Scribbler in Seville

Pondering on life in Spain

I ´started´ this blog years ago, but haven´t posted hardly anything because I don´t really get who my audience is, who I´m writing for – people who know me? People who also live in Spain? People who are thinking of moving here?  As a journalist, I need to know what people are expecting to read, in terms of tone, content, style – even if I don´t stick 100% to those expectations. So I just figured, talk in general terms about living here in Spain – might interest someone out there.

There´s so much to say about living here, I don´t know where to begin – language, social customs, bizarre habits, general attitudes…

So here are a few initial thoughts, on what has shocked, fascinated and amused me. Probably not offering anything new, but other people´s views on things usually contain some element of interest…

Puti-clubs – if you´re driving along a motorway, and you see a large-ish, detached house with a big car park attached, often chocka with lorries plus a few cars, with its name in neon lights, including ´HOTEL´, you´re lookign at a whore house, probably full of illegal under-age eastern European girls, and quite possibly with Russian mafia connections (doing a runner is not advisable unless you want a bullet). I´ve always harboured a desire to disguise myself as a man and go in undercover, to see what they´re really like – Wild West saloons, or Personal Services? 

The Police – whether local, national or Guardia Civil – regularly go into shops, bars, cafes, restaurants etc while on duty and in uniform, to run errands, do their shopping, have a drink (alcoholic, naturally), a coffee or a full blow-out meal. I can vouch personally for the latter, having had to barge into the restaurant next to my house, to ask the Guardia to move their car which they had left blocking our road. One of them staggered out, pìssed as a fart, and starting haranguing me. He and his compañeros are regular visitors at this restaurant next-door, which is why the town council never take action against it, despite its being unlicensed. In summer, the police are often to be spotted sheltering from the scorching sun, in the shade of bridges and underpasses (ditto in winter if it´s raining), or sipping an ice-cold beer in the  nearest bar.  Catching criminals? Too hot, mate. Lazy, inefficient, corrupt, inept and unprofessional? That´s being kind. 

Markets – A great way to get a taste of local life in any country – local people selling their wares, lots of interesting, colourful stuff to look at, everyone shouting their ditties. I just love it! My local one has some great clothes – colourful hippie dresses and tunics – as well as cool kids´clothes, and fake crocs, plus all the fruit and veg (and snails, in season). If I´m feeling a bit down, the noise and buzz and energy are always enough to lift me up again. I wander round aimlessly, soaking it all in. And hearing ´a kilo of tomatoes, only one euro 50, come and get yer lovely tomatoes´ in Spanish is all the more exciting. Lots of women come with their kids, mates, mums, to check it out. Just have to watch out for the white vans as they come screeching in and with the produce and then do U-turns in the middle of a busy road when they´re off again – their drivers are way more unhinged than the English variety.

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