Friday, June 24, 2016

Saint John's Summer Solstice Celebration

It's 2:51 Friday morning, 24 June, the day the Christian Church designated as the Feast Day of Saint John the Baptist.

It didn't start out that way. Before the Christians decided to "de-paganize" the day, it was called Midsummer, the pagan celebration of the summer solstice. Bonfires were lit to protect against evil spirits.

Following this ancient tradition, bonfires have been burning all night on our beaches in honor of St. John's Eve. Revellers have been heavily drinking spirits (which may protect against evil ones; I don't know).

At midnight, everyone quickly dashed in and out of the water and then hopped over the bonfires three times. The intention is to drive off witches and evil spirits (I guess that's if the booze doesn't work). Then came the fireworks.

OUR BEACH IN THE AFTERNOON: THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME.
AT 9:00 P.M., THE PARTY HADN'T YET STARTED.
The chiringuito (beach bar) nearest to us added additional serving areas on the Paseo and on the beach. They had an exceptionally good band performing the most of the night. For the past one or two hours (I've lost track), it's been pre-recorded music at twice the decibel level. We should get some sleep when the party officially ends (any minute now).

Meanwhile, I've finished off the top layer of chocolates, so I'm not complaining (although I may be complaining later about that).

It's 3:04 Friday morning and the music has stopped. The silence is deafening. I'm off to bed.

ON OUR WAY HOME FROM DINNER AROUND 11:15.
TOASTED BUNS AND BEER.
NOTE THE BAND MEMBER
IN THE "OREGON'S PORTLAND" T-SHIRT.
HOME: STROBE LIGHTS AND MUSIC AIMED IN OUR DIRECTION.
FIRE ON THE BEACH AND IN THE SKY.
THE MOON ROSE JUST AS THE FIREWORKS STARTED.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Cure

Less than a week until I can stop strolling and begin hustling these buns again. Meanwhile, I've had a miserable allergy attack this week, spending several days in bed. Trying to not suddenly jerk my head in the middle of a sneezing or coughing fit has been challenging. But my eye seems to have survived all assaults.

Besides, I think I found the cure for my allergies.

First Cure Theory:
Sunday, our friend Kristina gave me a 500-gram (1-pound) box of Swedish/Finnish chocolates. I was feeling so miserable that I didn't even unseal the box until Wednesday. I then had a couple of chocolates and was feeling much better later that day.


Second Cure Theory: 
San Geraldo came home Wednesday afternoon from the market with some chips and surprisingly good ready-made guacamole. I commented on how much better I was feeling later that afternoon.


Third Cure Theory: 
Of course, it could be that the weather changed. We went from several dry, warm, summery days, with breezes from all directions stirring up every kind of pollen and dust to a Wednesday afternoon and night of fog and humidity blowing in off the sea.


Then again, it could just be that my allergies have started to run their course, like they always do, and will return another time.

Nah! I'm going with the chocolate cure. Even if I'm wrong, what's a little extra suffering?



Tuesday, Wednesday, stay in bed...

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Whiskey And Soda, And Rock And Roll

Our favorite pizza place (we don't eat Spanish food every day) — here in Los Boliches, Fuengirola, Málaga, Spain — is another great spot just a few minutes from home called Pizza Maestro.

Pizza Maestro, although in Spain and serving excellent Italian food (and thin-crust, very healthy tasting pizza), is Finnish. Well, Finnish-owned.

Everyone speaks Spanish. One of the waiters hails from Morocco and his native tongue is Arabic. Some people find English easier. But the language one hears most often is Finnish.

They've been playing great music lately. Perfect atmosphere.




This afternoon while we shared, of all things, a pizza Hawaiana, San Geraldo blurted, "Listen. It's Klezmer!"

"What?"

"They're singing Yiddish!" he exclaimed.


Here's what was playing (for the umpteenth time, by the way). Yiddish?

(The translation isn't the best, but you get the idea.)