Europe | Spain – narrow lanes, peeling paint, thieves and liars…..
so guess i better do a recap of my adventures in spain
after valencia i took off to anotherbeach town a bit further south to meet up with another global freeloader / alicante,spain
Zoe was american and a dj and we got along great – the discos were great – in spain you can dance on the weekends until noon the next day and probably later / but im getting old so by noon i was ready for sleep!! 8) they dont’ even start playing the good dance music until 3am / so if you want to hear the good stuff you have to stay out late. the other people rooming with Zoe were really nice too – the apartment had a large patio overlooking the city and with views of the hilltop castle behind. Zoe liked to cook so we spent some time hanging out on the patio – he also liked to eat a lot so i had the opportunity to experiment with spanish cuisine.
They really like their ham here!! iti’s in everything!! Zoe was a vegetarian but when his food arrived with ham the waiter would insist indignantly that it wasn’t meat it was HAM!! THey even have ham museums. One thnig they really know how to work is their wine / they mix red wine with everything and have come up with some tasty combinations like sangria, tinto de verano, etc. served with fruit chunks in the glass and ice yummy and so refreshingon a hot day. Another day i ordered the fried fish and received a plate full of fried minnows with heads intact / yuck!!! couldn’t get out of trying one at least / didn’t really lke the taste of the head / too cruchy and bitter – the rest was good though – just had to decaptitate them firist!!
Also noticed in spain s ome of the lovely and meaningful graffiti adorning the walls with phrases of wisdom such as / life is made of smal moments / thank you for your time and kisses / etc etc. nicer than the scrawls of initials and names elswhere with psychodelic collages of images to fit the sayings
spent some time swimming and watching fish in the warm green water
then after a few days zoe and i and a nice guy we met in the plaza headed off to granada for a little arab flavor
alhambra was a fascinating hodge podge of narrow street with spanish and whitewashed arab style buildings piling up the moutains – it was great to walk past an open door and peek inside someone’s house to see the rich decorations with painted tiles on the walls and decorations in every space. Arab alley sold kebabs adn belly dancing costumes. in smalll dark tea rooms i discovered moroccan mint tea – a wonderful warm sweet elixir that soothes the throat. ni smal dark bars i discovered mojitos – mint liquor with fresh leaves in the glass yumyumyum
saw the famous alhambra, a beautiful morrish palace, like 800 years old which still retains the ornate plastar carvings on the ceillings and walls, wth arabic poetry adornnig the frames o f the doors and windows.
wandering around one day i discovered ahillside covered with caves. people lived in these caves although they say they are quite modern and have all the modern conveniences – i saw some people sitting outside of one having a dinner party / seemed quite pleasant! guess they must save on air conditioning!!
granada had a very special atmosphere with it’s hlls, stairways, and twisting lanes / you could always find a quiet plaza or corner to contemplate life in the universe at a cafe outside.
after granada we headed to madrid
and toledo – the cathedral there was amazing with colossal gold painted wooded carvings and sculptures of marble of different shades cut and inlaid / really after all of these churches this has to be one of the most amazing / truly amazng
driving in spain wasn’t too shocking / although in toledo some of the roads were so narrow that we had to fold in the side mirrors on the car to avoid their being torn off!! it was also a little alarming to be a pedestrian. when a car came up behind you you had to jump out of the way and press yourself up against the nearest wall to let them scrape through / glancing down just to make sure your toes weren’t sticking out too far!! i have been taking sidewalks for granted all these years!! what a luxury!
back in madrid i began to have some doubts about my friend zoe / it occured to me that i had never seen him present any identification for anything!! and some money was mysteriously missing from one of my accounts so i fled to salamanca to think for a bit
when i arrived there i checked my accounts on the internet and it was painfully obvious he had been using my cards without my permission. When i was sleeping or had gone to the shower. He even paid the hotel bill where we were staying and then asked my for my portion which i gave him in cash / little did i know that he had paid the hotel bill with my own card already!!
on further investigation ti turned out that he was usnig a few different names and that he had given a fake passport number to check into a hotel always saying that his had been stolen / it turned out that he had been staying with 3 other tourists in the same place where i met him / he probably did the same thnig to all of them!! i had wondered how he had managed to finance all of these extensive travels he described and finally i understood!! i had met my first professional con artist!!
all in all he cleaned me out for about 1200$us / i have spoken with the police, the embassy, and my banks. They say they can’t really do anything for me since i don’t even know his real name and since i am not a resident in madrid. the banks will refund some of the money but not all of it since they have no proof that i didn’t authorize him to use my cards / apparently merchants are not required to ask for identification and they are not interested in comparing the signatures. because i still have the cards and they weren’t actually stolen im out of luck. so be careful with your credit cards boys and girls!! So that was a rather unhappy endnig to that so called friendship!! and of course Zoe has disappeared. I spent a few days researching and posting flyers with his face all over town / but then it was time to get back to the business of being on vacation!! o k so im a bit poorer but still healthy and happy. my brother told me i just bought 1000$ worth of common sense. guess i will have to be a bit more careful who i trust in the future!! bummer
but i reckon that’s enough for this tome!!