Everday life in Spain

Very Spanish #1: Old Men With Portable Radios

I was wandering around Madrid’s Retiro park today, when a familiar sound faded slowly in from behind – the loud rasping crackle of a single speaker, battery-operated, hand-held radio, turned up to full volume, blaring out an evening ‘discussion’ (guests shouting at each other) program.

That’s funny I thought, the oldies usually only listen to the football on those things. One thing was clear to me though, without even having to turn round: it was a man from that generation – the generation with the portly somach, the ‘jacketigan’ (brown cardigan-jacket cross-breed), and the little battery-operated portable radio.

I stopped to let him catch up and overtake, so I could take a look and confirm what I’d already guessed – and past he went, radio clasped at chest height, as is their way, whiling away the hours until caña-time, at a favourite bar down the road.