POST: 'La Fiaca' - the American equivalent... being lazy

What's it about?

A middle-aged man gets hit with a big case of 'la fiaca' and his family is not having it. 

What I experienced?

So, my lovely mother had left for an unexpected trip on her birthday (May 17th) which is subsequently the same week Mother’s Day falls under. Since she left with no gifts from her loving daughter some serious repair was due. I think she’s pretty happy with how it all worked out after all.

This was the first time I planned a full day of things to do. First we went to Chinatown, where we had some bubble tea at Sweets Bakery and after some perusing around we headed to Repertorio Espanol.

Now, my Spanish has gotten a lot better after some extensive Univision sessions and rewatching both Narcos and El Chapo. So, this time around I wasn’t glancing down at the subtitles as much as the last couple times I was here. Of course telenovela star Francisco Gattorno was the star (yet again) of this Argentinian play. The subtitles did come in handy when it came to figuring out what exactly ‘fiaca’ was and, after a quick glance down, revealed that it meant laziness. Apparently, in Argentina when someone gets hit with la fiaca it is the American equivalent of being lazy and calling into work as being ‘sick’.

This play occurs in the span of about a week, and the chaos that ensues I imagine could only happen in one of my mum’s Spanish soap operas.



Francisco Gattorno plays the lead (who’s name I can’t remember) and I’m gonna say he’s 40-something and suddenly awakens one morning and decides that he just doesn’t want to go to work. Culturally, in the U.S., it isn’t uncommon for someone to call into work, but in South America or pretty much any Latin American country it means a lot more. Not only is money tighter, but socially missing out on of a day of work is taken as the equivalent of quitting and being an overall failure-in-the-eyes-of-all-the-women-in-your-family-and-friends.


After the discovery always comes the war. Usually that includes a wife or mum yelling about how hurt and offended they are. Gattorno’s character hit the jackpot because he got both in one. I’m sure I have never seen a grown man get hit with a handbag over the head as many times as he did #icecoldgranny


It’s a family affair, so the meddling is pretty much free range for anyone who wants to give their two cents. At this point don’t be shocked if the human resources person, your boss, your co-worker, and your entire extended family shows up in your room telling you why you need to go to work. Yeah, that happens, ask any Latino person.


Grand finale. In a Spanish house family always wins. What? Oh you thought that it’s your life and you’re an a grown ass adult who makes your own life decisions. Nah. Gattorno’s character lasts about 3 days in his fiaca limbo, but eventually food starts running out and wives start packing bags and moving out... so you always give in.


And, yes. Mum got her (another) photo with Francisco Gattorno - she was actually the first person to get her picture with him ;)

Also, I think I did a pretty good job of making up for her b-day and mothers day too.

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What did you experience?

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