El Grumpy Gringo - Get A Heater!

Published on 1/29/2008 in Spanish Culture

Cold in SpainI hate January!  Everywhere looks so bare and boring after all the Christmas decorations have been taken down. And summer seems an awful long way off.  I can’t even drown my sorrows in a warm and welcoming pub.  Let’s face it bars in Spain don’t exactly encourage you to linger during the winter months do they?  Most are cold and uninviting.  What with tiled floors, partially tiled walls, white paint and (usually) no curtains at the windows they have about as much ambiance as a public toilet.  The ubiquitous 26 inch TV is blaring away in one corner with the bar person more interested in watching Telediario than chatting to you and your only form of entertainment is the fruit machine and the crane thing for kids to win fluffy toys on. 

Recently I went into my local watering hole.  The barmaid was dressed up like Nanouk of the North with a thick scarf almost obscuring her face and woolly gloves hindering her pint pulling skills.  

“Don’t you have any heating?”  I asked. 

“No.  We don’t need it – it’s not normally this cold.” She replied.

“Yes it is!” I wanted to scream at her. 

For the past 19 years I have been hearing this same excuse.  I have sat in offices until my feet and hands have gone numb with cold (but noticed that the secretary usually has a fan heater secreted under her desk – so she’s alright chum)!  I have stood in shops with my fingers so cold I have barely been able to pick up the goods I wanted.  And I’ve given up going to bars in the evening. 
Who are they kidding? Okay the sun might be shining but there can still be a bitter wind and at night the temperature plummets dangerously close to freezing point. It’s about time they came out of denial.  Here’s a newsflash for all Spanish shop/bar/office owners -       It gets cold in Spain in the winter –  DON’T BE SO TIGHT  - buy a heater!!!!

Written by: El Grumpy Gringo

About the author:Owners Direct Group

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Stephen Reid(Storytellerman) said:
Friday, June 11, 2010 @ 5:45 PM

Dear El Grumpy Gringo

I have only just joined and discovered your Grumpiness. I thought I was the only member of the exclusive club but I am so glad to have discovered your writings. They are great keep it up as I want to steal your stuff. I will acknowledge my source of course.

NothingChanges said:
Sunday, February 14, 2010 @ 2:45 PM

"It never snows here" thus they don't buy snow removal equipment. When it inevitably snows, like it does every winter (at least in the north), everyone suffers and says it isn't normal.

"It never rains much here" thus they don't install rainwater removal/management systems. When it inevitably rains hard, which it does every spring, everyone suffers and says it isn't normal.

"It never gets this cold here" thus they don't install insulation or efficient and effective heating sytems. When the temperature inevitably plummets, which it does every winter, they say it isn't normal and suffer and gripe and everywhere they go announce "Que frio!"

It's really unbelievable how out of touch with reality some people choose to be.

lifeline said:
Monday, March 24, 2008 @ 1:25 PM

Well written! Spain and most Med countries are cold at night during winter. My house is in Murcia and in January I had the aircon at 32 and was still cold! These houses are built to keep out the heat of the sun but have no insulation for the cold nights. I intend installing a multi fuel fire next year. If you want warm nights as well as warm days you need to head much further south. I used to live in Caracas and there we never had a cold night desapite the city being at 1000M above sea level!

johnone said:
Saturday, February 2, 2008 @ 5:05 PM

Hey Grumpy what part of Spain do you live in.
Her on the Costa we had 26 days of sunshine in january. Ther wer people on the beach and sat out side bars. We only put our heating on twice at night and that was to take the chill off. Long Live january

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