Friday, October 10, 2014

The Sounds, Smells, and Tastes of Spain

View out my bedroom window (if I lean WAY out).

Some of the things that I will miss when I leave Spain have nothing to do with the beautiful vistas, but are the sounds, smells, and tastes of everyday life.
First, Sounds. Many times a day a bell that reminds me of the Polar Express sounds outside of our window, followed by the clop clop of horses' hooves on the street, and an occasional whinny. Fuengirola has quite a cadre of horse taxis, and unlike many other places, the horses are almost all beautiful, well take care of, and go about their jobs with enthusiasm. Taking a ride in one is on my list of "things to do before leaving Fuen".  Then there's the morning cry (a couple times a week) of the guy that delivers butane for the neighborhood stoves and water heaters. I still haven't figured out what he says, but I think it's to let anyone who might be in need know that he is there. The not quite so pleasant side is the noise made in the early hours of the morning by all night party goers as they yell and sing at the top of their voices down the streets (especially after a big soccer game), and the guy that insists on power washing the plaza across the street at 3 in the morning. Because the narrow streets have great acoustics, it sounds like it's right outside my window. Not so fun.

Other sounds are really amplified too - dogs, babies, etc.  And of coarse there are the pigeons and seagulls!  Down by the beach there are the sounds and smell of the sea, of coarse (the smell really got strong after a storm the other day - made me homesick for the Pacific), and in the summer, LOTS of people, and things like bumper cars, a double-decker carousel, and street musicians. Some are actually pretty good! Another feature of the narrow streets is that the wind can get whipping down them pretty strongly, rattling windows and making for other interesting sounds.  
Next, Smells.  First I'll get the not-so-pleasant out of the way. Fuengirola has a lot of dogs - and very little grass. Store owners have to wash down the lower walls and walkways (especially the corners) outside of their shops pretty much every day, which most of them do. You can sure tell the ones that don't though! The taxi horses all have little bags under their tails, so that isn't a problem, although there are occasions when there are a lot of  extras wandering the streets (like for the faria that was this week) that aren't so careful. And of coarse there's the matter of the not-so-great deodorant (and no antiperspirant). The great smells include my daily "fix" of bread and pastry scents from the bakery I walk behind every morning. Heavenly!  Good thing it's behind and not in front! I also love the smell of the sea and of fish roasting over the boat fires down by the beach and other delicious foods. And there are some great flower smells too!

And finally - Tastes!  I'll have to get a picture of my favorite pastry (chocolate filled of coarse) - an excuse to get another :)  but the fruits are pretty amazing too. It's fun perusing the little shops to find new fruits to try - the first picture has the usual, plus the paraguayos (or doughnut peaches) which are melt in your mouth sweet, and the pele de sapo (toad skin) melon which is also very good.
A yellow pomegranate (which I thought unusual) is to the left, along with the totally amazing Cherimoya, or Buddha's Head fruit. Most of it are these huge seeds, but the part you can eat is very sweet and delicious.  A good part of my food budget goes to fruit :).   I've also had the chance to taste some of the traditional Spanish foods, which I have mentioned before. Great on the pallet, not so great on the waist line!
So that is some more of the great things of Spain. But before I go, I want to celebrate one other great thing - family!  Not so good - not being there for special family events like the birth of my two grandchildren the last couple of months. Very good - having healthy, happy grandkids that I can see on Skype most weeks :)   Welcome Xander and Catherine!  I love you!

No comments:

Post a Comment