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Unexpected benefits of living in Spain

It’s been a pretty normal week, nothing out of the ordinary apart from the other half leaving me solo with the boys while he took a trip to the States. Not an unusual situation, but this is the first time he has gone away since we started living in Spain.

The boys are usually well behaved, but this week carried more stress on keeping on top of my eldest boy. A teenager in the making, who is not making life easier for me at times, which usually have something to do with keeping his bedroom clean, a simple, but impossible task for a 13-year-old.

So, after hearing about my stresses my friends decided to drag me out of the house to have a well-deserved beer and watch the football with them in the local pub. Now, I’m not in to football in the slightest, but I was willing to come along just for the drinks. After all the Spanish football atmosphere is something to be experienced, and what’s more better than being in a middle of a pub eating pippas surrounded with Spaniards screaming at the TV?!  But we all know what the result is from last nights champions league, so I would rather tell you about the other party next door.

Living in Spain you must be a little bit prepared for the unexpected. there have been numerous times when I’ve just randomly ‘walked in’ a street party. But these little events tend to go on all through the year, so it was not surprising to see another ‘big up party’ for another Saint and in time you get use to it.

When we arrived at the bar, pine branches and chamomile flowers were being laid out on the front path of the adjacent house. According to the local people, every year a home is chosen in the village of Pedralba to welcome the Virgin at their home. Family and friends attend the event at the host’s home and everyone come in good spirits with food and drink.  I was told that it’s an honour to have the saint in your home, so it is celebrated as so.

The street quickly filled with people and the saint was slowly carried in to the house, the people followed, cheered and balloons and confetti were thrown out of the widows.  Funny how it took me back to when I was a girl back in the Philippines, I remember the Semana Santa where large statues of Christ and the Virgin Mary were paraded on the street complete with brass bands and followers praying until the Saint reaches its final destination.

It was also interesting to witness how the younger generation in the village react to these traditions. A lot of my friends are in their mid-twenties to late 40’s and many do not believe in the faith anymore, but there seems to be mutual respect from both parts. So no insults from the young people, just the usual chant and joining in the fun, which is pretty cool because when the food started to come out, we were given a share! So it’s a win/win situation.

My six-year-old was bemused by it all, seeing his expression I couldn’t quite pinpoint whether he thinks it’s a cool thing or just something odd and scary watching those people carry that big statue around. I know when I was a kid I thought the latter – but the celebration was still beneficial, he managed to snag a few balloons and they were put to a better use.

So, looking back at my day though it started pretty stressful I’m glad to have persistent friends who weren’t about to give up on me until I have fully cheered up. To be honest, it doesn’t take much when I am with them, and this is just an unexpected bonus! :)

 

 

By Maria

Mom, wife, web/graphic designer and illustrator. I am also the author of Ohla Living a personal blog where I share my lifestyle, travel, days out and creative thoughts. I’m a collector of anything quirky addicted to coffee, cocktails, the beach & VW Kombis.

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