End of Spanish Summer Vacation

Today’s Saturday. Most Saturday morning’s of the year you’d typically find little activity in the streets. But not this morning!

I was walking back from the gym today at about noon and there was a definite buzz in the street; people were greeting others on the corners, everyone smiling, lots of waving, more traffic, bars were full, and there was a definite energy which didn’t exist just one week ago.

The Spanish summer is officially over! Today’s September 1 and everyone who was away for a monthlong vacation in August has returned – or those who were gone the entire month of July are just now meeting up with those whom were gone in August!

Monday, September 3rd, will be the day everyone will be back to work, all the stores, bars, and restaurants will be open once again, and life in Spain will essentially be back to normal. Thank goodness! There is a special soothing  peacefulness in the neighborhoods in Madrid in summertime which is nice but it can be frustrating too if you’re waiting for your favorite bar to reopen, your favorite “Fábrica de Patatas Fritas” (store which makes fresh potato chips on-site – imagine that! And delicious too!) to raise its storefront ceiling-to-floor metal shutter, your telephone calls to be answered more quickly by businesses (if they answer at all in summer), and your best buddies to come home.

I’m sure tonight, Saturday night before the official return to work, will be a BIGGG night in Madrid with lots of parties, everyone dining out or going to bars, the terrazas full, everyone enjoying the last valuable moments of freedom with friends and family before going back to stressful, tedious, monotonous day jobs, back to worrying about paying the [vacation] bills and getting back-to-school necessities, worrying about daycare or elder-care, and watching that suntan slowly fade day by day.

But for me, it means normalcy. I spent a total of 16 vacation days outside of Madrid this entire summer, visiting the USA and northern Spain. But while gone I’m always anxious to return to Madrid – my new home – and back to the job I truly love to do, passing another day and thinking (in the words of comedian/actor Steve Martin when he was only doing stand-up comedy) “And the MOST amazing thing to me is…… I… Get… Paid… For… Doing… This.”

I’m a happy guy today. My friends are back from vacation (except for a special one who moved to San Francisco – permanently), my stores and bars are all open (except for one which closed just yesterday because it was “too cool” for the neighborhood), the autumn travel season is quickly approaching which means anxious tourists traveling to Madrid, and travel for me too! I hope to return to Barcelona, maybe Granada, and possibly to the Basque Country too (Bilbao, San Sebastián-Donostia). Also have to start thinking about planning an autumn “Party With MadridMan in Madrid” gathering once again. That should be fun.

Welcome Home, Madrid! I missed you!

Saludos, MadridMan

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