Lockdown Day 12: Fabulous Fran / Encierro Día 12: Fran Fabuloso

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

MANY OF YOU may remember our friend Fran whom we met at Restaurante Primavera (click here, here, and here). If you did meet Fran, believe me, you’d remember him. Fran is a local boy, a former fireman, phenomenal waiter, actor, model, and more, who studied at both the University of Sevilla and the University of Málaga (where he also studied law, I think). A true Renaissance man.

Fran left for Madrid several months ago to continue his professional development, perfecting his craft in front of and behind the camera. We miss him, but have been happy to know he’s been thriving in Madrid.

Fran shared a clip yesterday that surprised even us, who thought we couldn’t be surprised by the breadth of his talents. He qualifies his performance with a statement in Spanish, that I’ve translated below:

“Clearly I’m not a musician but I wanted to put myself in a musician’s shoes and feel for myself how complex it is to give birth to a song. In today’s challenge I have ‘composed’ a song with rhythm and lyrics, and I’ve interpreted it with my best intentions. I hope your ears forgive me. I’m proud to feel part of this world and I’m proud of all its artists.”

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MUCHOS DE VOSOTROS recordaráis a nuestro amigo Fran, a quien conocimos en Restaurante Primavera (haz clic aquí, aquí, y aquí). Si conocieras a Fran, créeme, lo recordarías. Fran es un chico local, un ex bombero, un camarero fenomenal, actor, modelo y más, que estudió tanto en la Universidad de Sevilla como en la Universidad de Málaga (donde también estudió derecho, creo). Un verdadero hombre renacentista.

Fran se fue a Madrid hace varios meses para continuar su desarrollo profesional, perfeccionando su oficio delante y detrás de la cámara. Lo extrañamos, pero nos alegra saber que ha prosperado en Madrid.

Fran compartió un clip ayer que nos sorprendió incluso a nosotros, que pensaron que no podíamos sorprendernos por la amplitud de sus talentos.

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The photo at the top of the story was grabbed a few minutes ago this beautiful (finally) morning from Webcam Fuengirola on Plaza de la Constitución.
La foto en la parte superior de la historia fue hecho hace unos minutos esta hermosa (finalmente) mañana desde Webcam Fuengirola en la Plaza de la Constitución.

Those Who Cannot Change Their Minds / Aquellos Que No Pueden Cambiar de Opinión

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW wrote: “Those who cannot change their minds, cannot change anything.” I’m sure his intent was something profound, however, since our arrival in Spain in the summer of 2011, we have had three different sets of dining room furniture. We bought the first at IKEA in Sevilla when we arrived. That came with us to Fuengirola less than two years later and was quickly replaced by a contemporary glass and chrome table. The glass and chrome table became my office desk when we decided to live without a dining room and get a piano instead.

Well, we’re back to having a dining room. I’m so happy I even polished the brass candlesticks. More importantly, though, the cats are happy. And isn’t that why we exist? (Anyway, that’s what Dudo and Moose tell me and why would they lie?)

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GEORGE BERNARD SHAW escribió: “Aquellos que no pueden cambiar de opinión, no pueden cambiar nada”. Estoy seguro de que su intención fue algo profundo, sin embargo, desde nuestra llegada a España en el verano de 2011, hemos tenido tres juegos diferentes de comedor. Compramos el primero en IKEA en Sevilla cuando llegamos. Eso vino con nosotros a Fuengirola menos de dos años después y fue reemplazado rápidamente por una mesa contemporánea de vidrio y cromo. La mesa de cristal y cromo se convirtió en el escritorio de mi oficina cuando decidimos vivir sin un comedor y comprar un piano.

Bueno, volvimos a tener un comedor. Estoy tan feliz que incluso pulí las velas de latón. Sin embargo, lo más importante es que los gatos son felices. ¿Y no es por eso que existimos? (De todos modos, eso es lo que Dudo y Moose me dicen y ¿por qué mentirían?)

