Services and conveniences?
- Driving. I kind of miss driving and the convenience of hopping into a car to go to the grocery. It’s 2.25 miles round trip to the store for me here, and those $3 bottles of Merlot aren’t going to carry themselves home, and get heavy. They charge 50 cents for a bag, so bring your own. It’s also less fun when it’s raining.
- Internet. Connectivity everywhere I’ve stayed has rivaled or exceeded that I had in Carson City, even in a town of only ten thousand.
- Cell service. The USA trails badly. I get 30GB of data and unlimited calls for $22/month - no contract, just top it up each month. It’s not 5G, but I’m double vaccinated and boosted, so I have my own.
Things? Not so much. But, if I think on it, there are few things I wouldn’t mind having general and consistent access to. Here they are, in no particular order.
- Drip coffee. Yeah. Plain old drip coffee. I like to work a large cup o’ dark and bitter in the mornings, and having a ten-cupper or larger of the Brew o’ Life available in the mornings is sublime. Spain? No machine in the Airbnb, just a Moka pot that I didn’t figure out. It was Nescafe Gold for a month for me, there. Lisbon? Same, but not even a Moka pot. Try to get a coffee anywhere, and it’s all espresso-based, no drip. Then I get to the land where espresso was born, and, as expected, no drip. However, I did figure out the Moka pot, and have ginned up larger coffees by essentially making large Americanos. It is nice to be able to stop in pretty much anywhere and get a beautiful espresso for a buck, though. I’ll survive.
- Toast. The bread everywhere has been good. The only place where I've had a toaster though was Lisbon, and it was the most inefficient, dangerous thing ever. There's something about buttery toast to go with coffee that is nearly as comforting as a woman in my bed - and immeasurably more likely.
- Tortilla chips. I guess I needed an intervention. I was plowing through a Costco-sized large bag every couple of weeks before I hit the road. As I discover, they are not much of a thing in Europe. I was able to find some small bags in Spain, but none here. I did go through withdrawal, and the shakes for a bit, but they’ve passed.
- Padded chairs. Seems they aren’t too common - at least in the places I’ve rented. But, since I’m adding my own padding as I go along, this soon won’t be an issue. Until then though, I fold up towels, blankets, or use a pillow. I often lounge on my bed. Who’s going to complain? My coccyx is appreciative of a softer seat.
- Thai food. Oddly enough, in a small town in Sicily I can’t seem to find a Thai restaurant. I probably could have in Lisbon, but didn’t have the hankering then. Some Pad Thai or Tom Kha Gai would taste pretty good right now. Sucks to be me, I suppose, eh? Maybe the next stop.