Spain Post #4
Well, I´m off to Madrid tomorrow, home on Sat. Please cross all of your fingers and toes so that I make my connecting flight in Zurich. It´s very tight and I really don´t wan´t to get stuck.
I wanted to also share with you the celebration of San Juan here in Spain. They celebrate the Noche de San Juan, which is the longest night of the year (summer solstice). Instead of celebrating his death, they celebrate his birth. In the south of Spain, they make bonfires on the beach and people jump over them 3 times. Sometimes the tradition is for a man to carry a woman on his back, piggy-back style, walking on hot coals. In the north, they make a strong drink of aguardiente and sing a song while stirring it while it´s on fire. We actually did this in one of my classes. They also pick herbs and wildflowers, soak them in water and then bathe with the water. On the northern beaches, it´s bad luck to get in the water without the blessing of San Juan. I think it´s probably just too damn cold to get in the water much before now.
I am surprised at how much Spain is like the US, and equally amazed at how it still feels like a "foreign" country.
I was observing the playground happenings in the Cánovas Park. The playground has that foam stuff on the ground, and cheesy equipment, but all in the shade. THe moms are all dressed to the nines and the kids are in some crazy color combinations, the boys in little espadrilles. I quite like it, but I know that it would be way too "metro" for the average bear back home. I´m sure that if one were to get dressed up like these moms in a similar setting in the states, the other moms who were there in cut-offs and tee shirts would talk about the dressed-up mom. "What´s SHE all dressed up for?"
Still need to get used to saying "vale" instead of "ok".