Date: 9/16/2018

I told my new roommate I’d move in with him on Monday. I wanted to take one day to relax and do absolutely nothing. I also wanted to enjoy one more night with air conditioning. Spain is fricken HOT! And it is unusual to have air conditioning here so I wanted to take advantage of this perk as much as possible, even if it meant spending $25 dollars to stay in my Airbnb an extra night.

I spent the whole day at the beach. Well, from 2:30 pm and onwards. The jetlag was still hitting me; I was up until 5:30 am the previous night…ugh.  But I made it to the beach to continue reading The Great Hunt, book two of The Wheel of Time series, and relax. But little did I know…I was being hunted.

As I was lying on my towel, minding my own business, something pinched my toe. My survival instincts kicked in; my feet went flying in the air along with a cloud of sand. I spun, thinking I was being attacked by a dog, only to see a pigeon frantically flapping away. I was pecked by a pigeon! And it really hurt!

I fixed my towel and kept a wary eye out for any pigeon who came five feet distance from me. I now have a fear of pigeons. The pigeons in Spain are evil, evil creatures. I wish I was exaggerating.

But the pigeon pecking didn’t kill my mood because there were waves in the sea! Not big waves, but they looked big enough to body surf. I jumped in the warm water, excited to catch a wave. I then saw something red to my right. And then something red to my left. I stopped in the water and took a look around me. I saw red dots everywhere—big, round, with dangling tentacles: jellyfish.

These jellyfish looked like the real deal; the ones they talk about in Australia that can kill you with the slightest touch. I stopped where I was, slowly taking a step back, and then another, careful not to touch any of these murderous red dots. I got out of there as quickly as I could. All thoughts of body surfing faded for that day. But that didn’t stop the crazy old grandmas who continued to jump into the water and laugh when they got stung. Spanish grandmas are nuts. But it’s nice seeing older people enjoying themselves as if they were still kids.

As I continued reading, I saw a crowd gather on the next beach over. I stood up to see what the bustle was about. I followed the pointed fingers and curious gazes out towards the buoys. A buoy was moving rapid back and forth. I recalled what my dad told me earlier that summer about sharks, “They look like buoys moving back and forth in the water.” This is because their tails wag back and forth, mirroring a buoy. But this buoy kept moving positions in the water. This was a shark! And it was pretty darn close to the shore.

The Spanish grandmas took a break from the jellyfish stinging and came over to see what I was looking at. I cranked into Spanish mode and told them about the shark. I obviously didn’t know the word for shark so I had to act it out, placing my palms together and putting them on top of my head to make a fin. The Spanish grandmas laughed at my charade and told me it was a “tiburon” which means “shark”. And they also taught me that “medusa” means “jellyfish”. Two important words for the day.

After being attacked by all sorts of animals at the beach, I went back to my Airbnb. I was excited to get out of La Linea and move into my new home in San Roque. I just wanted to get out of my bunker room.

But until then…Pat-enjoying-the-air-conditioning signing off.

Have you ever been attacked by an unsuspected animal? Share your story in the comments below!