By all accounts, I wanted to not like Spain very much. This is solely due to some repressed teenage angst I have against my mother who thinks Spain is the best country in the world (besides the US of course - she’s very patriotic) and who has a fetish for speaking Spanish at any opportunity. I was going to call this post “If my mother calls it ‘Espana’ one more time…”. But I’ve been there now and I found the current post title a bit more apt and dammit, I loved Spain very very much. Grrrr….mother.
One thing my mother asked, as well as Vegemite Wife, was why we only went to Spain for two days. The very simple answer is that we have a very small child. Even the greatest of nanas can only tolerate watching very small children for a short amount of time. Would I have liked to stay a week? You betcha. Could we have stayed a week without worry that Henry would be dropped at the nearest charity shop after Day 3? Not so much. Until the Henbot is able to be reasonable (I’m thinking this will occur around 300 months), we will have to continue to do short trips. Grrr….babies.
So yes! Spain! I could go through our entire itinerary but that would bore both you and me to death, so instead I will just do sections. For example:
Andy and I actually both had a bit of a tough time dining in Spain. Andy is a vegetarian and I don’t eat fish. Being on the sea, most of Spain is known for their seafood which was completely lost on us. We were also trying to keep our costs down so we never went anywhere upscale that might have had more options for us. The long and short of it is, we ate A LOT of cheese sandwiches. Well Andy did. I also had some meat based tapas, roasted almonds, chocolate and churros, spaghetti, chicken baguettes, pancetta, and some tacos from Taco Bell because it’s been so damn long since I had Taco Bell.
Andy had potatoes. Because he had to.
Quick note about Taco Bell – I might have been drinking a bit when I went in (which I think is the only true reason why Taco Bell stays in business) and I had it in my head that because it was Taco Bell and Taco Bell was American, surely I could walk in and say, “Two crunchy tacos please” and the cashier would know exactly what I was saying. As it was, there was a lot of pointing and “que?” and I don’t know the Spanish phrase for “to go” (or “take away”) and I got soft tacos instead of crunchy ones and they weren’t ANYTHING like the tacos in the States but I ate them and liked them because I may have been drinking. Also, a burrito is going to run you 5 Euros ($6.33) but a taco is only a single Euro ($1.26).
I do want it known that I desperately wanted to try paella. They have meat based paella and vegetarian paella at some places. Of course when the opportunity arose itself and I ordered it, I was told “finito” (all gone). Damn it!
Churros con chocolate
My final thoughts on the food:
The Spanish make the best coffee I’ve ever had.
And the sugar packets were huge!
If you go hungry while you are drinking, you are doing something wrong as they give you snacks with every drink.
If you are in Malaga and you want a cheap and fresh and absolutely tasty food option, hit the Ataranzas Market before 1 PM. They have meat, cheese, bread, fresh produce, fish (ew) and snacks.
What great bananas you have!
Pick a cheese, any cheese
THE TOURIST STUFF
I can’t say I did much research before we got to Malaga. What little searching I did, I came up with 4 things that I thought might be interesting to see. The first was the Ataranzas Market as mentioned above. The others were the Picasso museum, the old Roman Theater, and the beach. I don’t have any interesting stories to tell about these places (its tourist shit after all) but here are the pictures to prove we did it.
Picasso Museum. You couldn't take photos of the art itself, so just pretend my nose is hanging out of my ear
Roman Theater. Something with Jim Carey was on so we decided to skip it.
Andy fucking around on the tire swing on the beach. It was awesome.
El Dorkus Malokus en la playa
No idea what this is, but it's pretty.
Still no idea.
Another reason why we chose Malaga besides the cheap plane tickets is because we knew that the prices on drinks were also relatively inexpensive. On average, a large San Miguel ran about 2.50-3 Euros. Sangria was also the same price. A heavy handed pour cocktail of any kind was 4-5 Euros.
You know in all movies and TV shows, when someone goes into a bar and orders a beer, the bartender never asks what type of beer they want? That totally happens in Spain. The first place we went into we said, “cerveza?” The waiter said, “beer? OK.” That was it. At many places we went to, if you order beer, you get San Miguel.
Wish you were here. Hell, which I was still here.
If you are in Malaga, I recommend going to the Antiguo Casa de Guardia which is the oldest bar in Malaga (1840). They have a long line of wooden casks of different type of sweet wines and sherries (which Malaga is known for) and you can get a taste of any of them for around 2-3 Euros.
Note: You may not want to show up here half in the bag at closing time. Just so you know.
THE ODDS AND ENDS
I wrote on Facebook while I was there that “High School Spanish is failing me.” I took Spanish for approximately two years in school and never achieved more than a C grade at it. While we got by OK while we were there, there were some definite frustrations and humor trying to communicate.
On the second night my guts revolted on me. It might have been all the booze or rich food or whatever but my guts expanded to that of a Goodyear blimp. We went into a pharmacy where I gently asked, “hablo ingles?” The lady behind the counter shook her head no and I looked at Andy with desperate eyes. I looked back at the lady and did this impression of a dead person holding their stomach with their tongue hanging out. She responded with an impression of someone rubbing their belly while eating something sour. I nodded eagerly. She went and got a packet of some pills then did an impression of an Oompa-Loompa – cheeks puffed out while waving her arms around to signal a huge gut. Yes! Thank you pharmacy lady, I have too much gas! I could have kissed her.
When you want to wash your fine linens with your ass.
During that same bad gut episode, we were walking around searching for a toilet in which I could…well, I don’t have give you details now do I? Every place we went into, the toilet seat in the ladies room was missing. We went into 5 different places before finding one that was so posh it had a seat on the toilet. It hadn’t occurred to me previously because I hadn’t the absolute need to sit down before, but many of the toilet seats in the ladies rooms were missing in Malaga. Many times, the men’s toilet had one, but the ladies did not. Andy and I were convinced that there was a Ladies Toilet Seat thief on the loose in the area. It was probably in the papers but my Spanish is so bad (muy mal!) that I wouldn’t be able to read it.
"What do you mean we have to go home? What is this small child that you speak of?"