Spanish Fly On The Menu


You may remember that Sheikh Geraldo has been having a little battle with the early autumn flies of Fuengirola (click here if you need a recap). So Friday morning at Café Manila, Richard brought over his remedy for those pesky flies: a small plate containing a slice of lemon into which he had inserted cloves. He says it keeps the flies away.

Sheikh Geraldo removed the towel from his head and went back to being plain old San Geraldo.

It turns out Richard was right. Not one single solitary fly went anywhere near … the lemon and cloves. They did, however, continue to visit us, the condiments. And, yes, [a] Spanish Fly was even on the menu.

Fortunately, the fly on the menu wasn’t “the” Spanish Fly. The Spanish Fly, historically used as an aphrodisiac, can be deadly. Our Spanish flies are just annoying.

San Geraldo is back to being the Sheikh. (And I do need to tell you that our “fly problem” is not as bad as it might seem.) This is simply San Geraldo’s experience of it — the same man who complained this morning about the bitter chill, saying, “It’s only supposed to get up to 21 or 22 today.” I responded, “You do realize that’s around 70 fahrenheit, don’t you?”

I got “a look.”




Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

8 thoughts on “Spanish Fly On The Menu”

  1. Interesting that you convert temperatures. Interesting that Walt and Ken do too. Metric conversion in Australia has had mixed success and in some cases gone backwards because of American imperialism But no one ever thinks in Fahrenheit anymore, except really old people who remember that 100 degrees is really hot. 40 is the new 100.

    1. Andrew:
      Many of my American (U.S. of…) readers have no idea what I mean when I say 20°C. I wish we had made the switch as planned in the '70s. It would be so much easier by now! The day we arrived in our new home of Spain, the temp was 44C. I immediately appreciated that 40 was the new 100! Then I taught myself that 20C = 68F and 30C = 86F. It's getting easier!

  2. Seeing that it was 8C here at the beach yesterday, I am afraid I have no sympathy for Sheikh Geraldo and his 22C!!! And is he not from the mid-west where they usually freeze to death this time of year?!
    But tell him I CAN relate to his 'fly problem' as they too will navigate towards me and bypass Ron along their merry way to bite/bother ME!! I will be using his towel method in the spring!! lol
    Cloves and lemon eh?

    1. Jim:
      8C or 8F. UGH!!! It IS hard to believe San Sheikh Geraldo grew up in South Dakota. Then again, he was apparently always cold… and he DID leave.

      Yes, the cloves/lemon combination I think would work… if you cover yourself in it.

  3. Hi Mitch:
    Just dropped in to your blog for the first time on the recommendation of Shron Wallace's blog post. I love your style and what you choose to post. I'll need to catch up on some older posts.
    I do have a "Spanish Fly" story though. My very good friends had taken their 10 year old daughter on a wonderful skiing vacation in Europe (he was a Captain for TWA – back in the days of great compensation) and had just boarded a flight in Spain to Switzerland, were seated in First Class (!!!) when Pat noticed that her daughter, Denise, was holding a water glass with a napkin closing off the top. She asked Denise what she was doing and Denise answered, "I have my own Spanish Fly in here and I'm going to keep it!"

    1. Hi Mary-Pat: Thanks so much for stopping by … and commenting… and for the kind words! Your Spanish Fly story is hilarious. I hope your friends have used it to embarrass Denise at every opportunity. Even better if she decided to be an obstetrician or an entomologist…

  4. I read somewhere, which isn't to say it's true, that tapas were invented in Valencia when restaurant owners placed plates on top of drinks to keep off the flies. Eventually, small pieces of food were placed on the plates to keep the customers from leaving.

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