Bohemian Agent Blog

Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, manifesting your own happy, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
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This little piggy went to market

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Today's tiny adventure in Spain would land me in the center of the Saturday village market where all the Spaniards gathered with woven hand baskets and rolly carts to shop local for the week. 

There is nothing I love more than walking and exploring a new city, village or place.  It never gets old to me, it doesn't cost a dime, and most importantly, it's ALWAYS an adventure.  Every turn is a discovery.   The same walk on a different day will always present different people and different events.  

I had walked up and down what seemed like the central pedestrian walk in this tiny wine village many times over this past month, but on this Saturday morning, I would discover the streets lined with market items all branching from this very spot. You see, it's all about timing!   Getting up a little earlier on this day and taking this stroll on a Saturday brought me an entirely new experience.  Well, nothing makes my day more than that!    

Here, the morning began very still and quickly turned into the hustle and bustle of Spaniards from all ages carrying their woven hand baskets for shopping or wheeling along their rolly carts filled to the brim with fresh local meat and produce.  I enjoyed poking around at the variety of Spanish meats, cheeses and huge tubs of olive variations.  Anything from cactus to cooking pots lined the streets.  I found casual clothing, undergarments, and neck scarves that went on for days.  There were a couple of organic vendors whom I continued to build a relationship with each week from here on out.  I would continue to take great pleasure in buying local, organic produce from this Saturday market on a weekly basis.  I loved the rich smell of the portable chicken rotisseries where spinning chickens would fill my nostrils with happy glory.  Here I could buy a fully cooked rotisserie chicken and potatoes for only about 7 Euros when the carnivore in me needed a pollo (chicken) fix.  A great go to lunch or dinner on any given Saturday with friends.    

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Temporary situations can be our greatest teacher!

Tiny Adventures In Spain:  Today's tiny adventure in Spain would teach me that sometimes the temporary things we do along our life journey can profoundly fill our hearts and be our greatest teacher.  

Anyone who knows me, knows I love both listening to and telling a killer story! Well, who knew that would come in so handy while teaching English in my new tiny wine village in Spain?  On most days, you could find me in any given classroom performing a ridiculous enactment of the storylines from my English textbooks.  It wouldn't be uncommon for me to act out virtually any vocabulary word that crossed my path while teaching English.  This asinine behavior brought all of us closer as a class.  

Picture me in a preposition lesson where I am diving "under" the table or jumping "into" the hallway from the classroom.  I'm certain my students probably still get a good laugh from the way I would push the limits of my acting within the classroom.  These over exaggerated lessons allowed us all to have a ball while learning.   In my humble opinion, everything is better when you are having fun (especially learning)!  I admit I am a bit of a ridiculous human being, so I am sure my students did not know what to make of me at first, but the shenanigans quickly turned into true student/teacher love.  

It was now the beginning of February.  It seemed like special moments and bonds with my students were becoming more of a commonplace in my daily experience here in Spain.  On this day, I shared another heartwarming teacher/student moment with one of my students of the cava (Spanish champagne) companies.   Following one of my lessons, the student turned to me and told me that I must have been a teacher in the U.S.A. because I took my time to explain things very well.  I loved hearing these kind words because I wanted so badly to be doing a good job on this new journey in Spain. 

I came to Spain to heal my soul, unleash my hidden wanderlust and to begin a new journey with writing.  My biggest drive to come, however, was to figure out how to become a mobile creative person.  This job teaching English was only supposed to be the thing that got me here to figure the rest out.   Low and behold, it turned into the thing that got me out of my own way and focused on others (and what a relief that was).  It also turned out that I was pretty good at this new thing and loved doing it.  I later found out that my sign Sagittarius is astrologically a good candidate for teaching because of our fun, exciting nature and our optimist approach.  Well, what do you know!  The Universe was at it again and guiding me as I instinctively followed my heart into this new adventure abroad.  

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Allow yourself to receive

Tiny Adventures in Spain: Today's tiny adventure happened online when a sister from another mister posted a cool app on Facebook where I was prompted to draw an oracle card reminding me of the power of receiving (one of the three crucial steps in the Law of Attraction).  

