Friday, October 8, 2010

On Blankets

My most memorable night of the four months I spent in Spain in 2002 was in Cadiz. I arrived by a late bus, and for my 6 euros, was granted a 4" thick foam mattress on the roof of a hostel. No blankets being made available, I pulled out my bath towel, quickly discovered what an inadequate cover it made, and spent the night shivering under the stars. Since I have been living here, I have been reminded of the poor substitute nightly, as I have again resorted to using a bath towel as a blanket. 

We have no A/C, and the nights, especially the first few weeks I was here, are warm, with temperatures usually around 80 degrees. To combat the warm nights, there is a first-rate ceiling fan in our bedroom. The ceiling fan spins so fast, and moves so much air, that it is faster for me to hang-dry our clothes in the bedroom than outside. Despite the accompanying warm air, the ceiling fan results in a breeze that makes me chilly. 

So I should turn off the ceiling fan. But HB, having a decidedly more vigorous circulatory system than mine, would suffer with heat and sweat were we to do so. So to combat the cool breeze, I should use a blanket. Our furnished apartment does not include a blanket, but we do have a comforter. It is very heavy, of the style people use in very cold climates. I am baffled as to why it even exists here. Also, it is very large, so to pull the comforter over me would also involve, in some degree, pulling it over HB who, as I mentioned before, is perfectly happy to sleep with no covering between him and the blissful wind from the ceiling fan. 

As a result, the first night, I made do with a bath towel. It is precisely the right weight. Just heavy enough to weigh the sheet down so it doesn't flap in gusts from the fan; light enough that it doesn't significantly increase my body temperature. Unfortunately, it is only about 2/3 as long as I am, and so leaves either my shoulders or feet and calves exposed. 

I figured I would soon find a blanket of similar weight, like a small throw, or even a twin-size duvet, that would give me the protection from the ceiling fan I desired. After trying all the shops that we know of that carry bedding, I have been completely unable to find anything that answers to that description. 

Frustrated in my purpose, I asked my mother if she would be so kind as to mail me one. She complied almost immediately with my wishes, and on the 1st of September, mailed a package to me. Alas! there was a miscommunication about the address, and despite repeated trips to the post office (beloved institution), I have yet to receive the parcel containing my sought-after coverlet.

And so I continue to use the bath towel as a blanket, recalling that chilly night in Cadiz each time I go to bed. But not for much longer; relief is in sight. Only two more nights to contend with my ineffectual cover. How do I know that my suffering is nearly at an end? Update tomorrow. 

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