Ilivetolearn's Blog

September 14, 2006

partying with the neighbors

Filed under: Spain — ilivetolearn @ 1:40 pm

We have once again been spending time with the folks at Urano, 6, which is doing wonders for our Spanish, especially since they have forbidden their two daughters to translate for us (the younger one just left for a year’s study in Milan, while Itzy finished her year in Berlin and is back in the parental home). We even had a semi-literate discussion with Nacen about religion and its place in Spanish society, including forays into cremation vs. burial, religious instruction in the schools, and what Quakers believe.

Rafa and Bill have been taking long bike rides in the Casa de Campo (the huge park between Pozuelo and Madrid, which used to be the king’s hunting grounds) at least once a week, sometimes with our landlord Miguel Angel and his twin Javier.

Rafa and Nacen turned 50 this year, along with Jorge (Urano, 20) and a couple of Rafa’s work friends, so the group threw itself a large party at a golf club out near the airport. In typical Spanish fashion, it began at 10. We arrived at 10:30 and I was relieved to find everyone outside, drinking and eating tapas, with a view of fountains, mountains, and acres of landscape. No smoke! No loud music! Several of the celebrants were sporting their presents from Carlos and Pilar (Urano, 36)—black T-shirts with the inscription “Wellcome to 50s” (sic).

At about 11:30 we all trooped inside to a dark noisy smoky room for the real party—dancing. Everyone dances. Everyone sings along. Everyone does the requisite hand gestures. All those songs you only hear at weddings are part of every party here, including the Spanish version of the Electric Slide, which involves so many changes of direction at such high speed it’s a wonder anyone is left standing at the end. We joined in energetically but we don’t have the party stamina of Spaniards; we slunk off at 1:30, to universal disapproval.

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