Saturday, September 29, 2007

Public Privacy

I did it! I invested 17 euros in a Tin-Tin caganer. I'm still not altogether sure I need this, but Edward Readicker-Henderson suggested I could tend caganers as a new hobby in order to keep my mind off of unpleasant thoughts when I have newly discovered down time. (There was no down time when I was editing comics in the US, proofreading for Kuwait, and managing an office in Cairo.)

Tin-Tin can take up residence pooing next to Fidel Castro on my souvenir shelf, just like he did in the store.

Speaking of poo, there's a delicate topic here in Barcelona that I find somewhat odd. It's the placement of toilets.

Toilets have to go somewhere, of course, and in urban living there are all kinds of interesting sounds that echo throughout apartment complexes. But it still seems odd to me that the bathrooms usually open onto airshafts, and so do many kitchens.

Airshafts here are on the compact side. This amounts to the private-apartment version of public toilet stalls. Add this to the echo-effect produced by the airshaft and the number of families congregating in the kitchens, and you have a somewhat embarrassing situation.

This has been the case in three of the four apartments I've rented in this fine city.

I've learned to "avert my ears" as I prepare my lunch or my morning coffee. That is, pretend I can't hear what I can hear. Maybe I'm squeamish. Anyway, everyone else has been "averting their ears" their entire lives. So it's no big deal. I guess it's me with the hang-up, not the Spanish.

1 comment:

Max Hartshorne said...

Marie your blog is fascinating. You really have a knack for keeping the posts the right length. And I love how all of a sudden you're living in Cairo and traveling to Spain. A true GoNOMAD!

any stories for us??