On this day while surfing Facebook, I came across a cool app prompting me to draw an oracle card which would provide me an answer to any life question of my choosing.  I learned that an oracle card unlike tarot cards are less structured and provide answered based around a theme (like romance or healing).  There is more room for divine guidance to shape your reading according to this source here.  I can't for the life of me remember the question asked on this day.  Somehow though, I still haven't forgotten the answer.  It was such a powerful reminder (one that is paramount for truly creating a life you love using the law of attraction) and a lesson I still struggle with to this very day.  The oracle card I drew was a reminder to receive.    Here is what is said:

"You give so much, but now it’s your turn. Heaven can only answer your prayers—and people can only assist you—to the degree that you will allow yourself to be helped.   So, it’s time to allow yourself to receive.

You can feel better about receiving by remembering these three spiritual truths:

  1. God wants you, and everyone, to be happy, safe, and provided for.  In order for this to happen, you’ll need to allow support to come to you.
  2. You, like everyone, deserve to be happy. Aren’t you happier when the people around you are happy? Well, the same applies to you, too.
  3. The more you allow yourself to receive, the more you’ll have available to give."

Wow, this reminder was such a gift, and later I would find out receiving (what we ask for) is the third most important ingredient to successfully using the law of attraction.  The law of attraction states you must set firm intentions (ask the Universe what you wish for), believe wholeheartedly that this thing is already yours (know it will show up at just the right time after taking inspired actions toward receiving it), and then you must receive the abundance when it comes into your life.  

Most of us, myself being at the top of this list, have the hardest time with the receiving part of this life-changing formula.  I learned that if I don't receive life's (the Universe's) gifts as they come, then I break the momentum in my power to create the life I long for using the principles of the law of attraction.  Today's oracle card would prompt me to do some more thinking about this, and I hope this post will have you doing a little bit of the same.  Are you allowing yourself to receive life's gifts as they come to you?  If not, you could very well be one tiny step away from receiving the abundance that has been waiting to shower you with life's pleasures (that being your wildest of dreams).    

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

A golden teaching experience

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Today my English students would teach me about fulfilling relationships, meaningful work and remind me just how unpredictable and beautiful life could be! 

It had been approximately one full month getting to know my English students now, and I must tell you that I loved every minute of my time with them as a first-time teacher of English. 

The administrative experience of first-time teaching was a wee different though;  it was what it might be like to be in the firing line of an exploding cannon.  The teacher I replaced at the Cultural Center had jumped ship without sharing any information about the students for her predecessor to come (yours truly).  That meant I went into this new job and career entirely blind in more ways than one.  Not knowing the levels of my students, the books they last used, and where they might be in those mystery books; all having me just a tiny bit stressed entering into this new adventure.   

I am fairly sure that I brought my roller coaster of residual stress from back home with me into the first month of teaching.  The pressure that I left the U.S.A. feeling didn't go away overnight.  Nonetheless, I probably shouldn't have expected to show up on the other side of the world and expect working conditions to be just like they were back home in the U.S.A (and who would want them to be, I was here for a new experience).   In most teaching situations abroad, it's not only your students who speak English as a second language (E.S.L.), but in most cases, your boss does as well (leading to a landslide of potentially misunderstood situations).   

Once I got past the explosive administrative situation, I honestly couldn't decide which of my students I loved most.  They were all so fabulous!  Teaching was a golden experience, with so many variations to it.  My youngest began as a pair of eight-year-olds, and eldest were wonderful folks on the verge of retirement.  I taught adults, teens, children, pre-teens, conversational English, business English and even directly to owners of smaller bodegas at the tiny little cultural center in the middle of wine country.  When I wasn't teaching at the cultural center, I would wonder from cava company to cava company (Spain's Champagne) teaching business English to their employees and executives.  

This job (minus some misunderstandings mentioned above) would go down in my books as one of the best experiences of my life to date.  I would have never thought, even six months before this day, that I would fast forward to selling everything and moving to Spain at 42 years old to start a new career as a teacher for the first time in my life.  And, I love that!  It's fantastic how unpredictable and beautiful life can be! These small classes of students would each become like mini families I enjoyed visiting once or twice a week at either the cava companies or in the cultural center.  For the first time, I felt like I had become a real student of life.     

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Home cooked Spanish Tortilla de Patatas!

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  A dinner invite in Spanish wine country turns into a lesson in making Tortilla de Patatas!

