Saturday, March 14, 2009

Iberian Mysteries (I)


Ever since my return to Spain a couple of minor mysteries have been baffling me. The first of these concerns my watch, pictured above. If you zoom in on the picture (e.g. by calling up the 'large' or 'original' size on Flickr), you will notice something a little odd, namely a little circle of bubbles of condensation on the inside of the watch face, at the centre. This particular phenomenon started up again within 12 hours of my arriving in Spain. Its exact manifestation changes depending on the time of day, and on how long I have been wearing the watch continuously - at times it gets big enough to obscure almost the entire watch face, at times it is more of a ring than an unbroken circle, at times it is all but invisible. I say that it "started up again" because it used to happen regularly during my last stay in Spain as well. This time there is the peculiar added feature that the watch stops going altogether about once a week, which I assume has something to do with the condensation becoming severe enough to affect the battery. After leaving it off for a day or so, the watch starts up again, keeps time perfectly (though murkily) for another week, and so forth.

The mystery lies in the fact that this is a peculiarly Spanish phenomenon. The watch works perfectly the rest of the time, with no visible condensation problems. In Guanajuato last year - no problem. Similarly, for the seven weeks I was in Buenos Aires, the watch worked perfectly. But within 12 hours of arriving in Spain, it's weeping like the statue of some kind of cheap plaster saint in an Andalucian church. In 2007 this happened not only in Madrid, but in Sevilla and Granada as well (though not to the point of stopping entirely). Oddly enough, there were no problems in Salamanca.

I assume it has to do with some odd combination of perspiration and the local ambient conditions, but am at a loss to understand exactly how such a phenomenon might work. Or its bizarre geographical specificity.


Peter said...

I have a solution to your dilemma that is both simple and elegant: stop wearing a watch. I did so some time ago.

bilby said...

I blame Dali.