Have you seen what’s happened to the prices of caves in Southern Spain lately? A perfectly adequate two-bedroom cave that sold for about $150 ten years ago now fetches nearly $8,000! This according to last February’s issue of a newsletter called International Living. (Thanks to Los Angeles Photographer Pieter Lessing for sending it to me.)

“Antonia Requera is a bright, articulate, Spanish woman in her 30s,” reports International Living. “She dresses stylishly and speaks several languages. So it may surprise you to know that she lives in a cave.”

Apparently there are quite a few middle-class Andalucians living in caves, complete with all the modern conveniences, including phone and fax. Ms. Requera sees nothing strange about it — she was born and raised speluncularly.

It kills me that I didn’t think of this 10 years ago, of course. For $200,000 I could have all but cornered the cave market and been Caveman Numero Uno.

But even now it’s intriguing, if only because these caves keep a year-round temperature of around 60 degrees. Wouldn’t that be nice in August?

To get your feet wet, the newsletter suggests blowing $500 to rent a nice two- to four-bedroom cave for a week to see how you like it. For more information, they suggest the Spanish Government Tourist Office at 666 Fifth Avenue, NYC 10022 (remember physical addresses?) — 212-265-8822, fax 265-8864. [If you’re interested in International Living itself, a $34/yr monthly, you could call 800-851-7100 and probably get them to mail you a free sample (“we’re usually pretty good about that,” said the woman I reached).]

If I weren’t already spread so thin, with no time to get to Spain in the first place, I feel quite sure I would buy a cave. At these prices, how can you miss? The cocktail-party chatter alone would be worth the price. “Hey, Mister — you live in a cave?” someone might ask, stunned by my lack of knowledge on one topic or another. (I get that a lot.) “Why yes I do,” I could earnestly reply. “Would you like to see pictures?”

Tomorrow: What Shall We Name the Baby’s Mutual Fund?


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