I was now ending my first month in Spain and hey, wait a minute!  Was it the weekend again?  It was indeed, and guess what I had planned?  Another evening of stuffing my face with a fantastic home cooked meal at my beautiful friend Marianna's house.  I had been yapping up a storm about how impressed I was with the Pincho de Tortilla (to any Spaniard that would listen), which landed me this personal invitation to a home cooked version.  The restaurant version was similar to a pan-fried potato frittata, but in tapa form, and stabbed with a toothpick.  I enjoyed this tapa for the first time at a restaurant called Cafe Marisa in my small Catalan wine village a couple of weeks earlier.     

As soon as I realized that I could order this dish all around town in a sandwich version (Bocadillo de Tortilla), it became my "go to" along with the Bocadillo de Jamon (Cured Ham Sandwich) as I still struggled to interpret all the Spanish and Catalan written food menus in my Spanish village on a daily basis.  

There would be no struggle today, however, because I received a golden front row ticket.  Not only for the enjoyment of eating this lovely dish called Tortilla de Patatas but for also watching, front, and center, how Spaniards prepare this tasty potato and egg filled beauty at home.  Woohoo!  I was fascinated and counting down the moments until dinner time on this very day. 

As the clock struck dinner, I showed up around 8 pm and just like in the U.S. it's always nice to come with a bottle of wine or cava.  However, in this case, Marianna had a hankering for her favorite sweet treat that was found at a small family bakery on my way to her house that evening.  This desert brought me, and my new friend, jubilant post-dinner delight that night.  

Nothing, however, would plaster the grin on my face more than watching Virgili, our chef for the evening, working his magic with fresh, simple ingredients that we don't seem to cherish as much as we should back at home in the U.S.A.  Vegetable oil, eggs, potato, onions, salt, and pepper never came together in such harmony before!  

Step 1:  Start by sauteing sliced potatoes in vegetable oil until golden brown.  

Step 2: Add in the onions next for three additional minutes.  

Step 3:  Add in salt.  Please note, you will be hard-pressed to find a Spanish kitchen not stocked with a big container of quick access salt for cooking all meals. 

Step 4:  Beat three eggs with milk and add in to the mix.  Cook for ten minutes.

Step 5:  Continue to scrape the sides of the pan and gently pat the top with spatula while cooking to keep it from sticking to the sides of the pan and loosing it's shape. 

Step 6:  Here's the fun part, using a plate flip the Tortilla over onto the other side and cook for another ten minutes until finished. 

Viola!  Home-cooked Spanish Tortilla de Patatas!

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

 

Graffiti-lined picnic area in wine country

Graffiti Wall

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Today a little variation in my daily walk lead me to a scenic Graffiti-lined picnic area in wine country.  A million dollar experience for the price of about two euros. 

Feeling lightyears ahead of that cold, I had been battling; I decided it was time to do some more exploring in my new Spanish neighborhood.  It's not like I hadn't been upwardly mobile and busy teaching my English classes all week.  I was extremely fortunate that the worst of it struck over the weekend (in the midst of my encounter with the Barcelona businessman).  

Graffiti Wall Spain

My teaching schedule was pretty darn random but made up of approximately 18 teaching hours a week (add approximately one unpaid hour of lesson planning for every teaching hour, making close to a full-time work schedule).  My hours were not standard office hours by any stretch of the imagination.  It would be very typical that the Cava (Spanish Champagne) company lessons would fall during the regular three-hour Spanish lunch break.  Classes at the Cultural Center could be any time of the day depending on the day/age/lifestyle of the student.  Most of them would fall in the late afternoon or evening leaving my work day to start at about 12:30 pm Monday - Thursday and ending as late as 10:30 pm (with gaping breaks in between).  

Graffiti Wall Spain

This schedule allowed me time to lesson plan or (more excitingly) lengthen the walks I would usually take between the Cava (Spanish Champagne) companies and the Cultural Center where I taught English as a second language to people of all ages.  

Graffiti Wall Spain

On this day, my adventure wouldn't take me too far from home!  I decided to go beyond the brick wall that was in front of my building and finally explore the beautiful graffiti lined trail that leads to the perfect spot for a picnic, and that's just what I did.  I enjoyed my lunch while gazing at one of the wine companies where I had just finished teaching, and I felt like one lucky duck on this charming weekday in Spain.  I'm compelled to give you more details to get you on this artistically positioned picnic bench with me.  Gazing meant peering over at a building that could have easily doubled as a small Spanish Castle off in the near distance (where I just left the executives of the wine company from their English lessons).  This impressive Spanish building sat positioned above beautiful wine vineyards as if ready for a picture, all right before me.  This delightful experience totaling the very low cost of some bread and ham (two euros), BUT going on record as a million dollar day in my mind! 

