Diary & Writing

Living in a house on the hill

Nadja Ebner

29 Nov 17 · 6 min read

From 30. 9. 2017 until 14. 10. 2017 we were engaged on a rollercoaster of emotions in a comfortable shelter of a cozy house in Tenerife North.

After the night in a car, we were driving around the island, observing where we landed. When we realized, we are not capable of communicating with locals, Leo arranged a place for us over Airbnb. Kids fell asleep on the back seats on our way to the house in San Jose. 

When I entered our new accommodation, I was thrilled. It seemed so beautiful to me that I couldn’t believe it. I don’t know if it was because I was tired after the whole day driving around without a destination, but I found the apartment so dazzling that it’s beyond describing. I felt like I came home. 

Our cosy accommodation.

I woke up the next morning at five a.m. I made myself a coffee, and only act of that was pleasurable. 

Soon kids woke up. 

“Mommy, why is so dark outside? Is it still night?” Erik asked. 

“No, it is already morning. See,” and I pointed my finger toward the big clock on the wall: “The little one is on seven. Let’s make some breakfast. And put on your slippers!” 

“Can we use this big closet to arrange our toys?” Lejla asked. 

“Yes, you can. But share the space equally!” Fighting is their new favorite sport, and any inequality triggers it. “Who will tell daddy that he has coffee here?” 

“Me, me!” they both shouted and ran toward the bedroom. “Daddy, your coffee's ready!” they yelled while jumping on a bad and him. 

He came into the kitchen with his hair turning in different directions. “I have to start getting up earlier,” he grumbled. He gave me a quick kiss - he didn’t brush his teeth yet: “Thank you for coffee!” 

“Look!” kids suddenly shouted. “What is that? Is it a mountain?” 

I followed their gaze and saw the morning sun peeking over the hill. The clouds were traveling further and left behind majestic view on a volcano. “That is a volcano! What a great view from our kitchen window!” 

After that, kids wanted to know everything about volcanos. Another thing has joined our sightseeing list. 

“Where will we go today?” I asked. 

“I need to work. I haven’t done anything for a week. And our website is still not done.” Leo argued. 

“Okay, then I will take kids to the beach.” 

“Be back until lunchtime. Kids will have a nap, and we can organize ourselves,” he continued. 

“It’s a deal. Do your best while we are gone,” I said. 

“I would prefer to go with you guys. But I have to do this...” 

“I know,” I interrupted. “We can still do something together in the afternoon, and in the evening, when kids go to sleep, we can work together.” 

“Have a great time. Kids, obey your mommy!” Kids chuckled and hugged their daddy. 

“Mommy, don’t forget my goggles! And my swimsuit. Can I take a water pistol with me?” little voices blended in an excited preparation for swimming time. 

We packed towels, water, toys, snacks in a car and off we went. After three minutes Erik started: “Mommy, how far away is that beach? I am hot,” which means he feels sick. He has difficulties driving in a car. 

“Honey, we just started, we still have half an hour drive to there.” 

“How much is that?” he asked. 

“If you count to sixty for thirty times, we’ll arrive.” 

They started to count. I helped them when numbers exceed fifteen. When we reached number 60: “Are we there yet?” 

“No. You have to repeat that 29 times.” 

“Errr, that’s boring!” and he started to tease Lejla, so she started screaming. Lovely ride… 

“What if I tell you a story?” I offered. 

“No, I will tell a story!” Lejla insisted. 

She fell in storytelling and performing, while Erik worked on special effects. He wailed and sobbed, he howled and squalled. “I don’t want to drive anymore!” he shouted. I am grateful that we didn’t own a car back in Ljubljana. We eliminated hours of torment. But unfortunately, here this was a daily song for our ears. Our house was located in the middle of nowhere, up in the hills. If we wanted to get to the beach or playground, we needed to drive. 

Beaches usually made up for the efforts we needed to put in to get there. Kids were jumping over waves, smiling, running, screaming from joy for a change. These moments created some pleasant memories for us. 

When we arrived back home, we bumped into a dark cloud in the form of Leo. 

“What is wrong?” I asked. 

“I couldn’t work. It is so cloudy here. It’s depressing,” he paced up and down like a caged cat. 

“I don’t know how to organize myself. The day is too short. I want to be with you and explore the island. And I want to work. I need a working block without distractions. But what is the point of being here, if I am barricaded inside this house? We don’t have a proper plan. We don’t know where we are headed next. Everything is too much in the air for me to work efficiently.” 

We tried different approaches, different schedules, and working locations. That took a lot of energy from us. Kids started to miss their friends. They began to fight each other more. 

After a week, we found a great place in Puerto de la Cruz. It was a bistro (coffee, drinks, and food), with high-speed internet and big playground inside and outside. It was great - for an hour or two, but then kids started to complain at frequent intervals. The main problem was that they didn’t understand what other kids were saying. We were all learning Spanish, but we didn’t have enough knowledge for a decent conversation. Lejla and Erik are at that stage that they want to play through storytelling. 

Great place to work - FU Cafe, Puerto de la Cruz

When we all became too impatient, we calmed each other with prospects: “Only three more days, and we will move to a different apartment. We won’t have to drive because it will be near the beach and we’ll have a pool!” 

Only three more days, and we’ll realize, it’s not the location that troubles us. It’s loss of direction. Where are we heading? What is our bigger picture?

Edited: 6 years ago by Nadja Ebner

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