Saturday, May 31, 2014

Homage to the Foreign-Born Mojaqueros

Mojácar was just another crumbling Andalucian village until the beginning of the sixties, when the mayor, Jacinto Alarcon, had the idea of giving away scrub-land or houses in ruins to those who would improve them. The town had drifted from 6000 inhabitants before the Civil War to nearer 600, and the advent of enthusiastic forasteros become the beginning of a new chapter in Mojácar's history.
The new vecinos brought their new ways, their culture, their tastes and, above all, their money with them. The town thrived.
While few local people have ever acknowledged the impact on their lives of the 'foreigners', whether they came from Madrid, Munich, Manhattan or Manchester, and the Town Hall still merrily refuses to do so, local historian (and ex-municipal cop) Francisco Haro, son of the old boy who ran the Hotel Indalo in the Plaza Nueva, has written a book about those fascinating and peculiar people who descended on the pueblo in the sixties. Here you will meet Sammy, the gay New York mafioso on the run from his family; Fritz the eccentric painter who could down a bottle of anis at a sitting; Charlie Braun, the large German womaniser who skied for James Bond, Tony Hawker who built hovercraft in his spare time, my parents Bill and Heather, My parents-in-law Jim and Mary, and so on. Bars, shops, ateliers were opened; intrigue, stories and the occasional feud followed. The local talisman, the Indalo, the little stick-man with the bow over his head, became as well-known in London as a bottle of Terry brandy.
The town eventually allowed itself to be seduced by a large tour-operator who set about ruining (once again) the attraction which had, for a brief decade, made Mojácar the bohemian capital of southern Spain. Local greed brought poor choices for the village, demolitions of historical buildings, unimaginative architecture and a plethora of small rarely-used apartments squeezed into an inadequate infrastructure.
The book is called 'Mojaqueros de Hecho' and will be presented in August.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Submarine Stops Here (Until 11.00pm)

There's an opinion held by Officialdom that we can read things better if we go letter-by-letter. Which explains why ambulances and the police like to write their names back to front on the hoods of their cars. We might never guess who they were while trying to figure out the letters in our mirrors. Similarly, while driving and reading the letters written on the road for our attention (or would this sign be for pedestrians?). But this isn't a photograph of a sign for the bus, but a forward thinking councillor in Mojácar anticipating the rise in the sea level thanks to global warming (that and pumping all our sewage out there). Yes, one day it'll be 'No Spitting on the Sub'.

En castellano, aquí.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Morning Run

The morning run with the dog. He's a Briard, a French sheep dog - looking, sans aucun doute, for a French sheep to herd about, park in a field, stand on an upside-down bucket and, with a wave of his paw, oblige to sing La Marseillaise. Tricky this, since he can't see anything, what with the hair, and there aren't any French sheep around.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Parrot Joke

   En la zona de los loros
de un zóo que hay en Inglaterra
dicen hoy “trágame, tierra”
cuando ven el deterioro
que un papagayo grosero
les causa en la “lorería”
en la que oyen cada día
términos barriobajeros.
    “Barney” es el papagayo
al que hay que ponerle freno
porque tiene un grave fallo:
su lenguaje es muy obsceno.
    Si dice cuatro palabras,
tres, por lo menos, son tacos,
y es que está como una cabra
el maldito pajarraco.
    Unas veces son eróticas
las palabras que pronuncia
de una manera insolente,
y, otras, son escatológicas
…en la acepción maloliente.
    Él siempre ha de dar la nota
de una forma descarada:
más que un ave bienhadada,
animal es de bellota.
    No voy a emplear aquí
su sucia forma de hablar:
si lo fuera a repetir,
el verso podría oler mal.
    Pero lo peor de todo
es que “Barney” creó escuela
-aquí el que no corre vuela-
y hoy están todos los loros
con la misma cantinela,
y sus palabras son todo
taco viene y taco va,
insulto aquí, insulto allá,
y la cosa está que arde.
De ahí que los dueños del parque
tengan pensado mandar
a “Barney”, raíz del mal,
con los tacos a otra parte
o, si no, encerrarlo aparte,
pero separarlo ya,
que a los demás no coarte.
    Mas, si un loro es malhablado
es  porque habla mal el dueño,
ya que de un loro el empeño
es imitar a su amo.
   A “Barney” ¿quién le enseñó
a ser tan maleducado?
¿Quién le hizo tan deslenguado?
Ésa es, al fin, la cuestión.                      From Barney, el loro malhablado.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Mojácar Fiestas

On Friday, in the rest of Europe, it's Europe Day. Here in Mojácar, there's no time for this, we're simply too busy.
This weekend, our multi-cultural town celebrates the Romería de San Isidro, with fireworks on the Saturday and a jolly concert at the Artisan Centre from 10.30pm. On Sunday, there's a sort of traditional dress-up and picnic. The poster says '11.30, starting point La Fuente, stop at Las Alparatas with a little snack offered by Mojácar town hall and enlivened by Mojácar Municipal Band and going on towards Sopalmo area'. At 6.30pm, there's a mass in Sopalmo. Frankly, it's a local mojaquero affair.
Later on this month, things improve, with the rather grandly named 'Meeting of the V World Tuna Weekend', held on May 16th through the 18th. The Tuna are those gayly dressed 17th century university troubadours who go around in gangs with their guitars, mandolins and tambourines (rather a ghastly TV video example here) and they will gladly let you buy them a drink over the weekend frolick. Seriously, don't miss particularly the Friday session, it's like the old days are briefly with us again!
Mojácar's 'keenly anticipated' Moors and Christians festival is on June 6th through the 8th. Noise, light, music, bands, explosions, beauty, booze, bangs, exhibitions, crowds, wonder and, well, more noise! The final colourful Sunday procession of hordes of celebrants marching slowly down the hill from the main plaza is well worth the price of a sunburn.