The rains brought prosperity for some, ruin for others!

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OF course we had rains back in the day. When there were dark clouds reported anywhere in Andalucia two things happened: (1) you started cursing Endesa (then called Sevillana) and (2) you started stocking up provisions.

Back then, even the slightest hint or smell of a drop of water and all power stations within a thousand miles were shut down. So, even if it was bright and sunny and pleasant, you had no electricity at home. A criminal act against ice. The ferreterias thrived! We often complained they were all owned by Sevillana as people queued up for miles to obtain the essential life supplements; sales of ice rose dramatically, as did those of whisky, canned goods and candles.

You knew the roads and river beds were gonna be washed out so you stocked up on petrol, batteries and crisps, and even more wine.

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In this part of Spain it is generally considered an impropriety to get your personage wet in the slightest, so the first sprinkles of rain caused absolute pandemonium amongst the locals. Women especially needed to acknowledge publicly their virtuosity and propriety.

The devil’s wet hands were just such an impropriety that required acknowledgement in an ostentatious manner.


Ladies simply didn’t run for cover but shrieked for dear life as they bolted so as to not be touched by him with the wet and dripping hands. Virtue in the country is bone dry and endless. Whereas the rain was such a stark and evil contrast to decades of sunny living it was viewed as an enemy of the most formidable order.

Roads were washed away in an instant, roofs leaked like sieves, rivers of water poured under the doors and through the windows of homes that had stood like monuments for centuries, only to be torn asunder by the gentle and wet caresses of the new malicious intruder.


Minds too were swept away in the cacophony and pandemonium that ensued. I once instructed a Spanish secretary to write an important note to someone in the town hall. She rebuked me by saying: “How can I do such an important subject when it is raining outside?” I glanced outside to the grey sheets of water hindering vision of more than 20 metres and concurred with her. Nothing could be thought or done until the demon storm had passed and the true damages assessed.

The everyday world became discombobulated and flipped. Nothing would soothe it until Mr Sun reappeared.

Someone always suffered immensely while others escaped with just repair work.




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