When you think of Andalucía, you think of heat. This is an area where half of the population leaves in July and August, because it´s too unbearably hot. Hotels and apartments go to great pains to advertise that they have air conditioning. Heating just doesn´t come up. When we were investigating apartments, we noted that our piso in Plaza Colón has air conditioning, but no central heating. No problem, right?
Well….maybe a little bit.
After we returned from Santiago de Compostela, the temperature dropped abruptly. We bought a heavier bedspread, and shivered for a few days before deciding that we´d need to invest in some kind of heating. We went to the Corte Inglés and bought a wheeled radiator unit. (About 50€…not too bad.) That seems to be doing the trick.
Now, the funny part. When we first moved into the piso, we found this big, strange, round metal thing underneath the dining table. Furthermore, the table had this thick, heavy tablecloth which hung nearly to the floor on all sides. We had no idea what the round thing was, so we stowed it underneath the bed. After all, you want you legroom under the table, right? We also put the heavy tablecloth at the back of an upper shelf in the closet.
While visiting Lola and Eduardo, we saw that they had one of the same big, strange, round metal things under the table as well. Interesting! It turns out to be a brasero (from “brasa”, which means “ember”). You just plug it in, and it provides wonderful heating under the table. And the heavy tablecloth? You just pull it up over your lap like a blanket. It´s amazing how warm you feel even when you´re just heating the lower half of your body. In the old days, the braseros were pans filled with embers from the fireplace, but nowadays they're electrical.
The temperature has come back up from the cold, rainy week after the Santiago de Compostela trip. Nevertheless, the nights are pretty cold. The radiator is still useful, because the brasero doesn´t help in the other rooms. Drying the clothes is another matter. When you have a sunny day, everybody rushes to get their clothes washed and up on the line to take advantage of God´s clothes drier. Just to be safe, Tonya bought another heater which seems to effectively dry clothes in the back bedroom even when it´s cold and rainy outside.
The lesson we´ve learned here is that just because we don´t recognize something doesn´t mean that it´s not useful. In Spain, people don´t seem to fill their homes with extraneous stuff just for the heck of it.