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Some of our dining rooms over the years. Three sets of furniture and 13 homes from 1981 to 2011. Three more sets and only two homes from 2011 to 2019.
Algunos de nuestros comedores a lo largo de los años. Tres juegos de muebles y 13 hogares de 1981 a 2011. Tres juegos más y solo dos hogares de 2011 a 2019.

Kake Kage Caca Caga… Cake

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

San Geraldo didn’t make his traditional Norwegian Kransekake (wreath cake) this Christmas. It’s a huge amount of work with inconsistent results. But it’s so delicious. I really missed it, so I went to a few of the local Scandinavian markets to see what I could find. I was sort of successful at one shop. Although they don’t carry the complete ring towers famous in Norway (they wouldn’t ship well), they do have small packages of the pastry (this one from Sweden and called “kage” instead of “kake”).

At €4.25 for four little pieces, it’s ridiculously expensive. But I thought I would splurge for today’s lunchtime dessert. You might remember that “kake” (pronounced “kah-kah”) in Norwegian means cake. And “caca” (or caga) in Spanish means poop. So, it surprises our Spanish friends when I tell them we love to eat many kinds of Norwegian kake.

As for today’s “Kransekage”: Well, it wasn’t PURE “caca,” but I won’t buy it again… even though it was dipped in chocolate.

Click here, here, and here to experience the history of kransekake at our house.

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San Geraldo no hizo su tradiciónal kransekake (pastel de corona) de noruega ésta navidad. Es una gran cantidad de trabajo con resultados inconsistentes. Pero es tan delicioso. Realmente me lo perdí, así que fui a algunos de los mercados escandinavos locales para ver qué podía encontrar. Tuve algo de éxito en una tienda. Aunque no tienen las torres de anillo completas famosas en Noruega (no se enviarían bien), tienen paquetes pequeños de pastelería (este de Suecia y que se llama “kage” en lugar de “kake”).

A 4,25 € por cuatro piezas pequeñas, es ridículamente caro. Pero pensé que iba a derrochar el postre de hoy para el almuerzo. Tal vez recuerdes que “kake” (pronunciado “kah-kah”) en noruego significa pastel. Entonces, sorprende a nuestros amigos españoles cuando les digo que nos encanta comer muchos tipos de kake noruego.

En cuanto al “Kransekage” de hoy: Bueno, no fue “caca” PURA, pero no lo compraré de nuevo… a pesar de que fue sumergido en chocolate.

Haz clic aquí , aquí, y aquí para ver la historia de kransekake en nuestra casa.

I should have been suspicious when I saw they had hyphenated the product name! Who approved THAT design?!? (The “r” in the name makes it plural.) / ¡Debería haber sospechado cuando vi que tenían un guión con el nombre del producto! ¿¡¿Quién aprobó ESE diseño?!? (La “r” en el nombre lo hace plural.)

A Sense Of Renewal

In the more than 34 years San Geraldo and I have been together, we have moved nearly 20 times. (That’s why I called my blog, Mitchell Is Moving; it seemed like a safe bet.)

We lived in Connecticut (two different homes) for a total of 7 years.

We lived in San Diego (two different homes) for a total of 5-1/2 years.

Those were our record stays. We spent no longer than 3 years in any other place.

In July, we will have been in Spain 5 years — nearly 1-1/2 years in Sevilla and, now, 3-1/2 years here in Fuengirola. Long enough to graduate from a temporary residency card to a long-duration residency card. The new cards won’t need to be renewed for another five years. To review our renewal history, click here.

The Málaga Foreigners’ Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) has been phenomenal, responding kindly and completely to my three emails within minutes of their being sent. The last email was to request our appointment. I sent it Friday afternoon, received a response Friday evening, and we already have our appointments — on Monday!

Here’s hoping the in-person experience is as exceptional.

