Saturday, 15 August 2009

Caught Out Again

When we first arrived in Madrid, a little over two years ago, MamaDuck had risen early one Saturday morning to try to join a public library in La Latina. I was somewhat dischuffed to be woken by a phone call from her. 'Get your camera and your arse down here, right now,' she said.

So I did. The day was La Fiesta de la Virgen de la Paloma (the feast/fair/party of the Virgin of the Pigeons (others mights say they mean doves, in which case they should be talking about Palomas Blancas)). Us Brits know it, and largely ignore it, as the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, where she got a special upgrade on the big fluffy cloud to take her up to Heaven without her having to go through all the tiresome business of actually dying first.

I took lots of photos, but I can't find them right now. What happens is they have a float at the church of La Virgen de la Paloma in La Latina, and people arrive from early in the morning to pin bunches of flowers onto another float, and eventually they do a procession. We were there for most of the morning and there were assorted stalls selling traditional food and drinks, and a lot of people dressed as old-fashioned Madrileños.

The fiesta goes on for about four nights - music and drinking and dancing in the streets, and so on.

All jolly good fun.

We had planned to maybe think about attending some of this, but decided we were just too tired. But we completely failed to realise that today, Saturday, is a major public holiday. I went out shopping this morning and was astounded to find the market shut. Likewise all the supermarkets, little shops and all but one bar. It's a bit of a pain because we'll be eating lentils all weekend, but at the same time it's pretty cool that people who work in shops and bars do actually get the day off.


nzm said...

Well, we don't feel so bad now, as we weren't the only ones caught out by Assumption Day!

We found out as we went into our local mall and discovered that Al Campo was closed. Hardly any food and water in the apartment, and we have Jen's kids staying with us! Pizzas from the takeaway below us tonight!

Silly thing is that I did plug all the Spanish hols into my Outlook Calendar, and this is the ONLY ONE on which I forgot to set a reminder. And I did wonder why the metro was advertising that the trains were running 24 hours per day over Friday and Sat!

Word Verification: fooks :-)

Troy said...

Count that as 2 caught out...after all these years here.

Lee said...

But where on earth do you live? All the chinese markets in the center were open, as well as the new pakistani veg markets down in Lavapies. And the chinese open in most neighborhoods all the time.

Keefieboy said...

Lee: Tetuan. Yes, the Chino's were open, but I wanted big hunks of meat or fish, and none of them do that!

Lee said...

Not even the OpenCor (the CorteIngle's overpriced upscale version of 7-11)?I think they've got one over on Sor Angela de la Cruz and I think they open any holiday, and if you get there early enough, there is fresh produce.

Keefieboy said...

Yes, Lee, Open-Cor-Blimey-Look-At-The-Price-Of-That were open, but I wasn't that desperate, and lentils are ok really!