Getting to Know Cartagena: A Tale of Mosquitos, Ocean Breezes and Carthagineses

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Gentle Readers,

I’m terribly sorry for the delay in blog writing! We are patiently waiting for Wi-Fi in our temporary apartment, also owned by landlord Francisco (S.Z. Sakall.) He bashfully asked to be called Paco a few days ago, so we call him either Paco, or Fish Taco (depending on his helpfulness that day.)

Since arriving, Amy and I have leisurely explored Cartagena, which never disappoints, and have made a wonderful friend in our roommate Maria. She’s beautiful, always smiling, around 30, and is studying here in Cartagena to be an elementary school teacher. One of the kindest and most inclusive persons I’ve ever met, Maria tells us about herself and her family while helping me with Spanish phrases or verbs. Amy and I love hearing about her hometown, Lorca, and how she lived in Scotland for two years learning English. She’s really just a lovely person, and another reason we’ve loved our first week in Spain.

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Also, I now love how Spain doesn’t rely on air conditioning to keep cool. Windows are opened wide day and night to catch ocean winds, and people actually use those amazing Spanish painted fans, plus I’m sweating more efficiently. Unfortunately, along with the breeze, the ever-hungry Iberian mosquito also wafts through everyone’s open windows.

Since leaving our bed & breakfast (and Wi-Fi) on Monday, Cat and I have been engaged in a horrific battle with Iberia’s flying itch legions. We’ve killed maybe 20, but we’ve been bitten 30+ times, usually during their night raids, making us look diseased. I consider them initiation (I’m scratching the welt in between my fingers as I type this), but Amy sees this as a blood war. Late into the night I hear a SMACK and then a tiny evil Amy laugh, which sounds alarmingly like kittens playing with gremlins.

Thanks to our respite from Wi-Fi and our mosquito blood war, I now understand with absolute clarity how Henry David Thoreau could take something as simple as watching ant turf wars, and compare them to battles on par with humanity’s. He lived alone in the woods of Walden Pond, allowing him live in the present and immerse himself more deeply in his surroundings. Once distractions like Wi-Fi are taken away, we are free to use imagination to find life’s interesting details. The Spanish seem to be experts on just that. They focus on what is truly important: family, food, (wine,) and a genuine appreciation for each new day. That being said, I still love Wi-Fi, pronounced (weefeé) here.

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Thanks for reading!

Best,

Kate, SL

Song of the Day: Paulina Rubio | Boys Will Be Boys

Spanish Word of the Day: La Fresa | Strawberry

All Photos by Amy Lucas

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3 thoughts on “Getting to Know Cartagena: A Tale of Mosquitos, Ocean Breezes and Carthagineses

  1. Thoreau. You are speaking my language. I am going to need you to sneak of a picture of your landlord. I’m assuming this will not be on a day when he is Fish Taco.

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