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Those Famous Siestas

I cannot operate well without a siesta, and I imagine that many of you can’t either. Some people will tell you that if they take a siesta, they wake up miserable. I am the opposite. If I do not get my 15-minute siesta, I can only function at 50 percent. Just in case you are wondering, a siesta is a Spanish word that became so popular that it found its way into the English dictionary. My thesaurus defines the word siesta as a rest, a nap, sleep, snooze, 40 winks, midday sleep, catnap, a doze, catch a few “z”s, put your feet up. They all describe the different forms people take their siestas. I can take a siesta on an office chair, with my head on a table, sitting on a regular chair with my head leaned back, in a hammock (my favorite choice), on a bed, during an airplane flight, in a skiff ride, and have once or twice taken it standing up. My favorite story on siestas is in a store in Belize city. While my wife was shopping I sat on a box close to a fan and dozed off for about 15 minutes right after lunch.

Up to two years ago, I used to buy and still enjoy a pepper sauce called “Louisana Pepper Sauce”, though my family prefers Marie Sharp’s hot sauce. I still remember a Creole radio advertisement that said: “Georgie, cungo da Walman pan Albert Street. Walman gah the bess shoes fi all di family.” This was where Belizeans obtained their best locally made shoes. If you wanted a quality and expensive shoe then you went to Bata Store, which mostly dealt with the brand name “Canada”. I do not see “Canada” anymore in Belize, but I do see it in some parts of Mexico.

I do not know if siestas are good or bad. Some say that after a meal if you lie down then you do not burn up the extra calories and this leads to obesity or getting fat. However, look at it this way. If after taking a siesta you get up energetically, then it pays for all construction workers to take a siesta and then pump up some good energy during the afternoon shift. Now I will tell you a little secret. Our way of life today does not lend itself for siestas, but I have found a way to take a 15-minute one every day and it works so well with me. So if you please, don’t call around 12:30. There are many others like that too. It is our habit of 25 years ago.

Photo Caption: Taxi drivers take a siesta as they wait for incoming tourists. (photo by Kay Scott)

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