Moving On Up to The Westside
We’ve moved to a new community out in the countryside. We are now living in a small town called Benalmadena. I’ve mentioned it in a previous short story I wrote about a trip we had taken earlier in the year before the days of the mask. The patio home we chose to move into has a small garden and lawn area, a patio downstairs and a terrace up with fabulous views of the Mediterranean Sea from both upper and lower floors. So far, after just a month of being in the new town, we rate it higher–better on everything compared to the previous town. It probably should be rated higher because it is located in a much more expensive part of Spain. Though we are still two cities east of the most expensive part of the southern coast of Spain (Marbella). For those of you who know me well, you know that’s where I’m headed — one day in the not too distant future. Let’s just hope I don’t outlive my money or I’ll have to move in with you.
The expensive living in Spain along the Mediteranean Sea is precisely why we moved here. I mean, it was not an easy decision to leave our sons and daughter behind and move to a new continent. However, the costs were a huge part of the decision for us. Even when we compared the most affordable areas in the USA to here in these most expensive areas in Spain, the costs here were a third of those USA costs. How could we resist? We have family in the USA but we also have technology to stay in touch with you all. There was nothing to keep us from retiring early and spending the rest of our lives exploring the world. It’s been a great first year.
Warning: Political humor ahead. Proceed with caution!
In the first year here we’ve traveled to somewhere in Spain, almost one new city each month. Up until February to June when Trump started a pandemic to destroy the world and kill everyone. We have visited 8 cities so far. Plans were to have been to the Danube, and to Bordeaux by now but, again, thanks all you people hating Trumpsters for trying to kill everyone. We are back to traveling again now starting last June but we are still hesitant to go outside of Spain. Last week we went to Marbella for a few days and we were very inspired by the city.
We don’t have a car and I still have not pursued a driver’s license in Spain. We mostly walk everywhere and when necessary we take the bus. The public transportation in Europe is good enough and the longer I go without a vehicle the less I want one. When we were in planning stages, prior to getting here, I planned to get a BMW 1800 motorcycle. I imagined the thrill of traveling through Switzerland, Germany, Hungry, Bosnia, etc. on a big touring bike. Now that we’ve been here a while I’m thinking it’s better to let someone else drive while I watch the view out of the window. Maybe, all we really need is a scooter, just for getting around town for those late night concerts and shows at the casino.
I have learned some more about the Spanish language and particularly for the accent found in southern Spain. In Spain the letter c is generally pronounced as a th. Gracias, for example, in Mexico we would say graw-see-ass, but in Spain you would say Graw-thea-ass. Also the x and z are enunciated as a th sound. Sanchez for example is pronounced San-theth. Which is, by the way, the name of Spain’s Socialist President: Pedro Sanchez. Who is a great leader when compared to Trump who is an asshole idiot and makes every other leader on Earth look brilliant. I apologize for being so passive, but I don’t want to get the few mentally damaged readers who worship the orange kleptomaniac in an uproar. It’s so easy to insight violence with this horrible-horrible person, so I keep the dialogue gentle. Anyway, the words we speak in English tend to be grouped into syllables and follow rules for how the letters are sounded out. In Spanish each word makes a single sound rather than groups of letters and syllables. It is very difficult for the English trained ear to hear the spoken words in Spanish. Most of the time,to me, it sounds like everyone speaks with a lisp.
Wrap it up here. I’m retired and have a lot to do so I can’t just sit here writing these words of wisdom all day. Pronunciation time:
Benalmadena: English = ben-all-ma-den-a
Spanish = benalmadayna (Think, Al Bundy, and madonna only with an i instead of an o).
Marbella: English = Mar-bell-a
Spanish = Marbaya
OK: English = Oh-kay
Mexican = Bueno
Spanish = Vale (ballay)