AUGUST. Once again that summer month in which all of Spain goes away on holiday, alternately making way for visiting tourists from both near and far. This being my second summer now since living here, third since first visiting, it is no longer a shock to me how shops and services close entirely for up to 31 days. The concept of businesses on standstill is, nonetheless, still novel.
Staying behind in the nearly-deserted barrio, I could only gaze out the window in 80s Madonna fashion, one tear trickling dramatically down a cheek. Had we taken this hedonistic holiday month more seriously, we'd have planned ahead and by now be off vacationing in some isla bonita.
My tribute to pals on holiday: Madonna's first-ever song to incorporate Spanish influences. "La Isla Bonita" is said to have been previously offered to Michael Jacskon, whose declining of the song made possible Madonna's acceptance, co-writing and performance of the now-iconic track. Equally iconic is the music video, whose religious and cultural motifs spurred fashion trends, if not a career-long assimilation of Hispanic themes into the artist's oeuvre.
Spanish motifs aside, that sleek-haired, white-slipped, clean-faced look is as fresh as a shower on a hot day. Intended to visually represent piety against the red-dressed seduction, it seems to actually trump the latter in exuding sex appeal.
But then again it's Madonna. There's no muting that sex appeal!
"La Isla Bonita" by Madonna, 1987. www.youtube.com