So I finally understand what the “siesta” is all about. It is Paraguay. Late spring. Not yet summer, but still upwards of 95 degrees (but feels like 104, according to weather.com) Unless you are bathing in your A/C you are HOT. Or I guess unless you are properly acclimated, (as most or many Paraguayans are.) I did just watch a colleague slave over a hot grill outside at our office today and marveled at how adept he was at standing the heat with so much of it already surrounding us.
Anyway, I thought naps were for babies (and college students) and that siesta didn’t really exist. However, after having a few hot afternoons knock the life out of me, I finally get it. Usually, though, it is better to let the laziness swarm when at home in your bed…and not, as happened to me today, on the bus heading home from work!
It was an ordinary afternoon, hot as hell with the sun blaring down, when I boarded the 30 towards Mariscal Lopez Shopping Mall. I opened my book, as is my custom, as a warm body took the seat next to me. We weren’t moving fast enough to let enough air pass through to cool down, and so the window to my right was merely a temptation, rather than useful. We hurdled through the streets, stopping at various jolts throughout our path. We took turns too fast, but didn’t really make it anywhere fast, mainly due to rush hour, but also due to the fact there are no assigned bus stops and so drivers stop whenever someone hails them – a perfectly Paraguayan trait.
I attempted to look at my book several times, but then decided there was no way I could get my head into the game, even if I pretended I was reading, (I couldn’t even pretend really, the heat was getting to my head.) So I closed my eyes to avoid looking at the people slowly filling up the tiny, already stifling bus.
Once my eyes were shut, it was hard to open them. I rested my head against the window to my right and slowly drifted into something between sleep and wakefulness, when you feel your head bobbing and keep pulling it back up, but you can’t quick control the downward motion from happening again no matter how hard you try to concentrate on it. And then, suddenly, I was out.
I woke up about 20 or 30 minutes later, still on the bus, (had not passed my stop yet, thankfully!) and snapped to. It was as though that little power nap was enough to sustain me for the rest of the afternoon. Now I know a siesta lasts a little bit longer (as it should and would have if I had not been on a bus at the time!) but I can officially ay I have found my appreciation for midday naps and siestas.
While I do not recommend sleeping on sketchy public transportation in third world semi-tropical countries, I must say that it can also be quite refreshing and if you find yourself itching for a nap, wherever you might be (reasonably safe, of course) rock on and close your eyes.