Monday, August 30, 2010

Tribal Wives in Rural Catalonia

My old bloggy mucker Vegemite Vix recently wrote a post on what she considers are the rules of the Tribal Wives of Britain, clearly Vix hasn't been north of the Watford gap 'cos us northern girlies aren't quite so shy when it comes to discussing certain topics.  Following on from this, Heather over at Notes From Lapland decided to put her spin on things and wrote about Tribal Wives in Finland, then the little bugger only went and made it a meme and tagged me.   So here we are then, my very tongue in cheek take on the Rural Catalan Tribal Wives.

1.  To blend in with the local Tribal Wives it is imperative that you ignore pavements.  No Rural Catalan Tribal Wife worth her salt walks on pavements.  All walking must be conducted down the middle of the road, it matters not if you are pushing a pram or trailing small children, old and young alike, the middle of the road is the only place to walk.

2.  You must talk to random strangers about the weather.  This actually pleases Non-Tribal Wives a lot, especially those coming from the British Isles as it is a) a shared favourite subject and b) usually covered by any Learn to Speak Spanish book by chapter 3.

3.  A broom must be purchased as soon as possible to blend in with the Rural Catalan Tribal Wives, this must be used to routinely sweep the outside of your property, even if you live in an apartment. The use of the broom indoors is entirely optional.  The sweeping must go on for the length of time that anything of remote interest is happening in the street.  On days of high interest, an argument over parking for instance, then a mop and bucket must be fetched to give that little bit of a pavement a really good going over.  Thinking on, this obsessive cleaning of pavements must be the reason why no-one walks on them.  Interestingly dog shit is ignored in the cleaning process.

4.  The Rural Catalan Tribal Wife is apparently very house proud.  However you will never be able to prove it.  All meetings, playdates, children's birthday parties etc should be held in public places.  Should you invite a Catalan Tribal Wife to your home she will probably decline and tell the whole village that you are an axe murderer, or something.

5.  The Rural Catalan Tribal Wife will invite you to sit with her and her friends whilst your children play together at the playground.  Sadly the Rural Catalan Tribal Wives will insist on sitting on the bench directly behind the makeshift football goal so you will spend the next hour getting whiplash dodging fast flying balls, because obviously makeshift football goals have no nets.  The footballs, of course, will not hit any of the Rural Catalan Tribal Wives, the players are too scared to even attempt it.  Non-Tribal Wives however make excellent target practise and I do believe points are handed out for direct hits, double if they get you square in the face.

6.  For some as yet unfathomable reason all Rural Catalan Tribal Wives will think that you are either a) German or b) American, they will  be genuinely surprised by your Englishness.

7.  All older Rural Catalan Wives must raise their voice several decibels when speaking to children.  The younger the child, the louder they must shout to make themselves heard.  Clearly the Rural Catalan Child suffers some terrible affliction at birth that renders them almost deaf to the older generations, thankfully by the time they hit their teens the condition has been remedied and the older Rural Catalan Wives can speak to them in a normal voice.

8.  All conversations with the Rural Catalan Wife has must start with the word 'pero' (but), with no exceptions.

9.  The Rural Catalan Wife will endeavour to confuse any Non Tribal Wife by answering her Catalan greetings in Spanish and her Spanish greetings in Catalan.

10.  The Rural Catalan Wife will take great consideration over the naming of her children.  Much thought and debate will be entered into before she finally decides to name the child Pau, after his Papa and his Papa before him.


All of the Rural Catalan Wives* I've met whilst living in the village have been brilliant.  They are helpful and kind and always willing to assist when I've been confused as to protocol at school.  They will stop and translate literature for me, guide me to places I need to be and translate what the teachers are saying from Catalan to Spanish (quite often this isn't necessary and only serves to confuse me even more).  They have shown me friendship and welcomed me into their fold with open arms.

*The one exception to this is the old crow who works on the reception desk at the ajuntament (town hall), who for some reason known only to herself, absolutely hates me.  She has managed to take rudeness to a whole new level I didn't know existed.  Her contempt of me is so great that it's actually laughable, and I do, laugh that is.

Now I've scoured my blog roll for people who I think would like to offer up an explanation of the ways of the Tribal Wives in their particular neck of the woods.

Gillian from Misssy M Missives
Sandrine from Paris Ankara Express
Victoria from Hibiscus Bloem
and finally from London City Mum and I expect photos.