Day 229

This past weekend was really nice, it was great to see Becky and hang out and be social. I met so many people! I know both her and Jose had wanted me to stay longer, but I just couldn’t.

>>on the side, Becky thanks so much for everything! So maybe it took 2 bottles of wine to make me say it…but I love you and I’ll miss you a lot when I leave<<

I arrived back in Torrox on Monday night, super exhausted and went to bed right away. Besides it was a bit late, so all the stores weren’t open and I didn’t have money to go out. This posed a potential problem for Tuesday,…considering it was Labor day everything would be closed down.

I don’t use a fridge anymore, so I didn’t have any ‘easy’ food to eat. So that Tuesday I woke up late, and did some laundry, and other normal boring around the house things. I was planning on ‘fasting’ for the day since all I ate in Ronda was fried and fatty foods, I thought it might be good if I didn’t eat for a day. But that never works,…and I found some dry black beans in the cupboard and started the lengthy process of making beans.

As I was cooking I suddenly got a call from Jose the Gypsy. He’s shouting things over loud music blaring in the background asking me where I am and what I’m doing. He says there is a party in town and I should come down, but I mumble in Spanish something like

“uh…you know…I’m home….yeah kinda tired….mmmm I dunno….yeah uh I’m cooking right now….”

Well then Jose mentions there is FREE paella and beer/wine.

“can you give me 30 mins? I’ll get ready and meet you!”

Heck yes I’ll come for free drinks and food. Besides plain beans were not looking like they would hit the spot, so I quick changed into a dress threw my hair up, and was out the door.

Like any quest for something free and delicious, it had its challenges. Torrox isn’t that big, but I couldn’t find the place where Jose said it was!  I was walking around and starting to sweat and getting a bit discouraged when the heavens parted and a light shown down making visible the fiesta from which came the sounds of Mexican pop music.

Mexican pop music! (by Ov7)

I swear to God, and it happened to be a song that really brings back lots of memories for me too, its horrible pop song, that I normally wouldn’t listen to, but it was amazing to hear it being blared in the center of my Spanish pueblo. It makes me think of high school Spanish class with ‘Pedro’ my friend I’ll be seeing in Costa Rica. It was a sign. Had to have been.

So I followed the music, and when I got a bit lost among the winding streets this old man named Antonio walked with me and showed me the way.

As I approached the fiesta, I saw Jose stumbling around heading my way. His companion Lola was at his side, and he greeted me and promptly stuffed my hands with a plate of paella and got me wine,…and when I finished he got me more paella and more wine…then some more wine…and more wine….and then the wine ran out.

The only crazy thing is that it was Labor Day.

Its not a secret Spain is in the economic pits. To be matter of fact according to a BBC news podcast aired on April 27th, 1/3 of all of the unemployed in the EuroZone are in Spain, and 1 in 4 people in Spain are unemployed. I don’t know the specifics and demographics of that, but its not good situation to say the least.

So on this day conscience of labor, Torrox had one of their little plazas filled giving away free paella, and drinks to anyone and in any amount. People were eating and drinking their fill, and listening to music and dancing, and having an absolutely splendid afternoon that lasted for hours.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, it was great. I took advantage of it,…it just seemed a bit ironic to have such an extravagant celebration for Labor day when tons of its own community is unemployed, or money is particularly tight.  For heavens sake due to cuts they closed the library in town… the one that provided me my free WiFi. Still working on how to handle that situation.

But yesterday at least the townspeople of Torrox partied and naturally continued the party for the rest of the day, as did I.

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