Friday, July 22, 2011

Málaga end of week 3 of 12, July 20, 2011 Wednesday

It´s hard to believe I´m ¼ of the way (3 weeks) through my stay. 3 months is not enough time.  

¨Never On A Sunday¨ – Manos Hadjidakis. Store hours differ a lot. Most stores are closed on Sunday. If you don´t go to church on Sunday, you’re a Heathen! If you don’t go to Catholic church on Sunday, you’re a Heathen! If you go shopping on Sunday, you’re a Heathen! Okay, I´m a Heathen, already.
Internet cafes:
  1 Mon-Sat 11-22 (10pm), Sun 13-22.
  2 Mon-Fri 9:30-21, Sat 10-14:30, closed Sun
Neighborhood food stores:
  Eroski Mon-Sat 9-14 and 17:30-20:30, closed Sun
  SuperSol Mon-Sat 9:30-14:30 and 17:30-21:30, closed Sun
  Preba Mon-Fri 9-14 and 17-20:30, Sat 9:30-14:30, closed Sun
Tapas bars:
  1 Mon-Fri 7:30-12:30 and 15:30-20, Sat 8-12:30, closed Sun
  Unicaja Mon-Fri 8:30-14:15, closed Sat, closed Sun
Hours are always shown in military time (24 hour clock). All dates are shown as ¨día de mes de año¨ (e.g., 19 de julio de 2011, diecinueve de julio de dos mil once).

Wait your turn! I had heard that if 2 salespeople were having a conversation, you -- the customer – would have to wait to be waited on. I have experienced that on several, though not all, occasions.
Also, in Spain, the customer is not always right. I had a salesman tell me that his 2€ wire cutter was not meant to be used to trim guitar strings ... that I should buy a professional wire cutter. Professional means ¨for money¨. He meant a better quality wire cutter. Whatever. I talked him into letting me swap it for another brand. Same price, same results. I finally cut the excess string segments by bending the string back-and-forth until metal fatigue set in.

Many women here are drop-dead gorgeous. Yet, you will never hear a ¨Mira, Mira¨ cat call. It’s just not done. It falls in the category of salespeople stopping everything when you come in. It’s just not going to happen. If you want to be treated like a bwana, you are going to have to go to some country in the southern hemisphere. Money is important here, but it doesn´t outrank dignity.

It´s total immersion around here. The radio and TV, the people in the streets and in the stores, my computer, the signs, the newspapers and all printed material, everything is in Spanish. This is the way to learn it. Additionally, I´m meeting with an Intercambio (language exchange) group next week, at a tapas bar of course. The group charges 1€ per week, very affordable, like our Meetups. Tapas bars are not where one goes to get drunk; they are outdoor/indoor places where one goes to socialize, while snacking and drinking. The food is fantastic. A little pricey but well worth it.

¨Life sucks without a car¨ -- (not sure what company´s logo that was, Ugly Ducking, maybe?) BTW, ¨Don´t Leave Home Without It¨ was American Express. I did 3 computer projects for them so I certainly want to show my gratitute. Anyway, I´ve found the website for the autobús in Málaga. I´ll be taking Autobús 11 from ALMD, PRINCIPAL 1 to CL, PEZ PLATA 1 to meet up with the people at the Intercambio. The information / route returned on the bus website shows 11 stops in 20 minutes:
Tomar la línea 11 en sentido El Palo
desde Paseo del Parque - Plaza de la Marina
 Avda. Juan Sebasstian Elcano - Pez Plata
Frecuencia de la línea: 8 mn
Tiempo del trayecto:
 19 mn  35 sg
Longitud del trayecto:
 3.821 m

Paradas Línea 11 (11 paradas)
Paseo del Parque - Plaza de la Marina
Paseo del Parque - Ayuntamiento
Paseo de Reding - Plaza de Toros
Paseo de Reding - Miramar
Paseo de Sancha - Escuela Turismo
Paseo de Sancha - Monte Sancha
Avda. Pintor J. Sorolla - El Limonar
Avda. Pintor J. Sorolla - Miramar
Avda. Pintor J. Sorolla - Bellavista
Avda. Pintor J. Sorolla - El Morlaco
Bolivia - Baños del Carmen
Avda. Juan Sebasstian Elcano - Pez Plata
I would rather have had a car. But, I can´t justify one for just 3 months.
A case study. Let´s say you own a gasoline company. You raise your price from $2 / gallon to $3, that´s a 50% raise. Everybody screams and shouts, and goes out and buys Vespas that use half as much gas as their cars did. Where you used to make $200 and then $300, you now find yourself making $150. But, you´ve got a ¨must-have¨ item – gasoline -- so you raise the price to $6 / gallon. You´re back to making $300. Now, the people can’t go back to using their cars and they can’t shed their Vespas. That type of thing has been happening around here for years. There’s nothing left to save on.

¨The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men, gang aft agley¨ -- Robert Burns. It looks like saving has done a great disservice here. Clothes dryers aren´t common – they use too much energy. Garages? No, too much space. Lawns? Na-ha, land is too valuable. Air-conditioning? Again, too much energy. Everytime somebody saves by cutting back on something, somebody else has to cut back on something else, and eventually it comes around to hurt the one who started it all. Interestingly, because America is wasteful, it gets catered to, in higher quantities, at lower prices. Duh. BTW, what did you need that 50% raise for? You’re now a rich man in a country where everybody drives Vespas! Brilliant.

 This week the Virgen del Carmen was taken out for a spin. People sob and everybody yells ¨Guapa, Guapa, Guapa¨ ((G)OOAH-pah, pretty, good-looking). These pics are off the TV. The show was from Torremolinos on 16 of July. This version of the Virgin Mary is the patron saint of fishermen and the Spanish navy. Mother Mary and Baby Jesus get the spotlight; Father Joseph gets caca. Better pics available using google search.

And, the procession that goes with the ceremony.

Ships in the harbor.

Also, a pic of the Wharf from across the bay. 
Also, pics of one of the beaches. 

And, a chiringuito (food stand) on the beach.
BTW, no alergies so far. Also, great bus service (AND no chickens LOL).

Gibralfaro Castle (downtown). 

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