Rainy Days

I thought that Spain was supposed to have endless sun, but, for the month of September, all I’ve seen is rain. I thought that it was dry, that its reservoirs were only half full, and that just last year it was suffering from the worst drought in 70 years. But all I feel is wetness, as it seeps through my Puma shoes and soaks my socks and drenches me within seconds. I thought that I was going to have a year-round tan – David’s step-mother told me so when I first arrived – but I look up at the sky and only see a layer of clouds so thick that it seems impenetrable from any rays of light. And even now, as I write, the thunder is crashing just overhead. Soon, the sky will open up and the rain will fall, and I will be housebound for yet another day. For it’s not just a light, Fall drizzle that wets your cheeks, kisses your eyelashes and makes you appreciate the changing of seasons. No, it’s the pounding, unrelenting type of rain that forms lakes at your feet and is so unforgiving that it makes you wonder what in the world you did wrong.

David and I have gotten caught in it more than once. Out of pure denial, we have been flat out rebels. When we had an appointment to see a cafe/bar for sale in Altea, our recently discovered paradise, we ignorantly – and stubbornly – decided to do part of the trek by scooter and set out for the hour ride to Alicante. We proved victorious and arrived dry. But by the time we arrived by tram to Altea, the rain had arrived and there we were with our helmets in hand, no umbrella for protection, and the realization that there was no way to avoid the torrential downpour. Perhaps we could have found an umbrella if we had looked, but, unlike New York City where, as soon as the first drops fall, the umbrella street vendors have already set up shop, there was not an umbrella so conveniently in sight.

On our first visit to Altea, we had found the small streets all leading up outright charming. On this visit, as we battled our way upstream as a small river rushed downstream, we looked beyond the romance and noticed the practical. The underground water passage covered by an iron grate that funneled the rainwater down the winding street and straight to the sea greatly aided certain roads from becoming flooded. The overhanging semi-pipe strategically positioned at the edge of a steep incline cleverly directed the water from the street above to the underground passageway in the street below. Altea was designed to accommodate floods and, in light of this ingenuity, I realized that Altea has much more to offer than just beauty.

We had arrived early and had several hours before our appointment so we decided to get lunch. The restaurant was chosen hastily but turned out to be charmingly located in the bottom portion of a house. We arrived sopping and in need of cover, and they opened their doors to us and seated us at a cozy table near a window in the back so that we could gaze upon the rain that came down ever harder. And I loved Altea even more.

We visited the bar next. A cute little place near the old church and in the center of the old town. And then because the rain still wasn’t letting up, we decided to stay the night and found a cheap room that barely offered the basics and cranked the fan up high and carefully laid out our shoes, socks and pants to dry. Later, when the rains finally subsided, we ventured out and hoped for mercy. And we visited Altea by night. And it was magnificent. The town was quiet and fully ours to enjoy. We explored streets that we had not yet seen, and we stopped to pet a cat who started to follow us to the point that we named him Altea and wondered if we should take him home, and we marveled at Altea’s trash collection system (residents hang small plastic bags of trash from small hooks on the walls outside their homes), and we appreciated the jasmine that framed house windows and doors and added a beautiful scent to the evening air.

The next day we returned to Torrevieja and the rains continued (though we were lucky to get only slightly damp on the scooter ride home) and, since we have arrived home, our stubbornness has turned into reason and we have stayed indoors.

Shortly before leaving the U.S., my sister and I went shopping. I spotted a cute Gap raincoat. It was on sale and I liked it a lot but I questioned the practicality of such a purchase just when I was about to move to Spain. After consulting with Coral, we decided to throw reason to the wind and indulge in cuteness, and I bought it. As it turns out, the raincoat is cute and practical and I have no buyer’s remorse whatsoever.

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11 responses to “Rainy Days

  1. I can sympathize with the rain! Although here the rain comes out of no where. It can be sunny one minute and the next cloud are viciously rolling in and raining in buckets is pooring down! Its so weirdly fascinating. Lighting and thunder too. BUT days and days of it are overwhelming for sure. At least you have a cute raincoat to look forward to wearing, and a beautiful village that appears to make singing in rain a distinct possibility!! ;0)

    • Amy, you are absolutely right. It’s the perfect place for singing in the rain! 🙂 Hope you guys are staying dry and have cute raincoats, too!

  2. Haha, when I moved to the Azores I bought rain boots and a rain coat, but forgot an umbrella. Thise don’t help anyway since it rains horizontally with the wind. I bought the LL bean rain shoes (like mocassins) which were pricey, but worth it. I wear them to the gym and then change in to tennis shoes to work out. I got this idea after the first time I was sloshing in my shoes while on the treadmill and feared for my life that I would get electrocuted!

    • Yes, the rain is horizontal here too! You know exactly what I’m talking about! Hmm…. sounds like I need some of those LL Bean rain shoes although, interestingly, on October 1st, the day I actually posted this, it was clear, blue skies and not a rain drop in sight. So maybe those were just September rains?

  3. Yay! I’m so glad that raincoat was needed – cause it was super cute too! I definitely thought we were being impractical & I had been the leading cause of your impracticality – but that just shows you why you should ALWAYS listen to your sis!
    Rainy days can be fun but enough is enough!
    But oh now I wish you brought Altea home…

    • Coral, I learned a long time ago that I should ALWAYS listen to my sis. That’s why I bought the highly impractical rain coat because I knew that, somehow, you’d be right.
      I would have brought Altea home if you were here to help take care of him!

  4. I could read your descriptions of rain all day. I read the first paragraph twice just to indulge my rain-deficient So-Cal life.

    I love this town. When are we moving?! …ah hem…I mean when are youuuuu moving?

    • Jess, if it helps you survive the rain-deficient So-Cal life, then I will gladly experience – and write about – the torrential rains we’ve had here.
      WE are moving soon, I hope!

  5. Sara,

    I wish yu could send some of that rain over here to sunny california. Plenty of humidity and heat here, but none of that wet stuff!

    • Well, if it doesn’t come to you, at least we know that you’re coming to it! I know that Gaga would love some rain in Big Bear!

  6. We can’t wait to see you – whether it’s wet or dry!
    You have to show us, in particular, Altea!
    But will we need a boat to get to it???

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