The eggplant slowly charring in the pan on the stove top is filling my kitchen with a smokey smell. Its getting late, but my inner time clock is off and all I know is that I’m tired, but more hungry, so I’m trying carefully to follow the steps of cooking the eggplant like Amin showed me. I have a whole jar of Tahini I bought in Portugal that has been patiently waiting for this moment, for when I finally learned the secrets of making my own baba ganoush. I’m choosing to believe the lie that this recipe was passed down to him from his Lebanese side by his grandmother,…a woman who in my imagination has a tiny frame and thick snowy hair tied back by a headscarf.
While I wait for this eggplant to burn its skin I reflect on the past week that seem to disappear as fast as it came.
The week was flexible, but thats sort of the Couch Surfer / backpacker / adventurero mind set. Amin stayed at my apartment entertaining himself during the day while I was at work and in the evenings we exhausted all the obvious sources of amusement that Torrox offers always adding our own twist though of course….and typically a liter or two of beer. We conversed and laughed and got caught up on the past 8 months, went hiking in the mountains, checked out the tapas, walked around town and took pictures, went to the beach, hung out nabbing internet on the steps outside of the library, people watched, and movie watched to mention a few of the things.
Wow. Holy garlic in my mouth. Eggplant turned out pretty near perfectly as I was instructed but I used less of it as before…and more garlic. Thats just really bad math. And I’ll brush my teeth three times tonight and still reek of it I bet. Oh well, the MacBook that sleeps next to me will just have to put up with it.
As all the obvious excitement of Torrox was winding down our focus turned to Malaga. I figured I could show him the castle, and the market, and the art museum. But the whole plan to go to Malaga changed within the hour of the needing to get on the last bus to take us there. We went with option B which found us in a rental car parking lot, with a set of Smart Car keys in Amin’s hand and a few pieces of luggage strategically placed in the tiny almost nonexistent trunk/backseat. There was no map only a destination.
And to Sevilla we went and arrived in a few hours time. This was last Friday. We parked the car downtown, he grabbed his Cannon and I my Nikon and off we went to stretch our legs and capture the first images of our arrival.
We were there for one night, we went out for a walk that night, both of us were tired but still we left the hotel after 1:00am filling up some water bottles with this horrible cheap wine I bought at Aldi’s. We drank it and wandered around, eventually finding a sign for no entry by vehicles that read ” excepto culos oficiales” which means except for official asses, it was missing the part of the word that differentiates between vehicles and assholes. We definitely spent more time then necessary at the sign trying to take pictures of our asses in front of it.
By the following afternoon we had seen many of the main highlights, so we were up for the seeing the medieval fair that was going on. We found out about it from a poster that had been trampled upon and laid in the dirty street lifeless until we picked it up. It was pretty cool, had some of the staples of a good medieval fair….delicious foods, stalls selling creative things, exotic birds, miniature ponies, grown adults in costumes, and cheap sangria.
Time spent at that fair was like taking baby steps,..or training wheels for what we were going to confront in Cordoba.
The 2nd grade teacher at school told me there was going to be a fair in Cordoba that weekend, and was worth checking out, so I passed the info on to Amin, and we both decided to give it a go and away we went. We came across a small city that was packed and buzzing with people and energy. The ‘fair’ would actually be better described as an explosion of lights, music, crowds, rides, fried foods, and booze. The fair was huge and separated from the city center but its energy overflowed and filled the streets everywhere…including almost all of the parking spaces and available rooms to stay in that night.
We didn’t really concern ourselves with ‘the minor details’ until in was absolutely necessary. We snatched a parking spot as soon as we got into town, and wandered through the center first taking pictures and getting a feel for the place. That took us to early evening, and then the sun had started to set without us having a plan as to what we were going to do, or where we were going to stay we tried to tackle that.
After a crazy string of events, thanks to Amin we were able to
1. Find a room in the packed,…but packed, stuffed and overflowing converted crazy party Cordoba.
2. At a reasonable discounted price not far from the fair.
3. Successfully find and relocate our Smart Car to an amazing location only about 2 blocks away from where we were staying.
4. Experience….but I mean experience, as in this was not just any fair, but an experience the fair of Cordoba….which included being lost in crowds of young drunk Spaniards just a chillin and a drinkin out in the open on the streets leading up to the fair, and once inside it was tent after tent each one filled with different styles of music, and food and drinks. Our amazing inner radars lead us to the Mexican tent!! I couldn’t even believe a Mexican tent could exist, but it did and was amazing.
Maybe all the amazing of the evening is biased due to my living in a pueblo where the most exciting thing is the little plaza fountain that sometimes lights up and shoots little streams of water. But I doubt thats the case. I think we stumbled across some magical fair land, and thats how its will stay forever in my memory.
We stayed out late that night…right along with the little Spanish children. This country seriously has no time restrictions to a good fiesta. Perhaps it was a good thing though, because if we had gotten more than 3 hours of sleep we might have been upset when we woke up, left the hotel and came to find that we had parked in a private lot which now at 9:30am on a Sunday morning was locked with no signs of opening anytime soon.
–A quick note, Sundays are dead in Spain. Almost nothing is open apart from restaurants. So it would have been appropriate to have totally freaked out—
But we did some detective work and found it was a restaurant/ hotel that owed the lot, and we spoke to a cleaning lady who told us to come back at 12pm. We were 3 hours away from Malaga, and the car had to be dropped off at 12pm that day. Well…ok there was that,…but that also meant we could go back and sleep for 3 more hours, and that was the more important aspect in the whole dilemma.
It eventually worked itself out in the end. We had to wait a bit in the street…and it started to rain…but with an i-phone on hand, some Jackson 5 turned up, and dancing in the street everything was ok. Even when we got back to Malaga like 3-4 hours late, the guy at the rental company who we had previously established to be a Mexican, was completely fine with it and told us not to worry about a thing. Buena honda.
The whole trip. Everything went so well and we both had so much fun, I’m really glad Amin could take a break from his European tour to spend some time in Andalucia with me, and it might be over till the next adventure, but at least I have photos, funny youtube links, inside jokes and a new eggplant recipe to remind me of a wonderful time.