Saturday, March 30, 2013

Fuengirola Street Style

A few months ago, I wrote a style post... of sorts. It was inspired by a guy I saw in Sevilla wearing an "interesting" combination of plaids. (Click here for the post, "Forever Plaid").

Many of the tourists of Fuengirola have their own very distinctive styles, as well. I'm beginning to recognize country of origin (if I generalize) by the styles they sport on the street. In particular, I've seen "inspired" outfits on some of the visiting Finns and Brits. Of course, many of the aforementioned are tastefully stylish (well, MY taste). Then there are those who don't share my sensibilities. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

NOT YOUR BASIC-BLACK. (I HAVE A FEELING I'D LIKE THIS WOMAN.)

Friday, March 29, 2013

It's An Ill Wind That Blows Nobody Any Good

We love our new grand (to us) terrace right on the beach. The sunshine. The serenity. The refreshing sea breezes powerfully gusting winds.

We planted three very broad, very heavy yuccas on the terrace. Taller than us. Two have already been blown over. The other is in the corner by the living room, protected from the strongest gusts. I was going to simply tie the two exposed yuccas to the railing. San Geraldo, however, had a better idea. He spent two days (one for each yucca) cutting hose, inserting wire, and attaching hooks and gadgets to the brick walls. Those yuccas aren't going anywhere. We'll camouflage the hardware with other plants.

THE CORNER YUCCA. SAN GERALDO'S HANDIWORK.
THE YUCCA AROUND BACK.

video
THE CABLES ARE HOLDING.

FIFTEEN MINUTES AFTER I SWEPT AND VACUUMED. I DON'T KNOW WHY I BOTHERED.

Next, we need to plant ground cover or use a layer of rocks to hold down exposed dirt in the planters. If we don't, given the amount of dirt that gets blown out of the pots, we'll eventually be able to seed the terrace and grow a lawn.

DUDO HELPING SAN GERALDO WITH THE WATERING.

Dudo and Moose love the terrace, although they still get easily freaked out. A strong gust of wind really spooks them. Dudo was exploring earlier today when the wind kicked up. I've never seen him move so fast. He hid between some pots and didn't move until the wind again settled.

DUDO HIDING FROM THE MIGHTY WIND.
(LEFT) HEBE ANDERSONII, (RIGHT) HEBE FRANCISCANA.

Last week, Dudo discovered that if he jumps up on the ledge next to the wall that separates our terrace from the neighbor's, he can walk out on a decorative projection and jump onto the neighbor's terrace. No one is there right now. Dudo panicked when no one would open the door and let him in, until San Geraldo poked his head around the wall and Dudo came running back over. That really scared him. He didn't try to go back over to the neighbor's terrace ... for at least 10 minutes. We surreptitiously spray them with a water bottle when they misbehave. It seems to be working. Dudo clearly understands that he's not allowed on the wall. He's actually spending more time on the terrace without jumping up.

DUDO GIVING MOOSE THE TOUR.

Moose then discovered the ledge and terrace next door. He also clearly understands that it's not allowed. So he waits until our backs are turned. I think the boys are even plotting together. Divide and conquer. Dudo leads me around the corner of the terrace, acting as if he's going to jump up on the wall in back (no neighboring terrace, just open air). In the meantime, Moose has made a beeline for the front and is busy exploring the neighbor's terrace. I know because I've seen him coming back. He looks at me as if to say, "Oh, crap. Busted." before he runs into the house.

JUST LOOKING. DUDO DEMONSTRATING BORDERLINE GOOD BEHAVIOR.
I THINK IT WAS A PLOY.
WITH DUDO DISTRACTING ME, MOOSE SEES HIS CHANCE.
AHA. CAUGHT MID-JUMP.
ONE SQUIRT WITH THE WATER BOTTLE AND HE JUMPED RIGHT BACK DOWN.
FIFTEEN MINUTES LATER.
THINKING MOOSE WAS IN THE HOUSE, I WAS SURPRISED TO SEE HIM RETURN FROM NEXT DOOR.
HE WAS VERY CALM WHEN HE CAME AROUND THE CORNER. THEN HE SAW ME.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Captive Audience

Wednesday night was the Processión de Nuestro Padre Jesus Cautivo y Nuestra Señora de Los Dolores (Procession of Our Captive Father Jesus and Our Lady of Sorrows). Perhaps because rain was expected, I never did see the float carrying Our Lady of Sorrows. Fortunately, there was a brief (30-second) shower and skies then remained clear for the rest of the night.



The novelty of this procession is that the tall float is carried under the commuter train tracks and also under some electrical wires strung across the street that follows. The costaleros (carriers) lower to hip level the wood beams that support the float, lifting them back to their shoulders after clearing the low areas. They get a round of applause each time.

BEFORE CROSSING UNDER THE COMMUTER TRAIN TRACKS.

I'm beginning to lose my enthusiasm for these processions. However, there are a couple of very interesting statues coming up this week that I may decide to see and then share. I'm feeling very irreverent this evening. Feel free to suggest your own captions for today's photos. They couldn't possibly be any more inappropriate than what I had in mind.





