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The Iberian Horseshoe — A Journey

Part IV. North East

Dear Mary

Steve Porter
Smaller text sizeDefault text sizeBigger text size Add to my bookshelf epub mobi Permalink Ebook MapOporto, Ponte Dom Luis

You will love it here. The flat is situated just behind the school, meaning a round trip to work of around one minute thirty seconds. There is a supermarket and an indoor market at the other end of the street. The main street, Carrer Sant Miquel, runs parallel to that and there are a couple of small bookshops, a good library and an Internet café, close at hand. From the flat, you can hear the tolling of the bells in the Plaça Major, meaning there is no need to wear a watch in Torelló, which I know will suit you. This morning I awoke to seven strikes, followed by another fifteen minutes later. Four mornings a week I start work at 8am. Sometimes it’s a struggle to get up especially when I’ve been in school until ten o’clock the night before. I had a splitting headache this morning. It will take a while to get used to the new pattern. At the moment, my body clock is doing somersaults. Twice a week I have to leave the house at half past seven to walk out to a factory in a little village called Sant Vicenç. In the factory they make metallic elements for light bulbs and stuff like that. This seems to be the main industry around here. In fact, that’s what our flatmate Josep does for a living. You’ll like him too. He is quiet, unobtrusive, friendly, and washes up immediately after every meal—not even leaving pans to soak until the next day. And at the weekend we’ll have the place to ourselves as Josep nearly always goes away to his parents’ place in the mountains. I’m getting used to the different sounds of Catalan and am picking up new words every day. The other night I went out for a meal and ordered ‘truita,’ which I thought was trout. The waitress came back with an omelette. I asked Josep about this and he laughed. ‘Truita’ is indeed the word for omelette. If you want the fish you have to ask for ‘truita de riu,’ meaning ‘of the river.’ It’s easy to get to know people here too in such a small town. Remember they warned us in Elche about the Catalan work ethic? Well it’s not so bad. Catalans study languages or go to music lessons in order to make the best use of their free time, rather than obsessing about material gain. I admire their application and hope some of it will rub off on me. See you soon.

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Copyright ©Steve Porter, 2004
By the same author RSSThere are no more works at
Date of publicationMay 2007
Collection RSSGlobal Fiction
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