Calling all expat Moanachondriacs. Stop bitching and bickering – it’s time for an awesome autumn in Andalucia
YOU, miserable Spain-hater, are not in the bleak Welsh valleys. And you’re not on Morecambe seafront – watching turds and nappies lapping against the shore. You’re not even getting happy-slapped in Clacton, looted in Luton, or freezing your arse off in stinking Stoke.
No… poor lamb… You’re here, in the Med, watching happy kids dance flamenco in front of village paella parties, and praying that your air-con STILL doesn’t conk out!
You stomp around, all hot and bothered, kicking the cat because you can’t fill your fridge for 15 pesetas anymore. You’re also irritated because all your so-called pals have skulked back to Gatwick.
Cheer up, petal. If you play your cards right, this autumn in Andalucia could be a memorable one! The combination of mild climes and potent Halloween punch, is enough to turn anyones frown around.
I’ve been a busy bee recently, and met some nice, friendly folk just chilling in the Costas. The following is a brief list of local, up-and-coming events. It’s by no means complete, and please feel free to add more activities to the comment box below.
Mijas Jazz Festival (Oct 21 – 29 – Las Lagunas Theatre, Mijas Costa
For jazz-fanatics – the prospect of 8 days of trumpet swells and saxophones is a enough to get you bebopping on the beach. But, if you can’t tell a root from a riff, the random, anarchic sounds may attack your brain, battering it into a pulpy mess. Still, at least you’ll get to drink gin with some cool cats with slicked back hair and two tone shoes.
Top Tip: Jazz is a bit crazy. Listen with your feet – and not your head.
What not to say: “To me, jazz is just noise. Insolent noise.” – Herbert Greenleaf, The Talented Mr Ripley
Icebreaker Joke: ‘Ray Charles, the legendary blind musician, was heavily influenced by jazz. Charles once received a cheese grater for Christmas. He said it was one of the most violent books he’d ever read.’
El Tintero II (Playa del Dedo, Malaga)
This is a sprawling beach restaurant where the waiters charge round with huge plates of seafood. There are no menus and no orders – you just shout or rugby tackle the waiter when you see something you like. It’s comical to see Spaniards bellowing like stockbrokers – and all for a crabstick.
Just when you think it can’t get any crazier – the resident band waltz in and blast out Latin guitar ballads. Nevermind El Tintero – they should have called this place Noisy Oysters!!
Top Tip: Make sure your meal is dead. On average, six South Koreans a year are choked to death by LIVE octopus tentacles. If you want my advice – stick to shrimp soup.
What not to say: “I have trouble with seafood because it tastes like a dock.” – Doug Coupland
Icebreaker Joke: “I went to a seafood disco last week…. and pulled a muscle.
2011 October Beer Fest (Oct 22, Cortijo Roman, Jimena de la Frontera)
On October 22, the whitewashed village of Jimena de la Frontera will be rocking to the sounds of a thousand clinking tankards. From midday to late – revellers can enjoy a variety of exotic ales and live entertainment from Equis and Marcus Acoustic.
In true Spanish fashion, this is a family event – and not just an excuse for lager louts to get paralytic and soak each other in Stella. Expect a party atmosphere where kiddies can play, women can bop, and men can thigh-slap.
Top Tip: Plan your travel arrangements in advance. Try and bring a designated driver who is happy to sip fruit juice and won’t wrap your car around a lamp-post on the journey home. Also, drink lots of water and pig out on food.
What not to say: Un Babycham, por favor!
Icebreaker joke: A snail goes into a pub and orders a Heineken. The landlord says: “Sorry, we don’t serve snails,” and throws him out. A couple of weeks later, the snail returns and says: “What did you do that for?”
Zumba – Party in Pink (22 Oct, Hipodromo Racecouse, Mijas Costa – 14:30 – 16:30pm)
Imagine Hipodromo Racecourse, but all decked out like a Havana street carnival. Then, picture a crowd – moving as one – shaking their collective booties to Shakira and Beyonce beats. Typically, the principle behind Zumba is simple: lose weight and have fun.
However, there’s an extra incentive to attend Party in Pink, as all proceeds go to breast cancer charities. The event is open to all age groups and fitness levels. Just wear something pink and shake that ass!
Top Tip: Dance first, think later. You never look as daft as you think you do. Just leaping up and kicking out the jams is liberating – trust me.
What not to say: So, you think you can dance? Just remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did – just backwards and in heels.
Icebreaker joke: ‘A mushroom walks into a zumba class and asks a sexy Latin temptress to dance. “Are you crazy??? You’re a mushroom!!!” To which the mushroom replies: “Oh come on. I’m a FUN GUY!”