Surviving el sol español

I am sitting here in just a pair of shorts and flip-flops, and making extensive use of my abanico or fan. It’s hot! And that’s just inside, in the shade. I’m glad to live in a mountain forest.

When I do go out it’s time to do shadow-hopping; it’s a local skill, only going out into the sun when necessary. You can tell the foreigners: they want as much sun as possible (not surprising, considering they’re here for sun from countries with much less).

The heat has affected the culture in very interesting ways. It’s getting to lunch time, so most of the shops will be shut for a few hours, and people will have their siesta. They’ll reopen later, and it’s not so strange to go shopping about 8pm. In the evenings, when the sun has disappeared, it’s refreshing to sit outside your front porch and just sit there a la fresca, possibly until well into the night. Children can sometimes still be seen outside quite late (hey, it’s 4am, how about another round of hide-and-seek?).

You’d think for Mad Dogs and Englishmen the midday sun would have an undeniable pull, and adapting to a foreign culture’s practices would be hard; turns out, not so! Well, when in Rome (or Tarragona)…


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