Bizarre bazaar / Bazar extraño

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

WHEN WE ARRIVED IN SEVILLA in 2011, we were fortunate to have met an American couple who had just taken a one-year break there after falling in love with the city. They sometimes had a peculiar perspective but they gave us some good recommendations and introduced us to a local who became a really good friend and an exceptional resource.

In one of our first conversations with the Americans, although I don’t remember what we were in the market for, we were told, “Oh, just go to the Chinese for that.”

‘The what?!?’ we responded in shock.

It was explained to us that the discount stores were “all owned by ‘Chinese’ and so everyone just calls them ‘El Chino’.” It seemed offensive to us, so we avoided the term. Ironically, there was one of those shops right on our plaza with the official name (on the signage): “El Chino.”

Our friend Kathleen appropriately calls them bazars, which is what they are (bazar in contemporary Spanish means variety store).

To add to the confusion, that same American acquaintance in Sevilla told me about a “great Chinese” across from the former train station. She said it was owned by an Indian family. I asked facetiously, “Why don’t you call it ‘The Indian,’ then?” She didn’t get it and responded, “No, it’s a Chinese.” Bizarre!

I think I’ll stick with ‘bazar’. The first photo is from Google maps of the bazar that was called El Chino on our plaza in Sevilla. The rest are examples from my walks around Fuengirola.

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CUANDO LLEGAMOS A SEVILLA EN en 2011, tuvimos la suerte de haber conocido a una pareja estadounidense que acababa de tomarse un descanso de un año allí después de enamorarse de la ciudad. A veces tenían una perspectiva peculiar, pero nos dieron algunas buenas recomendaciones y nos presentaron a un local que se convirtió en un muy buen amigo y un recurso excepcional.

Sin embargo, en una de nuestras primeras conversaciones con los estadounidenses, aunque no recuerdo para qué estábamos en el mercado, nos dijeron: “Oh, ve a los chinos para eso”.

“¿¡¿Que qué?!?”, respondimos en estado de shock.

Se nos explicó que las tiendas de descuento eran “todas propiedad de chinos, por lo que todo el mundo las llama ‘El Chino’”. Nos pareció ofensivo, así que evitamos el término. Irónicamente, había una de esas tiendas justo en nuestra plaza con el nombre oficial (en la señalización): “El Chino”.

Nuestra amiga Kathleen los llama apropiadamente bazares, que es lo que son.

Para aumentar la confusión, ese mismo conocido estadounidense en Sevilla me habló de un “gran chino” frente a la antigua estación de tren. Dijo que era propiedad de una familia india. Le pregunté en broma: “¿Por qué no lo llamas ‘El indio’, entonces?” Ella no lo entendió y respondió: “No, es un chino”. ¡Extraño!

Creo que me quedaré con “bazar”; la gente tendrá que ponerse al día. La primera foto es de los mapas de Google del bazar que se llamaba El Chino en nuestra plaza de Sevilla. El resto son ejemplos de mis paseos por Fuengirola.

NOTA:
En inglés, bazaar significa bazar. Bizarre signífica extraño. Bazaar y bizarre se pronuncian de la misma manera.

On our plaza in Sevilla. I don’t know if they’re still in business, but when we lived there it was called “El Chino.”
En nuestra plaza de Sevilla. No sé si todavía están en el negocio, pero cuando vivíamos allí se llamaba “El Chino”.
“Julia” was so successful, they expanded to the other side of the building entrance. They only opened one side this summer (and need to replace their sign).
“Julia” tuvo tanto éxito que se expandieron al otro lado de la entrada del edificio. Solo abrieron un lado este verano (y necesitan reemplazar su letrero).

Shots ’n’ crackers / Chupitos y picos de pan

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

IN PREPARATION FOR OUR ARRIVAL in Spain in July 2011, we rented an apartment in Málaga for the first month or more. We ended up staying only a few days before heading up to Sevilla. There’s a story there, but I won’t be telling that today.

Our first afternoon in Málaga, we found a very pleasant café on a plaza near our apartment. Our Spanish was limited (I could barely get by and San Geraldo could say ‘sí’ — and did, and does — often). Our understanding of Spanish menus, was even more limited. Our server was a charmer and we had a great tapas meal.

We were tired that evening and decided to go back to where we knew we’d be safe. It was hot outside (temps were hovering around 38c/100F) and a different server invited us to come inside where she would turn on the air conditioning. We had another excellent meal and walked up to the bar to pay when we were done. Our server from the afternoon was behind the bar. He recognised us, greeted us like old friends and asked, “¿Quieren chupitos?”

I had no idea what a chupito was but, before I could respond, San Geraldo confidently said, “¡Sí!

