Sunday, May 10, 2009

Easy living in Seville

Now that the jet lag is finally lifting, I'm slowly settling into the Sevilla life.

First things first, before I arrived, I placed an order for a SIM card from Simyo, which charged 3.95, and included 5 euros credit. I plugged this SIM into my 3G modem (purchased in Malaysia back in December), and without any hassle, I'm instantly able to access Internet anywhere in the city. Prepaid, no contract, coming in at roughly 1 euro per day for a max of 100 megabytes. Since WiFi is mostly locked down here by default, this has been a lifesaver.

Next -- transport. Sevilla has a free municipal bike system. You pay 10 euros per year for a resident's card (which my mother has done), and then can pick up a bike from one of a huge number of pickup/dropoff spots around the city. The first 30 minutes is free, after which there is a modest charge. However, if your 30 mins is coming up, you can quickly return the bike, and then check out another one. So far, it has been pretty good, although there does seem to be a fairly high percentage of malfunctioning bikes.

As a result, I've been able to wake up at 8AM, jump on the bike, ride a couple miles down the road to the river, and then grab a coffee in one of the more alternative (well, formerly artistic and now thoroughly yuppified) areas of town. As I write this, I'm enjoying breakfast, editing a research paper, and starting my day in style.