December 12, 2011


It's been a while, hasn't it?  Rest assured all is well in the pueblo and with Christmas fast approaching we are beginning to get into the spirit of things.  I really thought I was going to miss snow, having spent the past three plus decades frozen stiffer than Walt Disney from October to April.  Alas, that is not the case.  No, not the case at all in fact I can tell I'm acclimating to the Andalusian version of winter when I complain about sub fifty degree days.   

I came across this video purely by chance the other day that I want you all to see.  For some time now I've been trying to figure out a way to explain what this move to the pueblo has meant for me...for us but I was always short on explanation.  Long on feeling but short, very short on explanation.  Well, this snippet really does a fine job of articulating what we've found since our arrival here.  Or perhaps better put, what we've found we can live without.

Still, life in the pueblo doesn't come without its quirks.  Take today for example.  We took the kids into the grocery store to stock up for the weekend before the whole damned town shuts down for Sunday.  Anyway, we're not in the store more than five minutes when I notice a customer in the checkout line chasing his holiday pastry down with a shot of Christmas Cheer.  I smiled politely, said my 'hola' as is customary to do regardless of whether or not you've ever met the person, and then made a sharp turn down the aisle with my grocery cart full of screaming kids.  What was that all about?  My brain imploded under the weight of questions like, "Gee, I wonder if they have an international chapter of Alcoholics Annonymous?'  and "Dude, can't you wait 'til you get home to start with that shit?'  I mean it wasn't even close to time for comida and this guy was chuggin' away like it was his last Christmas.  Geez.

But whatever.  To each his own, right?  As we finished up at the butcher's counter I got the kids to distract The Grinch so I could sneak some traditional Christmas goodies into the cart and then we made our way back up to the bar checkout.

Hmmmm, interesting.  "I think the gentleman forgot part of his purchase," I offered.
Checkout Girl:  "No, no.  He got everything.  I made sure of it!  I packed his bags myself."
Me:  "But his 'spirits'.  The bottle's still here.  And look, there's still about half of it left."
Checkout Girl:  (Giggles) "Aaah, no, no, no.  That's ours." 
Me:  Come again?  "Excuse me?"
Checkout Girl:  "It's for everyone.  Here!" (pours me a generous shot) 
Me:  "Uhm..."
Checkout Girl:  "Go ahead, chug it!  It's Christmastime!"
Me:  "Uhm...okay, thanks!?"
Checkout Girl:  "It's just our little way of spreading the holiday cheer."

And then it dawned on me.  100 proof liquor has that effect on me in case you didn't know.  The Spanish just may be onto something.  Well, at least the ones from my pueblo.  We may not have Black Friday.  Our Christmas lights didn't go up until just this week.  And there isn't one bell guilting me into making a donation on my way out of Target, Costco or the grocery store. But nonetheless, there is still an overwhelming feeling of Christmas.  In spite of the obvious lack of marketing we feel the presence of Christmas spirit more than ever this year.

And I'm not just talking 'bout the liquid spirits.


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  2. Ha! Brilliant to see you're imbibing good and proper like the rest of us. I'm seriously fearing joining the ranks of alcoholics anonymous living and working in Spain. Got any tips to help bring me back from the edge?

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