Loud Spain

Sitting here at our computer this morning a smile sweeps across my face.

I am listening to a sound that is not that common back in Canada. I am not talking about the lovely birdsong that is a constant throughout the day and reaches a climax at about 5pm. Neither am I mentioning the kids I hear playing, shreiking and cheering. Another common noise here is the sound-systems of various passing cars at maximum, that is until they reach the end of the street and turn onto the road with the police station.

Spain is loud! I told this to my parents the other day as we were attempting to speak over the telephone. Walk into any half-full bar and if you can hear your companion and not just read his lips then you are really lucky. I am not talking about the level of music either, it it’s the spaniards. Unless there is a hockey game on in Canada there is no reason to scream or shout, it is just not polite.

Juan and I were in Córdoba last weekend in a restaurant sharing a meal with his grandparents. I was thinking of what horrors my parents would think if they were there. There were two screaming children, dishes clanking and every conversation was a competition as to who could speak over the other. I was the only one who noticed though.

My favorite sound here in Conil is from a guy I refer to as the Flamenco Man. You can see him walking through the streets, but before you see him you will most likely hear him. He is a very gifted singer, trilling notes when he is inclined. Normally I stop whatever it is I am doing and hang my head out over the railing of our balcony.

I saw him in the street once. As I passed him he nodded politely continuing to sing.

I hope his heart never breaks, I hope no one ever tells him he isn’t good enough, I hope he never decides to keep his gift to himself.

I am probably not the only one drowning out all the other noise and extending the corners of my mouth upwards inspired by his melody.

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