Muppet Treasure Island’s “Cabin Fever” song starts with the sun beating down on the ship. Some of the muppets’ eyes start to roll, and then one begins, “I got cabin fever it’s burning in my brain/ I’ve got cabin fever it’s driving me insane!” That hushed moment before typical Hensonian bedlam breaks loose perfectly captures the silencing effect of heat.
It’s really beeping hot here.
Even my host mother complains about it, and of the heat from summers past. Hearing a native Barcelona girl moan about the Spanish summer is nice for about three seconds, and then I think, “Okay, glad that’s settled. Let’s move to Greenland!”
The locals have their own way of coping, however. You just stay inside and keep very, very still. I don’t know about the rest of the country but Reus shuts down almost entirely (supermarkets excluded) from 1:30 to 5. If you have shopping, exercising, pooling, talking, or just moving to do, you get it done in the morning. As the afternoon wanes, everyone comes out again, in a friendlier version of the vampires leaving their basements in a night scene in Salem’s Lot. The shops re-open, cafes set up their tables, and those who work, do so.
Lunch is in the middle, and the traditional siesta, although in my house me and the under-sixes are the only ones who actually take part in that tradition.
Life is only bearable, especially in the summer, in the mornings and late at night. I think, although I haven’t taken a poll, that this is why most go out to dinner and drink starting around nine. Clubs don’t “get started” until three in the morning.
And everyone, always, takes their time. Crossing the street, picking out fruit from the market, window shopping.
Moving too quickly might kill you.
PS who would have thought that the kid in Treasure Island was such a cutie?