Everday life in Spain Spanish Culture and News

Patio Interiores – The Neighbours Inside Out

Patio Interior

The above photo is of our patio interior, a glorified light-shaft present in the middle of just about every flat block in Spain, where light and air enter the back end of the neighbours’ apartments, and all sorts of interesting things float out again: sounds, smells, arguments…

We’ve heard wild creaking bedsprings at midnight, seen marijuana plants where now you see the geraniums, get woken by the breakfast sounds of the kids on the third floor at 7 am, and have to shut all the windows against the strong smell of cocido that rises for a five hour stretch every thursday morning.

We hear the screech of clothes lines as the chords are dragged across the gaping space over the horizontal pulley system, and the clatter of fumbled clothes pegs as they tumble from washing baskets to the ground floor.

It’s all part of the aural-aromatic landscape of life in Spain, and far from being annoying (except perhaps for the smell of a 5 hour cocido and the 7 am alarm call), it’s comforting, especially today, when all I can hear through my window over the patio interior is the clatter of refreshing May rain.