CHURCH OF THE VIRGIN OF CARMEN (PATRON SAINT OF FISHERMAN) 





Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Yes, Yes, Pionono

We have very close to home a great casual restaurant and bar called Meson Salvador, for tapas and other Spanish delights. The owner and waiters are warm and friendly, and we've been there several times for lunch and dinner. Our first meal there (and every time since), they've bought us after-dinner drinks (chupitos — click for a reminder of our problems with the word).

PIONONO AT MESON SALVADOR.
(WHILE WE WATCHED BARCELONA TROUNCE MUNICH IN FÚTBOL.)

So, now I have another new favorite after-dinner drink. For me, it ranks right up there with vino dulce (sweet Sherry), vino naranja (orange wine), and caramel vodka (caramel vodka). It's called Pionono and it's apparently not easy to find (possibly downright impossible) in stores, but I found a website that sells it. It's a lot like Bailey's Irish Cream... only better (in my opinion).


The Pope
Pionono is traditionally a pastry and not an after-dinner drink. Whenever I've told one of our friends in Sevilla about my new favorite chupito, they tell me they've never heard of it, although they've all heard of the pastry, which has been around since Andalucía was under Muslim rule and still called Al-Andalus. There are many different versions of pionono in Latin America, but in Spain it's typically a thin layer of pastry rolled into a cylinder, fermented with different kinds of syrup, and then crowned with toasted cream (and eaten in one or two bites). The recipe evolved over 9 or 10 centuries until it became known in the 1900s by its current name in honor of Pope Pius IX (Pio Nono). In Italian, Pio for "Pius" and Nono for "Ninth." (He was lampooned at the time as "Pio No No.")

PHOTO FROM WIKIMEDIA. AUTHOR: TAMORIAN

The Problem
The only problem with Pionono (the drink) is that San Geraldo really, really likes it, as well. And that means I don't get to drink both our complementary glasses. And — although the Dowager Duchess will not approve, I'll say it anyway — that really, really pisses me off.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sardine Spit

Scattered along the promenade that fronts the beach are seafood restaurants with indoor and outdoor seating. Alongside each restaurant are what look like boats but are really barbecue pits (well, sand-filled boats with wood fires). When the wood is hot, you'll usually see large, locally caught sardines skewered and smoking. I'm not a fan of sardines (except when prepared by our friend Gonzalo at Catalina Casa de Comidas y Más in Sevilla — click for more), but I love seeing this. We might have to give one of these places a try before tourist season (June, July, and August) is upon us. My sense is the last place I pass might be be best; it's always busy. And today, in addition to the sardines, they were smoking salmon when I first passed and langostinos on my walk home (in Spain, the name "langostino" refers to prawns). Unlike sardines, salmon and langostinos are a safe bet for me.

SARDINES SMOKING ON A SPIT.
MAKING MORE SMOKE.
A LESS RUSTIC BARBECUE BOAT.
ANOTHER BOAT.
SALT-ENCRUSTED SARDINES.
ANOTHER ALUMINUM HULL.  SMALLER SARDINES HERE.
GOOD AND HOT, AND WAITING FOR SOME FISH.
NOTHING COOKING YET.
BUT THE RESTAURANT SHARES A NAME WITH MY FRIEND ALBERT.
SHIPWRECKED.
A VERY POPULAR PLACE. SALMON, TOO.
MORE SARDINES AND NEWLY SKEWERED LANGOSTINOS.
THE BARBECUE CHEF WAS VERY FRIENDLY. (HARD TO TELL HERE.)

Oh, Poor Us
Today is the first day I've seen lifeguards posted along the beach. So, I guess I won't complain... Even though temperatures are still below normal and clouds and rain are never far away. Anyway, I'll have you know, the lifeguards, while perched on their tall lifeguard chairs, were wearing sweatshirts!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Do You Know The Way To San José?

Fuengirola has a great brochure (online and in PDF format) detailing local events for Semana Santa (Holy Week). There are eight processions throughout the week. The itineraries are included.

LITERAL TRANSLATION:
"RESERVED MONDAY THRU SUNDAY ...
FOR RELIGIOUS ACTS."
(LIKE TURNING WATER INTO WINE PERHAPS?)

Unfortunately, although I could find all the streets, I couldn't initially find all the brotherhoods or churches that were listed. At least I couldn't find correct addresses for all the brotherhoods. I knew there was a procession today for Palm Sunday. I knew all the streets the procession would take during its 2-1/2-hour circuit. But I couldn't figure out where it began. So I headed in the direction of the cluster of streets figuring I would find it. I did, with no trouble really.

THIS MUST BE THE PLACE.

The procession began at a parish church. The name of the church wasn't listed identically in the brochure, so it didn't come up on Google searches. It turns out I could have just asked someone if they knew the way to San José: The Saint Joseph Catholic Parish Community Church (San José Communidad Catolica Parroquial).

LEADING THE PROCESSION.
SURELY TOO YOUNG TO BE PENITENT.
PENITENT.
MAKING HIS EXIT AGAIN... 
... WITH HIS USUAL FLAIR.
THERE WAS A MOMENTARY GASP FROM THE CROWD, BUT ALL WAS WELL.
FOLLOWED BY THE THE (EXCELLENT) MUNICIPAL BAND OF FUENGIROLA.
AS THEY TURN THE FIRST CORNER. PALACE OF JUSTICE IN THE BACKGROUND.