Pillow talk

Let’s talk pillows.

Truth: On a single bed, intended for one person to sleep, there is normally one single pillow. Exhibit A: my shared bedroom for the month I spent in Sevilla when I first came to Spain back in 2010.

Truth: On a double bed, intended for two people to sleep, there are normally two pillows. One for each person. Or two for one person who stretches out a lot. Exhibit B: My bedroom in my apartment in Málaga my first two years.

That all makes perfect sense, right? End of story? Not in Spain.

Little did I know just how abnormal my pillow situation in Málaga was for Spain. You see, here, a double bed does not mean two pillows, but rather one really long pillow. What I, and I think many others, would call a body pillow.

Using such a pillow at the head of a bed, which two people are intended to share, is something I don’t understand about Spain, and of which the Spaniard has yet to convince me. It results in an all out war over the pillow. Turning it over to the cold side, folding it in half to raise your head to read, and all other movements of the pillow, must be done in coordination. How do you do that when the other person is asleep? I can tell you it’s not exactly comfortable having a pillow pulled out from under your head.

Nevertheless, in my experience most Spaniards seem to be attached to this custom. A friend of the Spaniard’s went to Germany for a year to study. In Germany, he went shopping for a pillow for his new apartment. Much to his dismay, he couldn’t find a pillow long enough for his double bed. For months this caused him much anguish. How is one supposed to sleep with a pillow that doesn’t occupy the full width of the bed? Buy two pillows? Don’t talk nonsense. Thankfully, the poor soul came home to Spain for a short visit and was able to bring his proper, full-length pillow back to Germany, and finally he was able to sleep at night.

In our new apartment in Málaga, our landlord obviously doesn’t like to spend a lot of money. Our poor bed is deprived of the normal body pillow and instead has two of the scrappiest little excuses for pillows I’ve ever seen, and the sheet sets have two small pillowcases. This just won’t do. Luckily, the landlord’s wife had so kindly sewn the two cases together to create the more traditional long one. All we have to do is insert the two small balls of fluff, and viola! We have the typical pillow of Spain- one lovely long tube across the entire bed- but not really.

This American needs her two fluffy pillows, which in Spain means buying your own and carting them with you every time you move.

This is so worth the suitcase space.

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3 Responses to Pillow talk

  1. Bahaha the timing of this post is perfect! I just got a hotel room in the pueblo where I’m working as an auxiliar this year and when I saw my double bed I was like, “okay! cool! I got a body pillow!”Guess I was wrong. Haha! I will never understand how two people can share such a pillow. Thanks for the informative post!

  2. tobyo says:

    really? wow, I remember thinking how odd those long pillows were in the hotels we stayed at while in Spain. interesting explanation, didn't know that!!

  3. Tricia says:

    This is madness! I'm not sure if Bill and I would still be together if we had to share a pillow.

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