“What did you say ‘yes’ to?!?” I asked, knowing he had no clue.

“He asked if we ate the crackers. Chupitos are chips,” he explained. And I said to myself, ‘Oh, I don’t think so.’

A bread basket had arrived along with our meal and included was a bag of a type of crackers we really liked. We opened the bag. Some restaurants charged for the bread and more for the bags of crackers. Some did not. San Geraldo thought we were being asked if we should be charged for the crackers.

Meanwhile, the guy behind the bar had pulled out two shot glasses and a bottle of limoncello (after-dinner liqueur and digestive). I apologised and asked if those were chupitos. The bartender laughed and said (in Spanish), “Yes, what did you think?”

I pointed to a basket filled with bags of the crackers and said SG thought he had been talking about those, to which the bartender responded apologetically by giving us each a bag of crackers. I then had to explain in my stuttery, halting Spanish the entire exchange. The waiter thought we were hilarious.

We had the chupitos (after-dinner drinks; well, I had both; SG hates limoncello). Although we still really like those crackers, we always forget what they’re called. I think the most commonly used names are picos de pan and regañas, depending on their shape.

The picos de pan at the top of this page are what we enjoyed with our anniversary dinner last week. Our friend Tynan says they are precisely what you get when you mix flour with water — and nothing else. He says the picos have no taste; I say it’s Tynan.

As you can see from the photos below, we’ve had a lot of experience with chupitos these nine years (including Halloween chupitos at Mesón Salvador). And, yes, you can even have a chupito gin and tonic or a chupito margarita.

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EN PREPARACIÓN PARA NUESTRA LLEGADA a España en julio de 2011, alquilamos un piso en Málaga durante el primer mes o más. Terminamos quedándonos solo unos días antes de dirigirnos a Sevilla. Hay una historia ahí, pero no la contaré hoy.

Nuestra primera tarde en Málaga, encontramos un café muy agradable en una plaza cerca de nuestro piso. Nuestro español era limitado (apenas podía arreglármelas y San Geraldo podía decir “sí” — y lo hacía, y lo hace, a menudo). Nuestro conocimiento de los menús en español era aún más limitado. Nuestro camarero era un encanto y tuvimos una gran comida de tapas en la terraza.

Estábamos cansados ​​esa noche y decidimos volver a donde sabíamos que estaríamos a salvo. Hacía calor afuera (las temperaturas rondaban los 38c / 100F) y una camarera diferente nos invitó a entrar donde ella encendía el aire acondicionado. Tuvimos otra comida excelente y caminamos hasta el bar para pagar cuando terminamos. El camarero de la tarde estaba detrás de la barra. Nos reconoció, nos saludó como viejos amigos y preguntó: “¿Quieren chupitos?”

No tenía idea de lo que era un tiro pero, antes de que pudiera responder, San Geraldo dijo con seguridad: “¡Sí!”

¿A qué dijiste ‘sí’?!?” le pregunté, sabiendo que no tenía ni idea.

“Preguntó si nos comimos las galletas. Los chupitos significa ‘crackers’ [galletas]”, le expliqué. Y me dije a mí mismo: ‘Oh, no lo creo’.

Una canasta de pan había llegado junto con nuestra comida e incluía una bolsa de un tipo de galletas que realmente nos gustó. Abrimos la bolsa. Algunos restaurantes cobraron por el pan y más por las bolsas de galletas. Algunos no lo hicieron. San Geraldo pensó que nos estaban preguntando si debían cobrarnos por las galletas.

Mientras tanto, el tipo de detrás de la barra había sacado dos vasos de chupito y una botella de limoncelo (el licor de sobremesa y digestivo). Me disculpé y pregunté si eran chupitos. El se rió y dijo: “Sí, ¿qué pensaste que dije?”

Señalé una canasta llena de bolsas de galletas y dije que SG pensó que había estado hablando de esas, a lo que él respondió dándonos a cada uno una bolsa de galletas. Luego tuve que explicar en mi tartamudeo español todo el intercambio. El camarero pensó que éramos muy divertidos.

Tomamos los chupitos (bueno, yo tenía ambos). Aunque todavía nos gustan mucho esas galletas, siempre olvidamos cómo se llaman. Creo que los nombres más utilizados son picos de pan y regañas, según su forma.

Los picos de pan en la parte superior de esta página son los que disfrutamos con la cena de aniversario la semana pasada. Nuestro amigo Tynan dice que son precisamente lo que obtienes cuando mezclas harina con agua, y nada más. Dice que los picos no tienen gusto; digo que es Tynan.

