It is in situations like our present one that reminds us – reminds me, at least – of why we live here. It’s the people; their big heart.
Sure, there are plenty of people who live here because of the weather and the relatively cheap cost of living, whilst complaining about the Spanish, but I’m not amongst them – I love the Spanish, the way they live, think, and I’m going to give you a few examples.
On Saturday, a whatsapp post circulated suggesting that people come out onto their balconies and demonstrate their appreciation of our health service; the medical staff, etc. This was to take place at 22.00h… and by God, it did.
The streets echoed with people cheering and clapping on their balconies or out of their windows, in Motril, up in Granada and in many cities across the land. Hospital staff were in tears when they watch the videos posted on social media about it.
And the humour! The Spanish love taking the piss out of themselves with the attitude, “If anybody is going to take the Mickey out of us, it might as well be us that gets it in first!” The Spanish have a wicked sense of humour.
Take the voice post on whatsapp where a man is heard saying, “We have come to the decision in our block of flats to buy a dog… We’ll tie it up at the entrance and when somebody wants to escape from the imposed quarantine, they can take it for a walk (the Prime Minister had announced that taking a dog for a walk was acceptable.
Probably the best was the one where it was pointed out that Coronavirus must have been invented by a woman: all the bars are closed, all football matches, Formula One and other sporting events are cancelled… and on top of that, you are forced to stay at home with the missus, yet hairdressers are allowed to remain open?.
Finally, and returning to our hosts’ big hearts, I recall covering a protest in La Herradura about 15 years ago where the villagers had cut the N-340 at the main-entrance junction (there was no autovía alternative then). The queue of backed-up traffic on that hot day stretched back to Cotoboro tunnel and most of the way to the Cerro Gordo one.
There had been another case of meningitis in the village which still lacked a paediatrician and the banners read, “We need a paediatrician now.”
Finally, the Guardia Civil managed to convince the demonstrators to let the traffic through and I stood there and took photos as they passed…. and the drivers did so by waving with a thumbs-up and the passengers clapping out of the window in support of the protest… and that was after more than an hour sitting in a car in a traffic jam.
That’s why I live here. What about you?
(News/Editorial: Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)