APRIL 2011: WE EACH HAD OUR OWN ACCORDION FILE WHEN WE APPLIED
AT SPAIN’S LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, CONSULATE FOR OUR VISAS
JUNE 2011: SAN GERALDO SHOWING OFF HIS VISA AT THE CONSULATE.
THIS WOULD SIMPLY ALLOW US TO APPLY FOR RESIDENCY CARDS IN SPAIN!
AUGUST 2011: DOCUMENTS FOR OUR FIRST
TEMPORARY RESIDENCY CARDS IN SEVILLA. 
OCTOBER 2011: THERE WAS A PARADE IN SEVILLA AFTER WE RECEIVED
OUR FIRST RESIDENCY CARDS (GOOD FOR 1 YEAR).
NOVEMBER 2012: AFTER RENEWING FOR THE FIRST TIME (GOOD FOR 2 YEARS),
OUTSIDE THE OFICINA DE EXTRANJEROS, PLAZA DE ESPAÑA, SEVILLA.
SEPTEMBER 2014: AFTER WE RECEIVED OUR 2ND RENEWAL (GOOD FOR 2 MORE YEARS),
FUENGIROLA CELEBRATED BY CLEANING THE STREETS. NO PARADE.

Golden Helmet Of Mambrino

Our part of Spain is not known for its Mexican food.

San Geraldo and I did, however, find an exceptional chain of (three) Mexican restaurants in Sevilla. Owned by a Mexican man who spent many years in Southern California, Iguanas Ranas serves the same food we remember from our years in California. (Click here to see what we experienced, the bad and the good, in Sevilla.)

We haven’t yet found that in Málaga. There’s a Mexican restaurant here in Fuengirola whose decor inside and out looks, if not authentic, at least stereotypical. So, we finally gave it a try for our friend Elena’s birthday. When we walked in the door, Elena and I both said, “They’re not putting one of those #@^*%^$ hats on my head!”

The restaurant is in an old (expanded) fisherman’s cottage and was surprisingly busy (it seemed so quiet outside). The food was decent although not exactly what we had hoped for. But it will definitely do. Good quality and low prices. The staff were warm, friendly, and noisy. The service was exceptional. One of the waiters insisted on doing what he considered, I think, a Mexican bandito yell. He would sneak up to a table and squeal like something out of a bad Hollywood Western. I didn’t like that, but I did like him. There was a ritual for every event in the restaurant.

ELENA AND SAN GERALDO.

Another waiter, one who didn’t scream, told us each time they did something that it was a tradition in Mexico. When they brought a box to the table and had us all hold hands before running an electrical current through us, he said that was a Mexican tradition also. I’m pretty sure he was making it all up. Note: We did that twice because San Geraldo didn’t feel it the first time!

Anyway, I lightened up. We even allowed them to put the sombreros on our heads. I didn’t once slug the screaming waiter (although I was tempted). We couldn’t help but have a great time.

After the electro shock therapy, I did wonder aloud what would happen if they had a customer with a Pacemaker.

The final “Mexican tradition” was when they served our complementary chupitos (after-dinner drinks). They placed a copper bowl on each of our heads, in turn, and tapped the shot glass against the metal while singing some little ditty or another. For bald men they would place a dish towel on top of the head first. Tynan didn’t know where that dish towel had been, so insisted on doing without.

As a result, I got tapped without protection, too.

THE CUTE WAITER WHO DIDN’T SCREAM…
“BUT, IN MEXICO, THEY DO THIS…”
ABOUT TO GET ZAPPED.
(THAT’S THE SCREAMING WAITER IN PINK).
RESTAURANTE EL PASO.
(SOLIDLY BUILT SO THE NEIGHBORS CAN’T HEAR.)
THE AFTER-DINNER DRINK RITUAL.
A REGULAR?
THE FACE I MADE WHEN THE SCREAMING WAITER SCREAMED.
ELENA CALLS IT MY NEW YORK LOOK.
I OFFER HEARTFELT APOLOGIES TO NEW YORKERS.

And of course a Broadway tune came to mind…