These are the neighbors in the apartment building across the street from ours: Lonely Smoking Guy; Old Guy; White Bathrobe Guy and His Significant Other, and Man-Bun and His Significant Other. Further afield, too far for us to really “know” is Person Who Has Big TV Who Never Participates in Anything; and even further afield than that is Guy Who Participates in Everything. And then, somewhere off in the distance, is Guy with Loudspeaker, who DJs music from his apartment.
One night way back (was it just a week ago?), as the Nightly Clap was winding down, Man-Bun’s female partner shouted across the street to us. Something was happening in an hour, at 9:00 p.m. We couldn’t decipher more than that.
Sure enough, right at nine, neighbors were back out on their balconies. Not as many as for the Nightly Clap, but a few, banging pots and pans and metal bowls with spoons. It seemed exuberant, joyful even: we joined in. Why not? It wasn’t like we had anything better to do.
The next day, I did a little online investigating and learned the clamor we’d witnessed has an actual name.
A cacerolazo, cacerolada or casserole is a form of popular protest which consists of a group of people making noise by banging pots, pans, and other utensils in order to call for attention.
That first cacerolada took place during the King’s televised speech after the Estado de Alarma was announced. Since then, we’ve had a cacerolada every couple of days, usually during televised speeches by various powers-that-be. The political nuances are far far above my pay grade. Since embarrassment is the girls’ response to everything I do these days, needless to say they’re mortified we participated in that first one: not our circus, not our monkeys.
True, of course, but I’m impressed almost to speechlessness by this phenomenon. The common folk, using tools of domesticity to drown out the status quo! Our last cacerolada was Sunday night. The wasap circulating beforehand: We are fed up with incompetents, high-handedness, and the caste you have become. You’ve deceived us.
Now that’s a sentiment you could almost get behind bashing a pot for.