Russian Gypsies / Gitanos Rusos

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

There are a few photos from the 1920s of my paternal grandparents in some kind of folk costume. Since they both emigrated to the United States from Russia (Belarus, to be exact) early in the 20th century, I thought when I was a boy that the costumes were traditional dress from their homeland.

Years later, My Mother The Dowager Duchess, who unfortunately never hid from us her strong preference for her own parents, told me they probably just went to costume parties in New York. She said it with disdain and usually followed with, “MY parents weren’t like that.”

I’m sure The Duchess was right — that they went to costume parties. Still, I really did like to think of them as Russian gypsies.

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Hay algunas fotos de la década de 1920 de mis abuelos paternos en algún tipo de disfraz popular. Dado que ambos emigraron a los Estados Unidos desde Rusia (Bielorrusia, para ser exactos) a principios del siglo XX, pensé que cuando yo era niño los trajes eran trajes tradicionales de su tierra natal.

Años más tarde, Mi Madre, La Duquesa Viuda, que lamentablemente nunca nos ocultó su gran preferencia por sus propios padres, me dijo que probablemente habían ido a fiestas de disfraces en Nueva York. Ella lo dijo con desdén y usualmente le decía: “MIS padres no eran así”.

Estoy seguro de que La Duquesa tenía razón — que iban a fiestas de disfraces. Sin embargo, realmente me gustaba pensar en ellos como gitanos rusos.

Lady Liberty’s Spanish Holiday

We bumped into Lady Liberty last week while shopping in Mijas Pueblo. She said she was here for a short break. Although it’s always a pleasure to see her, I’m hoping the “short break” is not one of those alternative facts we’ve lately heard so much about.

ON THE PLAZA VIRGEN DE LA PEÑA.
VIEWED FROM THE GLASS ELEVATOR
AS WE HEAD BACK DOWN TO THE PLAZA.

Fifteen Tapas

It seems a day out on the town, any town, is not complete without us stumbling upon a really great restaurant. After Mariposario de Benalmádena (Benalmádena’s Butterfly Park, see two previous posts), we continued another 5 minutes into Benalmádena Pueblo (the old village). Having only been there once before (click here for my first visit), I was familiar with only one little cafe, so we parked the car and began to head downhill through town.

It was a quiet and gloriously sunny winter day already past 2:00, which meant even the stores that might be open this time of year were closed for siesta. We thought, before settling down to lunch, we’d check out Plaza de España, a charming historic plaza. There were a couple of nice-looking restaurants. We chose the second one we came to, Restaurante Plaza.

It was warm enough in the sun to enjoy a meal out on the terrace, but the cloud of cigarette smoke hovering all around decided us to head inside. We headed up some stairs to a room with terraced windows that looked out onto another street. Service was a pleasure and the menu was varied and unusual. We each chose our own three tapas and we were definitely not disappointed.

HAMBERGUESA DE CHIVO
(GOAT HAMBURGER)
MUSHROOMS AND STUFF… (I CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT
IT WAS CALLED, BUT IT WAS REALLY GOOD).
CRUJIENTE DE SALMON, QUESO DE CABRA, Y BOK CHOI.
(CRISPY SALMON WITH GOAT CHEESE.)
SALMON WASN’T CRISPY, JUST PASTRY IT WAS WRAPPED IN.

Numbers in another language can sometimes cause confusion. San Geraldo ordered his tapas by number. Cuatro (Four), Once (Eleven), and Diez y Cinco (supposed to be, but not, Fifteen). Since he was pointing to the items as he ordered, the waiter nodded and took down the information. When Judy ordered, she followed San Geraldo’s lead and requested Diez y Cinco. The waiter was a bit further away. He hesitated and looked at me. I said she didn’t want both Diez y Cinco (Ten and Five), she wanted Quince (Fifteen). The waiter laughed. San Geraldo laughed. And Judy said, “Well, that’s what I get for following Jerry’s lead!”

RESTAURANTE PLAZA, PLAZA DE ESPAÑA,
BENALMÁDENA PUEBLO.
HEADING BACK TO THE CAR.
THE SCENIC ROUTE, A DIEZ-Y-CINCO–MINUTE WALK.