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Entries in Barbate (5)


You know you're fine when your dad is drunk with your city

We'll start a little earlier in the day. Although jetlag was still running amok in my family, with only a week in town, there was no way I was letting a single minute go to waste. So after I got up at 7 AM and worked a full day, I roused the family at about 1 PM and forced them into tourist mode. We spent the early parts running my normal "roadtrip" route from San Ambrosio, up the back roads to Vejer de la Frontera...

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San Ambrosio, I’d like to introduce you to Texas

As a part of my American re-immersion, most English-isms were attempting to be cut out of my vocabulary. It involved the snapping of a hairband on my wrist and the negative reinforcement actually worked quite well to ride me of my “quites", “queues””and “propers” and reinstated some “awesomes” and a few “seriouslys.” I’d been talking about Emily and Jennifer coming to San Am for a long time now, and most...

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Nochevieja in Spain… Grab Yerself some GRAPES!

Of all the strange New Years traditions I’ve heard of (If my father shoves one more spoonful of Black Eyed Peas down my throat I might crack!) I still think this one is the strangest. The Spanish are superstitious little buggers and if someone tells you to do something for good luck, by god, you do it, no questions asked. For new years, this includes standing outside the town church at...

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A Week in my Life: Wednesday - Everyone Deserves a Day Off

Now I know what you're saying. Why on earth would I ever need a day off? A vacation? Every DAY is a vacation for me, right? Well. Yes. Mostly, you are right. I am selfish for even writing this absurd blog post. But, the work, however exotic and incredible it is on a daily basis, it's still work. And it's hard work, at that! Lots of physical labor and not a lot of "me" time. Usually this is...

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The Ferias of Andalucia: Barbate

The feria in Barbate is much more like I had originally expected out of a fair. The only reason for this was that it was, more or less, similar to any we would have back in the states. I actually spent a couple of days at the feria.

The first was with a bunch of friends and two of their young children. Very typical fair experience including riding rides, eating way too much candy and trying our luck shooting cans off a wall and throwing darts at balloons. All of the fair rides are constantly screaming loud obnoxious music. Some of it is discotech type music, brit pop and rap, but some of it is obnoxious Spanish techno which makes me want to claw my eyes out. It is generally blasting so loud that you cannot hear your own thoughts, let alone the person standing next to you speaking in a foreign language.

One of the rides we rode on was a typical train goes around a track and into a mountain tunnel ride made for the kids. Only, rather than having a nice quiet riding experience, a clown armed with a large hand broom beats you everytime you come around the track. Yes you read that correctly, the clown beats you with a broom while you are on the ride. It is hilarious. Don’t believe me? Check out this video of my friend Antonio trying to steal the broom from clown man.

My second day at the feria was spent savoring the more gastronomic side. Barbate is known worldwide for their tuna and every year, when the tuna “run” from the Mediterranean Sea out to the Atlantic Ocean, the whole town comes alive with fisherman who still wrestle these thousand pound fish to the surface by hand. The tuna feria (as it’s known) has tents full of tapas made from the famous fish and most also offer tasters for those passing by. There was even a booth where once a day, a tuna was brought in live, chopped to pieces in front of you and served up raw for anyone crazy enough to stand in the queue for a half hour.

To wrap up my feria experience, I thought I needed to see it by the light of the moon. Knowing I could count on him for a good time, I phoned up my good friend Fran to show me the best time. When he offered to pick me up for dinner at 9, I trembled at the thought of the night only beginning that early. When we found ourselves strolling up the Paseo del Maritimo in Barbate to stall while we waited for the rest of his friends to arrive at 12:30, I really started to panic. “The tents we’re going to aren’t open until 2,” he assured me, “don’t worry, the night is young.” Ya, well… the morning will also be young when I wake up for work at 7.

After rounding up all the troops, we drove to the feria, parked and did what every fair experience began like back in Oklahoma: we drank in the parking lot. Only, so was everyone else. Like EVERYONE else. Hundreds of people with car music blaring, cups full of mixed drinks and kegs. Finally, at about 3:30, we headed to the main event, which was a large seemingly deserted tent in the middle of the feria grounds. We ordered some beers, stepped out on the dance floor and spent the next 2 or so hours dancing, chatting and partying. When I finally realized it was 6 AM and that I had to be at work in an hour, I begged Fran to take me home. As I looked around, I realized the party was just now in full swing, with our tent jam packed with people of all ages and all of the other tents similar to ours lined up along the side of a dirt path just as packed. There were several thousand people still dancing and drinking like it was just past sunset. But unfortunately for me, I had no time to spare.

So Fran dropped me off at home, I changed into my riding clothes and I stepped out of my front door only minutes before Rachel showed up to pick me up. When I hopped in the car, she took one look at me and asked, “Rough night?”

You have no idea, boss. No idea.