Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Raining in Tenerife

It’s not supposed to rain in the Canaries. These are islands blessed with year round sun… or at least that’s what I write continuously in all the articles that I churn out in my real life, daytime incarnation. The truth is, though, it rains every year around this time. And every year, expats and Canarians alike are all equally surprised. Here in the south of Tenerife, we are more ill prepared than the North, where rain is comparably frequent. Our houses are not built to be waterproof. From the oldest ‘casa terrera’, to the newest concrete marvel, water floods through every roof. Our roads are not drained. Every dip means, quite literally a dip! We have a tendency to build new housing developments in dried up riverbeds, only to be surprised when they suddenly fill up with water. Oh it’s all such fun!

And then there’s the annual game we play with the tourists:

Tourist (looking at sky, dismayed and surprised): “Does it normally rain here?”

Resident (accusing expression): “No, never. You must have brought it with you.”

Tourist (crestfallen and guilty, meekly replies): “Oh… sorry.”

Oh how we love to play with their minds.

And now I think about tourists and rain, I have to note that they’re a curious bunch. They lie on the beach in their swimming togs. It rains. They all run off the beach, shielding themselves from the rain with their towels. Are they not wearing waterproof swimming costumes? Strange.

Personally, I rather appreciate the rain. I have lived on the Islands for five or six years, so I don’t mind the change in climate at all. And it gives my increasingly decrepit car an annual wash. Inside and out. Because of course, like everything here, the roof leaks.


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