Living in Spain

Hot Hot Hot in Madrid

You know you are getting more Spanish when the first heat of summer arrive with a bang, and you immediately start using ‘low blood pressure’ as an excuse to lie on the sofa all evening, avoiding the housework.

The key phrase to use here is ‘he tenido una bajada de tensión’, or for even more dramatic effect, una super-bajada de tensión, ‘bajadas de tensión’ (blood pressure collapse) being common amongst just about everyone in Spain when it’s hot, including it now appears, me as well!

Bajadas de tensión can be cured by various means, including: a) Rapid ingestion of Coca Cola/Sugary food, b) Doing nothing when there is lots to be done c) Telling everyone about your bajada, repeatedly d) all of the above. I’m getting good at this, and there have only been three days of heat so far!

On another note, as soon as the sun came out a few days ago, the Retiro park filled with people with bajadas de tensión stripped down to their underwear. Strapping young men in nothing but tattoos and tight boxers, women in bras and tangas (g-strings) – does this happen in your part of the world?

I’m sure it’s a more pronounced phenomenon than this time last year – am I just getting old?!

Apologies for the lack of illustrative photos to accompany this point – just think ‘slightly grungy lingerie ad with trees’, and you get the picture! Instead, here’s a favourite old photo of mine from 1998, of a man in the park selling chistes (jokes):

Joke Seller, Retiro Park, Madrid

Anyway, that’s enough for today, I feel another super-bajada de tensión coming on, and I may barely make it back to the sofa…