A Coruña is a port city. It rests on a small peninsula in the north of Spain that somehow affords an almost uniquely splendid climate. In the summer the weather hovers in the 70s, while in the winter, it rarely goes below 50. Such a blessing of warm temperatures on the land is only offset by the frigid temperatures of the surrounding water. I have taken every opportunity to go the beach since I arrived in this city. It’s really not hard to do, because everyone wants to take advantage of the beach weather while it lasts. However, I have learned an interesting aspect of Spanish culture: it is considered poor form to go to the beach without fully submerging yourself in the water. Typically, when I go to the beach and the water is freezing, I prefer to stay on the sand. Regardless, my host family insists that it is a necessity to enter the water. They have told me many times that even half-measures are unacceptable, meaning that one must dunk their head under the waves, and if they do not, they must go back to the water. Therefore, I grit my teeth and run into the water each time I show up at the beach. Sometimes I get used to the temperature, but more often than not I race back to the warmth of the sand. I cannot say this is my favorite Spanish tradition I have encountered so far, but at the very least it’s almost October and I can still go for a swim.
James O'Connor '18