16 June 2011

Running on Spanish Time

One summer during my high school music camp days, the choir director insisted upon promptness: "Early is on time, and on time is late." He made us repeat this time after time, drilling it into our minds. Several days into camp, Libby and I walked past a fellow camper who was making diligent attempts to repeat the mantra: "Early is on time, and late is...early?"

Oh, misguided teenage boy, if only you were in Spain. Because then you would be exactly right.

Here, morning starts somewhere around 9 or 10am, and you don't even think about lunch until at least 1pm (or 3 or 4, potentially). Stores close down for "siesta hours" mid-afternoon, then reopen at 5 or 6pm or so. If you want to go out for supper, you wait until 8 or 9pm, and if you're a preschooler and there's a carnival in town, you won't go to bed until at least midnight! In fact, it'll probably be later because you'll be too busy not being strapped into the Torito ride.

Families old and young, elderly couples dressed up and holding hands, babies, teenagers--everyone stays up until the sun goes down, and some stay up to meet it the next morning. Although Camarma (or at least my side of Camarma) is pretty quiet by 10 or 11, I can take the dog out at 11 or midnight and still see people with their own dogs coming down the side of the hill.

There are a few exceptions to these rules, but the only one I know is applicable to the dogs of western Camarma. If you are one of the many dogs living two blocks from my house, you will wake up faithfully at 7am-ish and bark. Bark bark bark, just barking to let everyone know that you're still a dog, and all of your dog friends will bark, too, and you will keep barking and barking and barking, just barking like wolves beneath a full moon, barking until your snouts are sore. Until about 9am, you will continue the pattern of barking, then not barking, then barking some more. And then, just as suddenly as you started, you will all fall silent, nary a stray bark to be heard.

Until about 11pm, when you suddenly remember that you are a dog and must bark! Bark! Bark! You must bark to remind everyone that you are a dog and you can bark. So you bark and bark, and all your friends bark, and there is so much barking going on that you can't stop barking, and you won't stop barking until 12 in the morning or maybe later, because if none of the kids are in bed yet, why should you be?!


Pat R said...

I certainly hope Biscuit is not joining in the barking!

Love your posts!

Steve said...

Do the dogs Baaark in Spanish?

Steve said...

Barking is the universal language.

sharbear said...

Pat, Biscuit does not join the barking frenzy. Although there have been a few mornings that I've let her into the back and gone back to bed--and she'll stand at the bed, yapping and scowling a little bit. I don't think she's used to late-morning risers! :)

sharbear said...

Steve, it sounds much the same as American barking, though I can't remember what the sound is in Spanish. Allegedly, French dogs say, "Bou-bou!"