Mijas is not Spain and Spain is not Mijas.
Our host is Dutch, his wife is Irish. The house opposite is owned by Brits. We have been served by Brits, and heard German, Japanese and drawled Andalusian Spanish in bars, cafes and on the street. We’ve discussed pasties with an Argentinian and haggled with a Moroccan selling leather. Americans have been loud and over here. An aged New Yorker, out in the street, discussed with a chap from euroland somewhere, her past living arrangement in Manhattan (she lived on the 6th floor- no lift) and the need to get used to stairs in her home now in Mijas. He was too well dressed to be English. The lady had the air of a retired novelist, or socialite and had presumably come to live the American Dream in Spain. Perhaps she had heard about Trump’s rising popularity and got out before the walls go up, misogyny shamelessly parades itself and US arrogance is matched in bombast only by its nuclear arsenal detonated on middle eastern soil.
I think I saw or heard a Russian lady, extremely well dressed from the spoils no doubt of the oligarchic takeover of State utilities, eyeball with well founded suspicion, one of the donkeys. It may have belched onion and garlic laced straw breath into her Dior and Versace created face. Don’t tell Putin or his ego may require the assassination of the bosses of mule and ass based economies around the globe in retaliation for this slight on the character and dress sense of Russian wives. Don’t laugh, this is not a joke. Just think, we are on the brink of a world in which we have Presidents Trump and Putin waving their dicks around in public, shouting across each other while nuclear warheads slink around the globe in phallic shaped submarines. The fact that these subs look like big willies is not perhaps accidental.
This bit of Spain is coping, seemingly on the surface anyway, with being both Spanish and cosmopolitan. Whereas squabbles about place, race and identity in the US and UK right now seem totally self obsessed and old fashioned. The Tory party is ripping the heart out of itself and a possible cosmopolitan Britain, blind to the divide that already exists between the British, an increasingly entrenched class divide delineated by the old North South Divide. Getting out of the EU will do nothing to address the blind arrogance of the privileged, mainly public school educated so called ‘elite’ and will prove to Europeans that as an Island race we have learned nothing from the history of either Empire or the two world wars and possibly cannot be trusted to engage with other countries unless it business based and willing to laugh at knob jokes. We built the nation’s wealth on accumulation by dispossession, enclosures of the commons, piracy, slavery, misplaced ideas of racial and religious superiority and inbred monarchy. Many of those themes underpin little England mentalities today. As a nation we are still caught between the devil of idealised patriotism and the deep blue sea of xenophobia. This does not apply in Kernow of course. There in God’s country we have pasties and a mining heritage to see us the through the ten cold months of winter. We have a flag and an anthem and Devonians to laugh at with their silly ideas about the order of jam and cream on a scone.
The English are also some of worse dressed tourists in the Western World.Ann and I play spot the nationality while we have coffee by the bullring. Try it yourself, and do so before you hear any language. Russians are blinged, Germans are somehow just ‘tidy’ and ‘neat’, the French sport old fashioned face hair waxed at the ends, their husbands are no better (boom boom). The English are just, on the whole, scruffy bastards. Why? I dunno.
Given our propensity to casual xenophobia, and a history of self imposed self importance we could have been a right old bunch of arseholes. Thankfully we also had the Scottish, Edinburgh based, enlightenment and produced radical thinkers such as Thomas Paine and William Wilberforce as correctives to our baser selves. Our abilities to enjoy and assimilate are also British qualities. We are deeply divided within and between ourselves and unless we can get beyond tired old thinking we will place ourselves on the fringes of not only Europe geographically but also philosophically. Alas we are not alone in this. All over the world democracies are falling foul to populist demagogues while the ravages of globalised ‘free trade’ overturn securities, employment and futures. Men increasingly turn to old patriarchal religions to try to hold on to a status denied them by modernity while women are dragged along three steps behind in masks. What has religion got against a decent cleavage I hear you ask?
Time for another penis reference: At the bottom of the stairs leading out to the garden of this apartment is a cactus. The kind of cactus which used to be photographed and that would be sent into Esther Rantzen’s programmes in the 70’s. Yes it is shaped like a ‘thingy’ and what’s more it is set at an angle that resembles an erect penis (if you can remember what one of those looks like). There are sadly no testicular like protuberances at its base, but do not let that little point detract from the vision in your mind of an erect prickly prick.
So what have the Spanish done for us? Well, we have taken over large swathes of coastal towns and cities and inflated the house prices in the better parts. The locals, as locals do in most places have both benefitted and cursed. There is an English breakfast bar in the square with a sign in English offering the ‘full English’. Try translating that into Spanish and you might get arrested for causing a public nuisance. We have free movement here, we can work here, we have access to their healthcare, we are free to learn their language and eat their food. We can even sleep with some of the prettier ones (women that is, not the donkeys…however if that is your predilection, try it). We can drink their very reasonably priced and decent quality wines. There is public health, aqueducts and vintnery. Their little experiment with Franco’s fascism is over, so we don’t have to do the same.
Oh, and sunshine. There is a lot of that here, and it’s free. You don’t have to queue for it or prove you have residency rights to enjoy it. Any Eastern Europeans that are here can also enjoy it without taking away any of your own enjoyment. It just tumbles down out of the sky every single day. I’m putting some in a box to take home, as I hear it’s brass monkeys in England.