a wandering woman writes

Monday, August 22, 2005

Sorry, Spain's closed.

OK, I'm ready for Spain to reopen now.

For those of you who haven't had the pleasure to experience it firsthand, Spain closes for August. No, I mean Spain. The country.

August. All of it. July and August, in some places. I've never seen anything like it. Closed. Everybody. Gone fishing. The king. The prime minister. The man who runs my favorite frutería. At least half of my coworkers (including absolutely all of those with whom I desperately need to talk if I want to move ahead in my own work.)

And I for one, am now more than ready for the Grand Reopening.

Some day I plan to take the whole month off, and join them, just to see what it's like to go on vacation with an entire nation, but since I'm heartlessly limited to 2 weeks at a time right now, and choose not to take them in August...I'm ready for my playmates to come back from their pueblos (no fair!! mine's too far away!!), my dry cleaner to save me from the 3 outfits I'm wearing threadbare, and my favorite person to bounce work ideas off to get back to bouncing.

Take my Spanish teacher, for example. First she changed my classes to Fridays for July and August so she could stay in her pueblo Sunday through Thursday. (Ok, it's La Alberca, I'd go too.) Then when I sent her an SMS one Friday after 2 or 3 cancellations, just to check if I should show up for class that day, I received this reply:

-Ya es veranito. He suspendido las clases.
-It's summer. I have suspended the classes.

To which I responded like a good American corporate vacation-avoider turned expat:

-Til when?

A minute later, the one-word response:


God help my grammar.



  • Hehe, it is like that in Greece, too.
    Everyone vacations in August. I, personally, don't like taking vacations in the hottest month, but hey, when you have a whole month and a nice summer house somewhere, why not.

    I have the same problems with the siesta time here in Greece. 2 to 5, everything is closed, except for the chain supermarkets. Sometimes I need something during those hours, dammit!

    The only thing I don't mind is the laid back atmosphere. I can get used to it pretty quickly.

    By Blogger melusina, at 5:53 PM  

  • I hear you, Melusina, everything closes here, too...but that sweet laid back life makes up for any inconvenience, don't you think? When there's nowhere to get stuff done, guess you don't have to get anything done!! I admit I don't do it enough during the week, but oh, I love that what doesn't get done by 2 on Saturday just isn't getting done..and Sunday? Might as well kick back, no way to get anything done. God, I love that overt invitation to slooow down!

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 10:07 PM  

  • This is part of what they call the Mediterranean style of living, I guess. I particularly dislike it -whenever I've had to stay home in August I've had the same sensation of loneliness and boredom. The only solution is leaving yourself... and not gong to Greece or Italy of course.

    By Blogger Mestre, at 10:08 AM  

  • I love it. America is way too busy. I like being laid back. I think it is healthy, if not entirely productive.

    By Blogger melusina, at 8:51 PM  

  • I´ve gotten to thinking that being "nonproductive" is a lot more productive - for me, anyway. (My god, who am I?? Where IS that driven corporate American me?))

    What I really needed to do was slow down and stop worrying about being productive. And Spain was the perfect first move. :-)

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 10:19 PM  

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