Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Malaga’s Splendid Confusion


I say confusion only because the city is in excitement mode due to the upcoming feria, or fair as we call them in the US.  Here in Spain, it’s like no fair we have ever seen, though, because it is so much more... I could feel the static in the air and along every narrow, stone pathway.  With my trusty map, I found all the shoe stores and yes, I bought another pair.  I walked into the last store and thought, Oh my, I’m my mother.  She could never resist more shoes; we call her the shoe queen.

Afterward, I found a comfy place to write in my journal and wait until it was time to meet Vicky Martin.  She is adorable and when we saw each other, we walked into each other’s arms.  Within minutes, her boyfriend Antonio was there and then their friends, Joey and Gabriella.  They are all Spaniards and all speak English.  Nice.  When they learned I preferred fish over chicken, they led me to a restaurant off of the beautiful Main Street, Calle Larios, called Los Mellizos.  Antonio and Joey discussed the menu and I agreed to everything.  Small shrimp in garlic oil, a hot white creamy soup called gazpachuelo with fish, potatoes and red peppers, followed by plates of grilled white fish called rosada and fried boquerones (anchovies).  And then paella!  It was hot and delicious, filled with calamari, squid, shrimp and chicken (with rice of course).  Everything was served family style, which is very common here in Spain.
Gabriella and Joey asked if I wanted a shot after dinner.  A shot?!  They all laughed.  Yes, it is a
 sweet wine in a shot glass called Malaga Virgin made with Pedro Ximenez and Muscatel grapes.  Never one to turn down an adventure, I had one in front of me pronto.  Yes, it was sweet and yes, I had to drink it all at once.  That’s what a shot means here (everywhere?).  That’s when I ordered a cup of café con leche and the conversation switched to my visit to Toro and Fuentesaúco, the villages of my maternal grandmothers.  My friend Rina told me about wine tasting bodegas underground near Toro and I wanted to find them.  Gabriela called her uncle in Zamora and got the scoop.  Now, I’m more than ready to find the solitary door in the country fields that lead down, down, down.  Subterranean Bodegas of Fuentesaúco

Oh, and then the server brought a small tray filled with shot glasses, all filled to the brim with limoncello.  This entire, lovely afternoon meal lasted three hours and I enjoyed every minute.

During the afternoon, my mind was scrambling as I tried to figure how who Joey reminded me of.  He was very friendly and enjoyed telling me how he found all of his Spanish ancestors in three months.  I was stunned, since I’ve been researching mine since 2008, and the family still is a whisper in the wind for me.  As our meal time drew to a close, I finally remembered who Joey reminded me of; two men from Winters, California , also involved  with the Hawaiian Spaniards Facebook site, named Larry C. and Mike C., both possibly related.  When I pulled up their photos on my phone, everyone agreed and we sent the facial comparison to the men.  Small world, especially since Joey was born in California and has relatives there, although he’s lived in Malaga since he was twelve as his mother was born in Malaga.  It was all an enjoyable adventure.

We wandered toward my bus stop, but Antonio and Vicky detoured into a hotel and an elevator took us to the top terrace bar where we could view the port of Malaga.  I’d been there with Vicky twice before and the view never gets old.  I’m glad I wasn’t driving (smile).  Vicky later walked me across the boulevard to my bus and promised to study her English, hoping I will be back soon.  She is a beautiful person in all ways and such a special part of my enchantment with Malaga.

Tomorrow is a free day to catch my breath and return to the beach.  Oh, yes.

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