Shattering The Peace And Quiet

It's not easy to describe any Spanish village as quiet except during the hours of siesta. Conversations often take place with the participants at some distance from each other, scooters and small motorcycles tend to be noisy with defective silencers adding to the decibels, and it's quite common to stop your vehicle outside your friend's house and then shout to get his attention. If you tarry too long, a chorus of car horns will encourage you to get out of the way.
Children go noisily to school later to return home equally noisily. In the evenings they are out and about (noisily) with their friends, and no parent would ever think of putting their child to bed before they too are ready to turn in.
Through a process of enculturalisation you evolve to a state of mind in which you cease to consciously notice all this; the village is awash with quiet noise. However, this evening this changes for the rest of the week and across the weekend. Tonight is the start of Feria, the annual fiesta to celebrate the feast of San Antonio de Padua, after whom the village church is named. A fairground has arrived and set up shop in the middle of the village (or, viewed from a different perspective, within 200 metres of our home). A variety of rides are ready to spring into action, each with its own generator, lots of hissing and whistling of compressed air, music playing at brain-numbing volume, and under all the distinct thump, thump, thump of the bass notes. When the rides finally pack up for the night, the disco gets under way at a similar decibel level while the young party through till dawn. The no longer young, by contrast, toss and turn the night away muttering threats and profanities and praying for midnight on Sunday. Last year we went away. This year we are here. Oh well, it's only once a year.

No comments:

Post a Comment