In Órgiva – and across Spain – a daily ritual takes place: The Washing of the Doorways. The mops and buckets come out – and hoses too.
It’s as if a mains pipe has burst; torrents of water stream down streets as proud householders cleanse their portals of a single speck of dust.
But what pestilence and filth could have arrived in the previous 24 hours? It matters not. Reservoirs of precious water are used up to keep Órgiva’s doorways pristine. Oh, and that little bit of street outside. Want dry feet? Play hop-scotch.
Sure, if it were a Sunday morning in London, Dublin or Glasgow, a jet-hose to remove the previous night’s vomit and urine would be a necessity, but here?
Is it a religious/superstitious thing we wonder – like hanging garlic on your front door to ward off vampires? Is a clean doorway – or even the act of scrubbing it down – meant to, well, signify something?
Like worshipers, if everyone who washed their doorways did something more useful in its place – like a bit of charity work, or building a reservoir – wouldn’t that be better?
Back home, our elderly Italian neighbour, Maria, also adheres to this daily task. At 9am, come rain or shine, her tiles are drowned in soapy water, turning them into an ice-rink. Delivering a loaf of bread, our femurs have almost paid the price on more than one occasion.
Perhaps this door-washing lark is an age-related thing – or a continental habit lost on the people of the British Isles.
Answers on a soggy postcard, please.
[Between gritted teeth] ‘We are delighted our friends and family are enjoying a fine summer in the UK and Ireland’. Translation: Ten years of rubbish summers and this happens!!! Grrrrr
In Toledo, they hose the streets down every night – they’ve a crew for that. It must use up the contents of whole reservoirs every night… but it does have to be done. With no rain and legions of feral cats, tourists dust, etc, how else would they keep the streets clean? At least in the old town. They don’t do this in the new parts.
Never thought about the lack of rain washing away the grim. There’s certainly plenty of it in Britain! (although not this summer it seems).
And it’s your first summer in Spain… a tad ironic… 😉
I grew up in East Yorkshire and my mother scrubbed our front doorstep every morning too.