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  • Friday, January 9, 2015

    Spanglish

    (Photo: The only picture I dared to take on the avenue)
    I saw my first bikinis on a Spanish beach on the potbellied, retired and elderly men and women of England. Some lay in beach chairs bronzing the oiled skin of their distended bellies. Others stood on the shore in packs of two to four chatting with their arms crossed on a stack of breast and belly rolls. The more modest, properly clothed, lined up on benches with shopping bags sitting between their feet, watching people go by through the lenses of sunglasses that looked like welders goggles or in the shade of wide-brimmed sunhats.

    “What did I stumble upon?” I thought as I peddled up this crowded coastal tree-lined avenue in Benidorm, Spain.

    I weaved around motorized carts humming along at three miles-per-hour. People at tables under tiki parasols ate lunch while a man with a guitar played acoustic British rock. A chalkboard sign at a busy beachside restaurant advertised a five-euro Full Irish Breakfast special. When I passed Piccadilly Bar, I had to wonder why this community in Spain tried so hard to give an English experience to their English tourists. What was more perplexing is why it worked.

    I've passed dozens of all but abandoned coastal towns where you could have an apartment and an entire beach to yourself for $25 a day or towns on the coast with plenty of restaurants, attractions, and shops for under $100 a day.  I understand the desire to find warmer weather in the winter, but I couldn’t help but think, if you’re going to Spain, why not go to Spain?

    And was that a pan flute player playing ABBA covers? That's even more confusing. I decided it was time to get back on the road.

    - - -

    Meanwhile, a few miles later... "See that girl, watch that scene, diggin' the Dancing Queeeen---Ahh, stop singing that, Ryan!"