Summer in Immigrantville, Spain is not an easy thing to endure.
Why not? For one reason, it’s hot. As I write, a breeze billows the curtain, bringing dust and the sensation of standing within range of a hairdryer. They say it has been a relatively cool summer so far. Fine. But I’m still turning on the fan.
With heat comes lethargy. Trying to think of something to ingest other than iced coffee. Trying to drag myself off of the couch to get out and talk to people. Of course, this whole “getting out” thing is over-rated anyway; very few people brave the heat of the day, so why should I? On the other hand, staying “in” should produce deliberate choices to study language rather than Dickens.
But heat and lethargy are not all that is wrong with the summer here. The worst part of summer is summer vacation. In Immigrantville, this means that families scrape together the means to travel back to their countries for months at a time. Slowly, the town empties and the streets grow quieter. There are fewer people to bump into. Fewer people to talk with.
But that’s the pessimistic view of summer life in Immigrantville. Fortunately for all of us, I can only think of 3 negative aspects. And I can think of a few more positive aspects from my experience so far. Like…
- Volunteering to help a local thrift store employee reorganize her store. Mostly, I just put clothes on hangers and affirmed her ideas to rearrange clothing displays.
- Washing my clothes by hand because splashing around in cool water helps beat the heat.
- Preparing new recipes for foods that can be eaten cold.
- Taking a grocery trip to a nearby city. Of course, the trip required a date with my Kindle at an air-conditioned café in order to fortify me to haul heavy groceries from store to bus station and bus stop to home.
- Learning it’s okay to rest in the afternoon while the town is hiding in their respective homes under their respective fans.
- Strolling down the boulevard after sunset when the remnants of the population emerge from their homes. In fact, one time I even walked home with an invitation to couscous and another to an afternoon tea.
- And last
and leastbut not least, studying. The quieter days provide a chance to brush up on my languages and pertinent topics. (Note: As much as I love the idea of this opportunity, I am still learning the art of self-discipline.)
See? Rather than wallow in sweat and loneliness, I might be able to enjoy my summer in Immigrantville after all!