Como puede ver en las fotos a continuación, hemos tenido mucha experiencia con chupitos estos nueve años (incluidos los chupitos de Halloween en Mesón Salvador). Y sí, incluso puedes tomar un gin tonic chupito o una margarita chupito.

He’s A Very Nice Prince

OUR KEY TO THE PALACE.

We had some bank business to resolve, so were back in Sevilla Tuesday through Thursday. San Geraldo (my prince) decided we deserved the royal treatment, so he booked us a room at a recently opened hotel in a former private palace. Wednesday night, we dined at a brand new restaurant in another former palace.

The hotel (Ateneo) is in our old neighbourhood and just opened in December.

The restaurant, La Quinta, is owned and run by our friends Gonzalo, Elena, and Albert and sits around the corner from their other restaurant (now four years old), Catalina Casa de Comidas (click here for an earlier blog post about Catalina).

Catalina was my favourite restaurant when we lived in Sevilla. Now, they’re both my favourite. If you’re ever in Sevilla, I encourage you to check out La Quinta (and Catalina Casa de Comidas). Beautiful places, comfortable and welcoming, exceptional and unusual food, and surprisingly affordable.

(Click any image to make it grander.)

THE ‘STOOP’ OF THE PALACE.
HOTEL BRUNCH, WHICH INCLUDED SPANISH SHERRIES,
CHAMPAGNE, AND TO-ORDER DISHES.
THE CENTRAL COURTYARD. (THIS AND THE NEXT PHOTO ARE FROM THE WEB.)
OUR ROOM. FINALLY, A BED WIDE ENOUGH FOR THE TWO OF US.
(THEY’VE ADDED A LOT OF ANCIENT ARTWORK TO THE WALLS.)
LA QUINTA, OUR DINNER PALACE.
ONE OF LA QUINTA’S MANY DINING ROOMS.
THE STEPS OF OUR PALACE AS WE HEADED UP TO BED.

We’re Gonna Get Through It Together

Thirty-four years ago today, I met San Geraldo. At that time, I didn’t know he was a saint. Nor did I know he was descended from an actual saint (King Ferdinand III), and from a multitude of kings and queens (Eleanor of Aquitaine, for one).

To tell the truth, especially in our first months together, if anyone had told me “Jerry” was I saint, I would have laughed. Well, OK, if anyone now misses my sense of irony in these saintly references, I still laugh. However, I did immediately know somehow that whatever his flaws (and there are so few), he would be worth every minute we would spend together. If you haven’t been keeping up, click here for our history.

HALFWAY THERE (HERE?).
SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO IN BERGEN NORWAY.

We’re supposed to be at Sandpiper’s Restaurant in Fuengirola tonight celebrating our 34th anniversary in the company of our wonderful friends. But, since the Dowager Duchess had other ideas (not within her control) about where we should be for the summer, we’re spending a quiet evening in her apartment (while she continues to make strides at Rehab). San Geraldo will cook dinner (pesto chicken and pasta) and I will gladly clean up the mess he makes in the kitchen.

I’m hoping to get back to reading and writing more regularly. Meanwhile, all my attention tonight will be focused on San Geraldo… with gratitude for these 34 years of love and adventure (and punchlines).

We’ll muddle through whatever we do…

Forever Blowing Bubbles

Judyshannonstreetwhat (click here) had never been to Sevilla. So, San Geraldo and I wanted to make sure she saw at least a few of our favorite places during our brief visit. One of those is the Plaza de España. Click here for our “discovery” of the place four years ago.

The Plaza de España was built in 1928 as part of the Ibero-American Exposition World’s Fair of 1929, which opened, unfortunately, just in time for the Great Depression. (Click any photo for a great inflation.)

Since I’ve written about the plaza several times, I thought I’d give you some different views. Of course, our visit (or at least mine) had to begin with San Geraldo’s great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather King Ferdinand III (that’s 22-greats if you didn’t feel like counting).

SAN GERALDO’S 22-GREATS-GRANDFATHER, KING FERDINAND III.
(A SAINT, LIKE HIS GREATS-GRANDSON, BUT NOT UNTIL HE HAD BEEN DEAD 419 YEARS.)

Ring-necked parakeets are common in Southern Spain, but I’ve never had a good photo opportunity. They flit from one tree to another in a blur of noisy green. Then they hide out among the palm fronds. This time, a group of parakeets were very cooperative on our visit to the Plaza de España. they sat perfectly sun-lit on a nearby lamp post.

“TILES”
“SELF-PORTRAIT WITH TILES”

And, finally, the bubbles. I could have spent an entire day viewing the plaza — in every direction — through the bubbles, but we had a parade to catch (click here).

 

Pretty bubbles in the air…