorney- garriga pradas). Not because I prefer to stay any longer in his apartment, but because I feel now that the unyielding nose of his in my life is a complete and total invasion of my privacy as a tenant in any country, and that he ought to feel what it feels like to be held helplessly against his will- whatever that may mean...
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
The arrival of otoño
In the elevator nothing had changed. I strolled through the lobby area, and out onto the sidewalk. It was windy. It was breezy. Fall is on the way. Now it is still warm, but the breeze. The breeze in the morning is not normal, and yet it was there and full. I saw a leaf blow by and as I started my training, I noticed more leaves. Brown leaves, brown dead leaves that danced about in the wind. And in the trees I saw more of them, also ready to trade for a new season. I saw them and I was happy. I am ready for a new season; I’m ready for the heat to leave and the brisk clear days to replace them. To ride along the road and feel the wind against my face and to shiver. Summer has been here to long, it’s time for a change. It’s time for summer to relent.