Graffiti Wall Spain

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  

Graffiti Wall Picnic

Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Honey, I'm home!

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Today I would be taught an embarrassing lesson about where pettiness gets you (nowhere). On this day the experience would come with its own soundtrack while my new roommate in Spain entertained his lady friend in the room next door.  

It had been about a week now since I had last seen the Barcelona businessman on our meet up to get my spare keys from him in Barcelona.  Our lame duck meet up happened almost immediately after I moved in (about a week before this day).  Tonight, however, would be a real gem of an evening for my new (once a month) roommate and I.  It would be the first time he would spend the night at our shared apartment, and close to the last after the massive embarrassment that will uncomfortably unfold step by step below.     

Since we are bumping this story back, a few days, I should remind you that I was completely immobilized and coughing up a storm when I received the text from the Barcelona businessman alerting me that he and "a friend" would be coming to the apartment that evening.   I tried in every way to warn him that I was ill and that my coughing would probably keep him up the entire night, but he would not be deterred.  

I should probably also back up the story to mention that my brother was originally supposed to spontaneously fly in for a short trip to Barcelona on this weekend, but he came down with the terrifying flu (with a hospital stay) back home in the U.S. and canceled.  Ironically, my severe cold quickly followed suit, landing me in bed on this very eve. 

It went something like this.  I woke out of a coughing fit to get some honey from the kitchen to soothe my throat, and the Barcelona businessman and his "friend" startled me.  It was rather late.   Seeing that we didn't know each other well and that our agreement was he would only use the apartment to spend the weekend with his kids (once a month), I wasn't expecting what was about to follow suit.  I certainly couldn't predict they would jump right on the twin bunk beds and begin playing a loud, incessant beat of a fast Spanish song on repeat for several hours (at a volume that made me feel like I needed to be clicking my heels and suited up in a Flamenco bar). 

Here's where the story gets embarrassing for both of us.  In my sicken stupor, I grabbed my phone to let my brother know that the Barcelona businessman had taken liberty to use the apartment for encounters of another kind while I lay there sick on my death bed (okay, maybe I do have a flare for the dramatic).  My brother and I shared several messages back and forth making jokes about this unfortunate situation when something interrupted me.  In my fallen illness, I didn't realize that somehow I was now about to continue the text banter, but this time, directly with the Barcelona businessman himself instead of my brother.  

Yikes!  I could almost remember the ding in slow motion.  I wrote something along the lines of mentioning words like "porking," "rapido repeat song," "twin bunk beds," "in the next room"...and then I hit send.   I honestly, don't know how I heard that little ding above the volume of the music, but there it was, clear as day in real time...ding!  I somehow immediately knew that I had done something very, very wrong here and quickly looked at my phone in horror to learn that yes, indeed, I had!  I had sent the message intended for my brother directly to the Barcelona businessman right in the middle of his "sleeping" session.  I was horrified.  My brother being from Jersey found this to be hilarious.  What made this worse yet, was that I knew he would have to go through the motions of using a translator app to decode the message, making it even harder to back peddle from this disaster. 

I just laid there mortified and frozen on my bed.  I admitted that I knew this would likely be a lot funnier at a later date, but not on this day.  Not on this day, at all.  I tried to think of how I might ever recover from this embarrassment, but there was no way out.  I would have to admit to having poor taste in humor, but not before slipping out the front door (on my death bed) as early as possible the next morning to avoid a face-to-face encounter with him and his "friend."  I made sure going forward to give him plenty of notice when I was going out of town so he could have the place all to himself on future visits.  Like I said gals, there is always a solution.  Ha-ha!  Mine was to run for the hills every time he might planning a trip back to the casa.  

I'd like to say I dodged a bullet here, but rather I took a gigantic one straight to the chest this day.  The lesson for this post, I would never put anything in writing that I could not proudly defend.  My poor judgment came back to bite me in the ass this day, and likely would again in the future, (should I ever be this petty again).  I had to remind myself of a classic quote we all know and love.  "If you have nothing nice to say, you shouldn't say it at all."   With that, I will close this post by saying no more about this strange duck I had found myself in a living situation with because awkward continued to describe this at its best. 

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

A meet up with the Barcelona businessman, oh boy!

