We came to live in Barcelona sequentially, on two different flights, on two different days. My husband flew first because the apartment we bought would be empty so he had the task of buying us a bed. I flew the next day with the cat.
Buying the bed hadn’t posed much of a problem and it was delivered the day I arrived. But we had no linen so we went out together, to El Corte Ingles, the big department store, which is also where Manel had bought the bed. A saleslady came to help us and showed us many big, bold, brazen designs in polyester before I managed to find a set of nicely woven pale green cotton sheets that would fit our matrimonial (double) bed. However, upon closer inspection of the package, it seemed there was only one pillow case.
I thought that was strange for a bed for two people, but the saleslady assured me that it was normal. I said I wanted two pillow cases. She told me I could cut the one in half and make two. I was getting angry. What kind of disrespectful customer service was that.
So the question was, where could I find a second pillowcase? She walked us to the shelves with pillowcases. They were all white. Did everyone make their bed with one pillow in a big bold design and the other white? The saleslady shrugged. I bought a white one.
Having survived that unpleasant episode, we were off to the pillow section. And that is where we discovered, from a pleasant young man, that the pillow for a matrimonial bed is a long tube that runs from one side of the bed to the other. Two people; one pillow.
When you move to a new place, a new country, a new culture, you expect you will be confronted with many differences and much to learn, not least of which will be a new language. But whoever would have thought that in Spain they have matrimonial pillows that look like giant white hotdogs, and that you are supposed to share.
Photo credit: TripAdvisor