Who am I to judge?

We live in a pretty amazing place.  It is a beach community located just a little too far away from the city for a person to live here and commute to a regular office job.  The residents here are either retired or work in one of the local hotels or cafes.  A sub-set group of residents are what I call the weekenders.  These are the people who either own a condo or vacation house and spend the weekend here and the rest of their time in their primary home in or near the city.   There seems to be a general unspoken code of conduct and respect for each other that we all abide by.

I am calling this group of regulars “permies”.  We are permanently here. (Notice how I slipped us into this group even though the other permies probably don’t realize we are one of them yet?)  We know what the honking is all about at 10am (the fish guy), we get our bread delivered to the café, and we know how to queue up for a cup of coffee each morning without needing to be reminded to wear a mask or that only a single person at a time is allowed inside. We are insiders (or soon to be) and privy to the regular goings on in the neighborhood….I think…

Then there are what I am calling the “weeklies”.  These are people who have rented an Air BnB or are staying in one of the weekly vacation rental condos.  Each Saturday there is a mass exodus about 10 minutes before 10am (checkout time) and the neighborhood gets very quiet.  The stillness only lasts for a couple of hours before the new batch of weeklies comes rolling in.  Everyone arriving is excited to be starting their week at the beach (and who can blame them?).  Kids are anxious to head down to the water while adults are busy checking out the menus at the restaurants and making reservations.  Eventually everyone heads down to the beach and has to pass in front of our house.  There is a single road down to the beach. The traffic isn’t bad and most people are on foot anyway.   

Although we have not been here long, already I have noticed that each batch of weeklies has its own set of characteristics.  Our first week we were just happy to be here and I didn’t know about the weeklies yet so I can’t comment too much about that first crowd.  The group from week #2 was pleasant and generally could have passed for being permies.  Sure, there was the wedding party at the hotel a few doors down that went late into the night.  But overall, the general feeling was that everyone was considerate towards one another.

This week’s batch however are on a whole different level.  Perhaps the kindest way to put it is that this group is loud enthusiastic.  They are here on vacation and are letting everyone know that they have arrived.  The higher end BMWs, Mercedes and Audis of last week have been replaced with highly modified vehicles (some without mufflers) and loud party music.  They brought their barking dogs and loud music along for the ride too.  One of the condos near us is packed with 20-somethings who have pooled their money to afford the place for the week.   They have no problem yelling to their friends who are a block or more away.  I thought the younger generation all had their cell phones permanently attached to their bodies.  Probably just didn’t want to risk it on the beach and I have to applaud them for that.

I am hoping that this does not become a trend and maybe this is a one-time occurrence.  To help me keep track, I am developing a spreadsheet that I will use to compare this year with next.  Maybe if certain trends start to emerge, we will make our own vacation plans to avoid the rowdy weeklies’ weeks.

I might even turn this into a “Weeklies Bingo” game that I can share with the other Permies.

I realize that I am probably sounding like the old man who grumbles about the neighborhood kids.  Perhaps I am slowly turning into “that guy”.  But if I am, then it is going to be on my terms and I’ll have collected the data to back me up.  

4 thoughts on “Who am I to judge?

  • I had to laugh. I didn’t pay attention to which of you wrote this. I read through and could just imagine the chaos that ensues every Saturday with the changeover and the surprised changes in the weeklies. But the detail of the post and then the spreadsheet? I thought – this can’t be Kelli? Scroll up – ah, yes, this is the detail guy! Hahahhaaa.

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  • Hi Jeff and Kelli. I too have been of late feeling like a grouchy, persnickety old man, spending July and August escaping the city heat at my beach place here in Puerto Sagunto (a beach town near your beloved Valencia capital/city). I guess that makes me a “semi-permie”, using your vernacular. My Spanish gal Concha and I often find ourselves walking the shoreline and boardwalk zone tut-tutting our disapprovals at the many half-masked or maskless ‘weeklies’ and ‘bi-weeklies’ who can be quite loud and inconsiderate. These folk are mostly ‘younger’ in their 20-30’s, some in their 40’s, who come from the interior of Spain from areas like Madrid, Zaragoza etc., plus a few come down from France. The local police, unlike those in Valencia capital, only give out occasional token fines for violating the increasingly strict anti-Covid rules, but are otherwise unseen, not wanting to scare off the tourist money. It seems to me the main problem arises when people sit down to eat/smoke, remove their masks and linger for hours talking/yelling, getting drunk and having a great time, forgetting that they’re maskless. This often happens in crowded outdoor terrazas, occasionally in indoor bars, and even on the beach where the naturally very-social Spanish hang in throngs of 12+. Although the bars are now required to close at 1am (‘temporarily’ due to Covid), many “weeklies” continue partying and walk/stumble noisily down the narrow streets back to their AirBnB-rented flats. I imagine this same scene is playing out in many parts of coastal USA and Europe. Here, the “permies” seem to tolerate it, knowing that by September things will return back to normal and the bars and cafes will be able to stay afloat based on their summer earnings, even with all of the Covid controls.

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    • Our beach is very beautiful and should be enjoyed by all but I just wish that everyone would be mindful of everyone else. Wearing masks are our best hope of slowing the spread of CV-19 until a proper vaccine is created. Music is fine but it shouldn’t be forced upon others who want to enjoy the sound of the surf crashing against the shoreline. Actually having temporary neighbors is fine with me because it means that I only have to endure a week of nuisance before someone else arrives. And in reality, most people are respectful and considerate of those around them. The weeklies, for the most part, feel like guests in our community and try to model good behavior.

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