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Today I would learn how important first impressions are and that not even a language barrier can ward off communicating bad energy. 

Well, I have mentioned him before.  The unsavvy Barcelona businessman (otherwise known as my once a month roommate) had forgotten to make himself a copy of the keys to his apartment.  Yes, this meant that I would need to go to Barcelona with the original keys to help rectify the situation immediately.  Like I mentioned in an earlier post, something about this guy gave me the full-on heebie-jeebies.

I met him in Barcelona that day.  I hoped he might surprise me and have some small iota of a personality, but it was dullsville until the bitter end.  I learned something important while meeting up with this lame duck of a Spaniard on this very day.  Even though we both spoke two completely different languages, there was (without question) something still being communicated to me loud and clear through his body language, energy, osmosis, whatever you want to call it, and that was I never wanted to understand this man's spoken word.  Ha-ha!

All joking aside, this was a valuable lesson.  You see, I had experienced the opposite throughout my entire living experience here in Spain (and everywhere else I have ever called home).  Energy and how you present yourself to the world is so important.  The energy that you have when you meet people for the first time or the twentieth time has no language barrier.  You either bring it to the table or you don't, my friends.  This guy wasn't bringing diddly.  His voice was low and muffled, and the intonation never changed frequency, there was never an expression change on his face, nothing seemed to engage his attention in the world around him.  Spending time with him was the equivalent of sharp fingernails cutting across a black chalkboard.  And so, in situations like this, I just did my default thing, and that was to entertain myself.  

Did you think Dudley the duck was going to bring my vibration down?  No way in hell, my mamas!  I still enjoyed myself that day (all observations aside).  This little trick has been my survival skill, saving me from potentially terrible dates and obligatory meet ups throughout my entire life.  Energy is a two-way street.  No doubt about it!  However, I have learned that if I am not receiving the experience I want, then it is I who has not brought it to the table.  It's very easy to sit back and judge how other people are not what we want them to be, but in a genuinely healthy energy exchange between people, there is flow.   We all have an off-day or an off-moment.  The point of this post is it's our job to maintain responsibility for how we are interpreting the world around us and how we will choose to experience it.  

Insert video of two ducks.  Guess which one reminds me of the star of this post?  We could call this game Lame Duck Hunt.  

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

An incurable cold and (incurable) acting skills

google images

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Today being sick would wind up my adventure when the translator app failed to communicate my illness to the Spanish Pharmacist, and less than stellar acting skills would be my last defence to fight this cold once and for all.  

It's no surprise that between my ten-day departure from the U.S. followed by my ten-plus day arrival here in Spain; I ran myself down just enough to get sick.  It began in my head.  Oh boy!  It felt so heavy that I could hardly think.  I walked around in a haze for days trying to cure myself with some much-needed rest.  

When the rest alone wasn't cutting it, I started to research some natural remedies.  That is when I came across an article from Elephant Journal on the benefits of drinking hot water with proper honey and real lemon juice daily.   The author's claims for this hot, healthy cocktail had me intrigued.  She hadn't been sick for over one year once beginning this daily routine and even weaned herself off a coffee addiction as a added side benefit.  Apparently, the zing of the lemony flavor was enough to get her started in the morning.  Not too shabby!  Her recipe was juice from a half of lemon along with a decent teaspoon of organic honey in a standard mug with water hot enough to melt the honey but then cooled down with a splash of cold water to drink.  This article went on to say that this daily routine would keep you regular and prevent urinary tract infections.  It would also improve digestion and give you healthy glowing skin.  Well, I couldn't imagine not trying it now, and so that is just what I did the following day.  

Side note:  I kept this up throughout the entire winter.  It didn't cure my cold, but I felt great in the morning, and my skin was indeed glowing.  I didn't quit the coffee.  I mean, come on people, I wasn't working with a Shaman here.  Ha-ha!  I just drank the coffee after I enjoyed the hot lemon drink.  

google images

When the magic of the hot, healthy cocktail didn't do the trick, I figured it was time to make my way to the Farmacia (Pharmacy) to use my translator app (a must have here in Spain.  I love Speak & Translate for iPhone) to tell the Pharmacists that I had a cold. The problem here was this description didn't quite translate.  When I tried to describe my cold, it translated as "being" cold, instead of "having a" cold.   

