When I was living in Belgium I had to take two flights to visit my family. It meant a full day lost among planes and airports, and it was quite expensive, especially during peak seasons like Christmas. Now that I live in Madrid I have two choices: plane or train. The plane is almost one hour, but then you have to add up the hour that you have to arrive in advance and the 40 minutes it takes to arrive in the Madrid airport. In some cases it can take 3 hours in total. And that if there aren’t delays. By train it takes 6 hours and a half, and I can reach the train station in around half an hour. Seven hours vs. three. For this Christmas I checked the plane tickets and they were extremely expensive, and after checking the train fares, I made my decision. I paid 86 euros and Koen even got a better offer, just 50 round trip.
But then you don’t get distracted by passing security controls, getting up from your seats to check the monitors or queuing to get on the plane. You just spend almost 7 hours sitting without further distraction than a couple of movies dubbed to Spanish. Since I left Spain in 2006 I got used to watching movies in the original version, so I would only watch them unless I had nothing else to distract me. For the first trip going to Vigo I discovered that I don’t quite enjoy audio books, or maybe I just got annoyed by the voice imitating all the 13 dwarfs in The Hobbit.
For the way back I tried something else. I installed on my phone an app called 3G Watchdog that helps you to know how much of your monthly quota you are using. You introduce your monthly quota and you can get a warning if you are close to finishing it. It also gives you the option of checking how much you are using via WiFi, so that you can decide if it’s really worth having a WiFi connection for certain situations.
The need to have this program installed was that I was going to try another app: TuneIn Radio. My intention was listening to some talk shows on the radio and knitting at the same time. I love knitting, but if I am not watching some show or listening to something I get tired after a couple of hours. So I started searching and I found out that I could also search podcasts. So I entered ‘knit’ and that’s how I found the podcast of the 2 Knit Lit Chicks. I really enjoyed the two girls talking about their knitting, discussing about books and recommending other podcasts. I tried some of them and I still have some more, but for the moment my favorite is the Down Cellar Studio Podcast. I don’t know if it’s because Jen is also in her early thirties, because she also likes photography or because of her warmth, spontaneity and positivism; but I feel that somehow she connects with my inner knitter and I enjoy enormously her podcast. The first episode I listened to was the 23rd, but I am currently trying to listen to all her old episodes. I am already on episode 8 it’s a lot of fun. She tell about her experiences, takes time to help you improve things, you almost feel like a close friend was talking to you. She mentions in one of her shows that podcasts help her to get through the day, getting the daily tasks done, and I can affirm the same and also that somehow they give me company while knitting by myself.
During that first try in the train I couldn’t listen to any complete episode of any podcast because of the poor network coverage, but now that I know what to look for, I’ll make sure that I have plenty of podcast episodes ready in my iPod for the next trip.