Be in Sopelana
It has been over two months now since I've left my life in the Bay Area.
Two posts ago, I announced I found a new place to call home in Sopelana. Sopelana is close to where I was living before. Located near the Larrabasterra metro stop and up a small hill, it is only two stops from where I was living previously. As you can see by the picture, the beach is practically my front yard. It only takes 5 minutes to get to the water from my flat. Depending on my mood and weather, I can choose to go to Playa de Arrietara or Playa de Barinatxe on any given day. It is a very sleepy town, until summer. During the summer I hear people flock here from the city.
For the first time in my life, I am 100% independent, and it feels fantastic. I live under my own roof, pay all my own bills and cook all my meals myself. This concept is very uncommon for many young 20-year-olds in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have two fantastic roommates named Rueben and Carlos. Its an apartment of bulls as all of our birthdays are in May. So I imagine there will be a grand fiesta to celebrate. They are both locals here, and we switch back and forth between English and Spanish. Every day I improve my Spanish and learn new words. At the same time, I help improve their English. Once everything is a little bit more settled, I will most likely sign up for formal classes.
Like the apartment complex I lived at before, I have two bars next to where I live. The difference is these bars are visited by more than just the residences of the apartment community. Right outside of my apartment complex is Indian Sopelana and is motorcycle themed and only one block down is La Triangu with surf atmosphere. La Triangu also has dangerously good Pintxos. For example, one morning I ran out of breakfast food and went to La Triangu. For only 3.20 euros I had a coffee con leche and egg and bacon sandwich. I was hungry that morning and also had a slice of tortilla for another 2 euros. Although I'm slightly biased because I haven't tried them at Indian Sopelana.
One of the trade-offs from living right next to the beach in Sopelana it's a 40-minute walk round trip to the grocery store. There are also three hills which aren't too bad unless your carrying groceries. I recently found out that many of the grocery stores will deliver for a small fee. I might do this in the future but for now its a reasonably good forearm and leg workout. Close to my metro stop, there is a market and official Basque meat supplier. The market has some of the basics like eggs and bread. It also happens to have sweets, pastries, and cheap alcohol. For example, a can of Heineken is one euro, and a bottle of Basque cider is 2 euro and change. While the meat supplier is a tad more expensive, the quality is superb.
On the flip side, the views from the apartment make that last paragraph. I can take a walk to the cliff and watch the sunset. I can even enjoy it from my bedroom or living room window. On any given day I will see people parasailing and can watch the rolling waves of the ocean. Life here is as relaxing as it gets.
Moreover, I have finished my probationary period of teaching online for DaDa ABC. I am contracted to work for 2.5 hours a day Monday through Thursday. I also have the option of working additional hours to fill in as a sub. If I don't have plans, I also have the opportunity of teaching Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays as a substitute. The reason I kept these days open is so I can have the option of traveling during the weekend. Having these days open will be especially helpful during the summer. I will go more in-depth about working for Dada ABC in a separate post. It is important to note for everyone thinking it's crazy only working 10-15 or so hours a week, typical "full" time here is roughly 20 hours a week. Also, it will be possible to make ends meet just by teaching online.
For recreation and working out, I have continued running and have started surfing. I do admit, I have only gone out surfing once since moving here, but that is because I need to refill my international health insurance plan. I also need to take a trip to the sporting goods store, Decathlon and buy a pair of surf booties. The water right now isn't too cold but enough to need some feet protection. The other day when I tried out my new Deeply wetsuit after 3 hours in the water, I couldn't feel my feet. The rest of my body was perfectly warm though. I'm also on the hunt for a cheap surfboard. My roommate Rueben has allowed me to borrow of the three surfboards in the flat in the meantime. Since I live a little further down the coast, I have a new section of the oceans cliff to run. The views are spectacular.
Be curious. Be courageous. Be chivalrous.