So, it was game on from there.  I had been left no choice other than to rediscover the acting talents that Mr. Notari (my high school Drama teacher) swore I had when I took his class for that one semester my senior year.  Picture a spastic American grabbing her throat and pretending to cough and choke in the center of the Farmacia for all to see.  Yes, the symptoms had now moved down from my head and into my throat causing an unbearable cough and sore throat that kept me up at night for weeks and weeks.   

google images

The summary of this post is that my first, second and third times to the Spanish Farmacia were a disaster (all visits were for the same cold that seemed unshakeable and incurable by the Spaniards).  I quickly realized that I needed to make some changes to cure this sucker once and for all.  My first thoughts would be that I needed to either improve my terrible Spanish or work on those acting skills (Damnit, Mr. Notari!  The next Lucille Ball?  Not even close.) to combat this cold to its final demise.  At this particular juncture, I wasn't sure which route to take.  So, I slept on it, and another solution would eventually present itself to me on the road to recovery.  

Have you ever had to act out an illness at the Pharmacy in a foreign country? 

Insert clip of I Love Lucy here for those of you reading this offline:

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Paco saves the day!

Tiny Adventures in Spain:  Today while figuring out the details of how I could have wifi (in a temporary living situation), I found Paco and his no-frills Catalan style cafe (with free wifi) that would make my new Spanish neighborhood feel like home.

I had now been renting an apartment from the Barcelona businessman for about two and a half weeks.  As a woman who relies strongly upon connecting with my friends and family via social media and free apps for talking and messaging (in real-time via Skype, Facebook, and WhatsApp), one of my first questions when looking at the apartment was "Is there wifi?", When I got a shocking "no" back from the Barcelona businessman, I had big-time concerns, my sisters.  Aside from the luxury of communicating with the outside world, I needed to lesson plan for my English classes, and let us not forget that I moved to Spain with aspirations of eventually doing some mobile creative work and blogging about it from the road.  How was a girl supposed to be productive and connected without the wifi?   

I would also have many evenings (while still making friends here) that the idea of having a good bottle of cava and a Netflix binge would allow me to feel like I just died and gone to mindless heaven.  This wifi problem was just plain cramping my style.  Damn you, Internet!  I had become so reliant on Thee! Well, good thing the Universe was listening to my thoughts consuming this need for connectivity.  

While I was figuring out the details of how I could have wifi (in a temporary living situation), I found Paco!  You see, there is always a solution IF you put your energy into finding it, ladies.  Vice versa, there will always be a problem, if you put your energy there too, so be sure to set your frequency Kenneth and dial in that good vibration for manifesting what you need to find your happy place.  

Mine this week and for many to come, would be at a no frills Catalan style cafe, called Tabalots (with free wifi), where a cold drink and a cafe con leche were always waiting, and a great conversation in English with Paco was always on the menu.  Here I enjoyed my fill of cerveza (beer), cava (Spanish champagne), and cafe con leches (coffee with milk).  I would also experience the lip smacking glory of a Spanish candy bar called Kinder Bueno for the first time, and it was not only Kinder good; it was grrrrrrrreat!  Did you see what I did there people?  (My minimal Spanish, infused with a cereal reference from the 80's.)

I'd also become schooled in a different type of bikini here at Tabalots.  Hold the tube tops gals; because this one is Spain's version of a grilled cheese. Pressed Serrano (dry cured) ham and cheese.  Yes, please!   

image from foodbarcelona.com and updated by Bohemian Agent

The point of this post is that this so-called problem of having no wifi at home introduced me to an iconic little joint in my new neighborhood.   I may not have otherwise discovered it if I were sitting home slugging back cava while zoning out to Netflix.  

Side note:  Even when I eventually figured out my wifi issues at home, I still preferred to sit at Tabalots as frequently as possible to feel more connected to the community and my sweet little Spanish neighborhood.   

Image from Tabalots Facebook Page

Tabalots is located at Carrer de la Diputació, 44, 08770 Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, Barcelona.  It's the first cafe you will see on the left as you enter the wine village by way of the train from Barcelona.  Be sure to stop in and say hello to Paco and his lovely wife Billie for me!  Have yourself a cold cerveza (beer) on tap and one of my favorites was the grilled chicken sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and mayo (bocadillo de pollo).  This is a great stop if you are into Spanish football (soccer) and want to have an authentic neighborhood experience during a game.    

Phone: 938 91 06 75

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is the beginning of my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I post every Monday and Wednesday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

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