San Sebastian – Sun & Chill Vibes

So, we found out yesterday that San Sebastian was the culture capital of not just Spain, but of all of Europe for last year.

SS has got one of the best restaurants in the country, plus it really seems to be one of those kind of cities which really gives to it’s people.

Its really cool to see.

We wake a little late, and Abdel has already headed off to work for the day. We take longer than necessary to get out of bed, but mainly because we take most of the morning to book the next few legs of our trip. Just finalising things like accommodation. Its crazy how much time it really takes to book these kind of things. You would think that it is only a couple minutes, but it actually takes a long time to get it all organised, and to have to do this on a weekly basis adds up in the end.

We get our lives sorted out, and make our way down to the beach to assess our sandcastle’s situation. I just wanna get to the city, so instead of spending ages walking, I coerce Bec into spending that little bit more and jumping on the bus. This way, we can just walk back tonight.

Sunny Days in San Seb-1

We arrive at the beach, and I am looking below us, and Bec is looking about 30m away from where I’m looking. I am sure that the castle wasn’t that far out, and Bec was sure that it wasn’t that close to the beach. Either way, our castle is gone, but we both stood on the side of the promenade referencing the images from the camera, trying to triangulate the position of the sandcastle we built.

Largely, with no avail.

With the sandcastle out of the picture, we made our way to the shops.

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You see, we made a blunder yesterday. We wanted to get coffee to have in the mornings, but we don’t want to pillage Abdel’s coffee supply. We went to the super market to pick up some cheap nasty coffee, and hit the jackpot when we found coffee for only 79c.

#winningatlyf

But, when we looked at the receipt once we got home, we paid 4.5 euro, not 79c, because we grabbed the wrong one.

#notwinningatlyf

What do you do when you spend 3.5 euro than you were intending on? Take it back.

Yeah. I’m not ashamed to say it. We returned a jar of coffee because it was 3.5 euro more than we wanted to pay. What of it? One thing this trip has taught me is how mindful you have to be about the small purchases. It’s rarely the big purchases that break the budget. It’s more often than not, all the extra dollars and cents that get spent when they don’t need to be spent. Its ridiculous, but its true.

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While we are there, we collect our lunch, and make our way to the other beach. For a munch. I am starving, but in the name of patience and rage, I hold out till we get to the beach.

We get out the towel, but being that we only have one towel, we lay it sideways so that we can just use half the towel each. Just so you know, this isn’t some retarded money saving technique. I’m just a bit of a sped, and forgot to pack another towel for the day.

We sit there, and watch the punters play frisbee, the dogs cut laps around the owners, and one particular owner literally have to drag his dog along the beach because it doesn’t want to leave. This lab has got a lot of character, and will get up to walk for a couple meters, then flop on the sand again, forcing the owner to have to wait till it wants to get back up again. It’s brilliant.

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I don’t care what pet I have, as long as it has personality, I am ok with it. We leave the beach after watching fully grown adults run from the crashing waves like animals trying to understand how this whole wave shenanigans works, and make our way to the park with the swans. Bec has been trying to feed ducks or something that resembles ducks for the past week, and has ben largely unsuccessful.

This time, we know we have a captive audience, so we figure we should be able to feed them this stale, unholy bread we obtain.

One factor we didn’t consider was that there are an entire population of the kids of San Sebastian, who fail to understand that birds don’t consume 3 times their own body weight in bread. There is food everywhere, and there is still one kid who is adamant that the masses of bread pieces scattered around the edge of the pond isn’t enough to satisfy the hunger pangs of the swans who blatantly don’t care about the additional food being tossed their way.

We stand there on the edge of the pond, assessing whether it was worth our time and effort. In a desperate attempt, we toss the bread as close as we could to the swan.

It stops cleaning between it’s feathers momentarily, to look at the food, look at us, and without missing a beat, goes back to the cleaning process like we are just wasting it’s time.

We were wasting it’s time.

We fed the finches instead.

We make our way from the park to tuck into a cafe for a bit, enjoy some sunshine and read books. I head to the counter, and there is a whole heap of pastries, and I think that Bec was joking when she said she didn’t want anything to eat. So, I order 3 oversized, over-suggarized pastries, and Bec looks at me with this look, which embodies “You are taking the piss?”.

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She thought I was taking the piss.

I was not taking the piss.

I ate them all on my own.

It was a kind of punishment, but not the effective kind.

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We sat in the window, with the sunlight pouring through, people passing by, fresh hot coffees, and delicious pastries. I continue reading my book on negotiation for the second time. My philosophy when it comes to learning something through a text format, is to read the material through quickly from start to finish, then read it through again, but this time, slowly reading each chapter or section thoroughly, stopping when necessary to let the teaching really sink in.

This is something that Dale Carnegie teaches at the start of How to Win Friends and Influence people, and it hasn’t let me down since. In addition to that, if you really wanna drill something home, there is another technique that a bloke named Winkie Pratney brought to my attention when I was over at Lifeway College, in New Zealand.

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He said that if you wanna learn something thoroughly, you should read your material through, then write down what you remember of the subject straight away. After that, re-read your notes the second day, and as factually as possible, summarise what you remember again. Lastly, repeat the process, but 7 days after you had written the first summary. I can’t remember the numbers, but it is a stupid amount of information that gets retained.

So, I’m not really doing the Winkie Pratney technique, but I am doing the Dale Carnegie thing with the book, and it is amazing, you can already see how everything makes more sense after reading the whole book through. I think when I get back to Australia, I am going to read it again, but do the whole notes thing too.

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I jump between the book and playing this connect-the-numbers game on her phone. Its a nice way to spend the afternoon.

We call it a day, and make our way back to the Abdel’s place, picking up some groceries one our way. Bec jumps into the cooking, while I get onto Couch Surfing, and send out about 60 requests. We have worked out that it was about 6-7 request, to one acceptance. Not in Europe, though.

Sunny Days in San Seb-9

It is usually a good 10+ requests. It’s pretty crazy how it worked out. I sent requests for Bordeaux, Lyon, Paris and Dijon, and only got one acceptance for each. Usually, you might have a few people accept, but not in this case. We must have hit the jackpot to get the exact right amount of requests out.

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Abdel is out for the a while, so we decide to settle for some more Brooklyn 99. It truly is the show of all shows. I’m not much of a TV show man, but this goes alright.

That is pretty much today.

Come back for the next story,

Billy

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