Thursday, 19 November 2009

32. Spain

We went across the border to Irun in Spain today as Madame was in need of some retail therapy. Her "SHOPPING" low level warning light had been indicating steady red for a few days!

On arrival, we stopped for a hot chocolate at a cafe we'd been to before.. These are the real thing here - made with dark chocolate melted into hot milk - and are highly recommended. Looking around at the clientele of the cafe, it looked like they were auditioning for a Pedro Almodovar film.. There were a couple of middle aged guys who looked suspiciously "light on their loafers" and a number of excessively well dressed women who looked like they each had a story to tell (for a small down payment!). After that Madame went loose to look at clothes various - an activity which I was mercifully spared from - so I walked the pooch around.

I wished I'd brought my camera with me to take a few pictures of things that caught my eye - such as a shop that declared itself to be a Zapateria (a shoe shop in case you're wondering), a shop (in the main street) that curiously just sold domestic internal doors, a bar that advertised strep tease (yes, it was spelt like that), and a cafe that offered hamb urguesas (no prizes for guessing that one). There was a very pleasant square there with plenty of shade provided by plane trees that still had their leaves.

In the middle was a chap sat in a ONCE* booth not much bigger than an old-style red phone box selling tickets for the fabled Spanish lottery. La Loteria Nacional is played every Thursday and Saturday; the Bonoloto, which is drawn every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; la Primitiva, which is drawn every Thursday and Saturday and the large jackpot, El Gordo de la Primitiva, or "the Fat One" as it's known, is drawn every Sunday. The main prize is a dizzyingly huge number of euros.

Spanish pedestrian crossings are quite novel and show a countdown in seconds of how much time to wait before the display changes from an animated Pacman-esque green one to a stationary red figure.
Back in the car, the outside temperature was reading 24C as we passed through Behobia on the border.. which I thought was very reasonable for 19th November.

Hmm, I think I've just worked out why Madame sometimes refers to me under her breath as El Gordo..

* ONCE = Organizacion Nacional de Ciegos Españoles (Spanish National Blind Organisation)

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