Friday, March 23, 2012

A Typical Andalucian Casa

For most of the year Andalucia is hot, but I happen to live the majority of the time during the frigid cold of the winter.

An Andalucian house is built to keep the inhabitants cool during the summer heat, therefore, they are not insulated and central heating is far too expensive because all the heat would escape. This is a very economical and logical idea that caters to the summer heat, but the winter on the other hand was absolutely miserable.

I feel I can safely post this blurb about the bitter cold because we have officially began spring based on the calendar. Normally during the winter a long sleeved shirt and pants, with a pair of socks on occasion, is suitable to sleep in at night in Texas. Well, this year I learned what it's like not to live in a luxury American home with heat , insulation, and carpet.

Now my house only receives direct sunlight into the kitchen which is on the back side of the apartment. The rest of the house is tiled and shaded from direct sunlight. Therefore, my house never heats up due to direct sunlight during the day, and your feet are always freezing cold. Therefore, my house was frigid during all hours of the day. To bed, I wore fleece insulated leggings, tall socks to my knees, a pair of PJ pants over that with a pair of knit booties over my socks with my pants tucked into them. On average I would wear 3 layers of shirts: a tank top, long sleeve, and a sweater; but on the cold nights I even had to sleep in my North Face fuzzy coat. Most always I slept with a scarf around my neck, and a pair of gloves with the tips cut off. Now, the blankets on my bed. I have an extremely soft, cuddly, warm fleece blanket that holds my body heat in; a sleeping bag; a fleece sheet, a thick heavy blanket, another sheet, and a light blanket on top that mainly serves the purpose of decoration. With 6 layers of blankets/sheets, and several layers of clothing, I still was not warm enough. So, to solve the problem I got one of my old, clean, socks and poured half a bag of lentils into it then tied it up. A perfect temporary solution for a small area in my bed! I would heat the bean sock up in the microwave and cuddle around the warmth to feel a bit more relaxed when going to bed. Also, I picked up drinking tea several times a day just to feel a bit of warmth and it's glory.

Not only was my house miserably cold but the schools I work in aren't any better because the buildings are also built to be cool during the summer. I couldn't wait to go sit around the "Mesa Camilla" during recess, which is possibly one of the most dangerous but brilliant ideas; a table with a heater underneath with a blanket type table clothe draped over the table to hold the heat in. If it weren't for the Mesa Camilla, I might have lost toes this winter. haha

Most Spaniards improvise with space heaters in almost all their rooms, which I got to enjoy on occasion. Even with a space heater I found living like this near to impossible. I have never had such a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. It was literally painful at times. Sometimes my house would be so cold that it would be warmer outside!    

All in All in glad it's spring and we are slowly moving closes towards warm weather. I'm born and raised in Texas, and I will proudly say I enjoy the heat and sun.

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