I’m rebranding the story — the plot continues, but I thought I’d add a little bit of a splash.
After a delayed start to their day, they headed out to the street.
“Do you still want to check out those gardens?” asked Kepa as they strolled past a few cafes that were packed with students.
“Nah,” replied Maite. “I’d just like to get a better sense of the city, if you don’t mind. If they do offer me a position here, I’d like to know what the city is like, to help me decide.”
Kepa chuckled. “Help you decide? Are you seriously thinking you’d turn down an offer?”
“What?” replied Maite absentmindedly. “Sorry,” she continued as she shook her head. “No. Maybe. I don’t know. I mean, this is such a great place for science, it would be a dream to work here. But, I would desperately miss everything about home. It’s a big change.”
“How about we walk to the marina? It might remind you of home, put your mind at ease a bit.”
Maite looked at her phone. “It’s like an hour walk from here!” She shook her head. “It’s so different here compared to home. You can’t really walk anywhere.”
Kepa shrugged. “True, but we aren’t in a hurry. And we’ll get to see more of the city this way.”
Maite smiled. “Egia da. That’s true. Ok, lead away, my fearless leader!”
Kepa pulled up a route on his phone and began walking, Maite in hand. They passed what seemed like a park on their right, full of tall trees. Some people were jogging along a trail while others were walking their dog. A few were sitting on the grass, reading or listening to music.
“That’s pretty nice,” said Kepa. “Almost like the mountains back home.”
“And right out the door too,” agreed Maite.
Once they got past the park, however, the cityscape changed to low-rise buildings that seemed to extend on forever.
Maite shook her head. “It is amazing that they don’t build up more here. Even the smallest towns back home have taller buildings than these, it seems.”
“I guess this is how it is when everyone wants their own house and more space. I can see the appeal.”
“You live in a baserri, surrounded by space. If everyone did, we’d be just like this, I imagine. I like being able to pop down to the street and get a coffee.”
“Yeah, I like that too. But, I also like having space for all of my stuff.”
“Seems like the more space you have, the more stuff you buy. Not just you, all of us.”
They kept walking, past an endless stretch of houses punctuated by the occasional church.
“It does surprise me,” remarked Kepa, “how many churches there are.”
“Yeah, it almost seems like every person has their own church,” chuckled Maite.
“I guess that’s the difference between having one dominant religion. But, I don’t see any bars around here. The bar-church ratio seems… backwards to me.”
Maite laughed. “Maybe the bar is your religion.”
“Maybe,” smiled Kepa.
They came to the freeway. “Somehow, we have to cross over that to get to the marina,” said Kepa, looking at his phone.
Maite shook her head. “They don’t make it easy.”
Kepa was looking around to get his bearings when he noticed the street sign. “Hey, look at that, we are on Bolivar Drive.” Bolibar was a small town very close to Kepa’s baserri. His grandmother had been from another baserri that was in Bolibar proper.
“That’s cool! Who would have guessed we’d find a Basque name way out here!”
They found the foot bridge that took them over the freeway. Mid-way across, they stopped to watch all of the cars zooming by underneath.
“So many people,” mused Maite, more to herself than to Kepa.
“Yeah, and they’re all in cars,” added Kepa.
Once they were across the bridge, it wasn’t too much further to the marina. The docks were full of sailing boats, all with fancy names like “Prince of Tides,” “Dark Star,” and “Zafir.”
“It’s pretty,” said Maite as they strolled along the waterfront, watching people scurry on their boats. “It reminds me of the ports in Bermeo and Lekeitio, though something’s different.”
“There aren’t any fishing boats,” replied Kepa. “They’re all sail boats and the like. I don’t think I see a single fishing boat out there.
“Yeah, I see what you mean. It’s a different world out here.”
“So, what do you want to do now that we found the marina?”
“I’m famished,” answered Maite. “Let’s find some food!”