Things are finally heating up here in Spain, and the academic year is fast coming to an end. I shall be off travelling in June, working in the UK in July and August and returning to Iberia in September. But it's not just in English teaching where Spain is a land of seasonal work.
As much as us teachers head off to work in colder climes, the bucket and spade brigade arrive to the Costas to soak up the sun and the sangría. While half of Spain's industry packs up in summer (especially August), tourism kicks in and cafés, bars and hotels make ends meet for the rest of the year by catering for the masses.
Primary industry is still king in Andalucía, which means that people are constantly in and out of work, and their fortunes are constantly changing depending on commodity prices. The daily Cordoba newspaper dedicates a whole spread to agricultural prices, charts and tables.
The ever changing status of people's live here have led them to being quite relaxed about whether their cupboards are full or empty. Everyone is always borrowing cups of sugar from neighbours and sharing what they have (tools, cigarettes etc), it fosters a nice community spirit.
There is certainly no stigma about unemployment benefit as people regularly receive help from the government in between seasonal work, which greases the wheels of the local economy. Some people are a little to willing to take advantage of employee benefits and lax HR policy though. Thankfully, I have never worked in an industry where there just aren't any jobs at that moment.
Truly, everything is flexible here. Landlords are willing to accept 9 months rent for the entire year if the tenant is going away for the summer (often the case with English teachers). The same is true for utility bills. You can just go into the offices and switch them on or off depending on your needs.
Spring 2016 has also been the season where I've made a concerted effort to write more fiction an poetry. You can read some of my work on Scriggler. I will update you on any publications via my Twitter account.
Next month I'll be reviewing an upcoming recruitment fair in Cordoba (wish me luck) and reflecting on my fifth anniversary as a teacher.