Summer is Coming to Madrid – 6 Things I’m Excited About
Spending the summer in Madrid?
It should be fun…
Yes, folks, summer is on its way.
The eternal debate, however, still rages: Which is better? Summer or winter?
While both seasons have their advantages and disadvantages, I tend to prefer summer.
A lot of people go out of town, and Madrid can get a bit quiet. But summer in Madrid has its advantages too. And those will be the topic of this article.
6 things I enjoy about summer in Madrid
If you’re looking for ways to beat the heat, I’ve got an article about that too.
But while I’ve got you here, check out these 6 things I’m excited about, in no particular order:
1. Gazpacho, sherry and seasonal vegetables.
As much as I love red wine and cocido, I’m also happy when summer rolls around and it’s time for delicious cold seasonal foods. Drinking sherry in various specialty bars is also a plus.
Also, the super-abundance of tomatoes and eggplants is great for making sauces and pastas.
Seasonal vegetables for the win!
2. Synthesizing Vitamin D naturally.
Vitamin D makes everything seem awesome.
Just trust me.
If you’re lacking in joie de vivre in winter, it’s probably because you lack Vitamin D. In summer you can get a huge vitamin buzz in about 15 minutes.
Gotta show some skin, though. Go to Retiro and start taking off clothes until people give you funny looks. Then take off one more garment.
It’ll be fun, I promise.
3. Daylight past 10 PM.
God bless European latitudes.
It stays light until 10 or 10:30 most of the summer, and you can do all kinds of fun outdoor things in broad daylight.
Of course, Spain is in the same time zone as Germany, which means the sun comes up much later than in the rest of Europe. But that’s Hitler’s fault.
I like the long summer days, except that it makes sleep a bit difficult.
4. Finding out who’s pro-bullfighting and who’s anti-bullfighting.
In late Spring, bullfighting season starts, and suddenly all the closet animal rights activists get all worked up about bullfighting.
The ironic part is that virtually none of them are vegetarians. They just somehow have the idea that being electrocuted in a slaughterhouse is much more dignified for bulls.
I like to know who these people are, so I can take the rest of their opinions less seriously.
5. Wacky summer fashion.
When Spanish people are mostly covered up, they look respectable for the most part.
But give them a chance to walk around town half-dressed in the heat and they’ll bring out clothes that are shocking and horrible even to my provincial sensibilities. It’s like a circus, and you can sit all day and just watch the freaks go by.
To be fair – and let no-one accuse Mr Chorizo of being unfair ~ they probably think I’m just as ridiculous by dressing the same way in summer as I do in winter. Long-sleeve shirt and jeans. Sometimes a polo. The only difference for me is I leave my layers at home.
But there’s certainly no shorts-and-sandals weather for me.
6. Laughing at everyone who starts whining about the heat.
You’ve never felt real heat till you’ve spent, oh, let’s say 20 summers in Phoenix, Arizona. Go do that and then let’s talk about how hot it is in Madrid.
On the other hand…
Not all is fun in the sun.
And there are some things I don’t enjoy about summer in Madrid.
Here are the things I’m not really looking forward to about summer:
1. Watching my income decrease by 80%.
Yep, it’s tough.
Or it was. Now I’m independent. But it used to be a crisis: every summer, all my students decide they’d rather be synthesizing Vitamin D than coming to English class.
Pretty much self-explanatory why this sucks. “Real teachers”, of course, have paid holidays. But if you’re in a language school on a temporary contract, you can look forward to a summer spent with virtually no income.
2. Sweating like a pig at night.
Sleep, and all other bed-related activities become sticky, sweaty and somewhat disgusting events whether you’re alone or in company.
And no offense to pigs: I’m pretty sure pigs actually refer to this as “Sweating like an overweight German-American in an environment he’s not genetically designed for.”
3. Listening to Europeans complain about how “air conditioning makes them sick.”
This is apparently an old-wives’ tale that Europeans take really seriously.
Europeans consider air conditioning to be more dangerous than mosquitoes in a malaria zone. They’ll be like, “Oh my God! Cold Air! Get it away from me!”
All summer long…
More about that in my instant classic article about Dating a Spanish Girl.
So what’s better? In the end, summer wins my vote.
P.S. Coming soon: Which is better? Madrid or Barcelona? That’ll really piss people off.
P.P.S. I have a lot more to say about what I love (and what I don’t love) about Spain. For example: Gastro-this and hipster-that: lost in the new Madrid and 32 Things I Love about Spain.