A Few More Things I’ve Noticed In Granada

Since I’ve been living in Granada, I’ve often made a note of things that I see or hear as I’m walking around this wonderful city and from time to time, I like putting these little observations together into a post – read my previous ‘observations’ posts:

7 Things I Love About Living in Granada Today

20 Things I’ve Noticed After My First Month In Granada

However over time it gets more difficult to not repeat what you notice as you tend to get attracted to the same things, but fortunately Granada is a glorious cornucopia of oddness. Anyway, here’s the list:

  • On the doorstep of his shop, if you see a man in his 50s with a huge beer belly wearing a pink t-shirt and a white scarf, what do you think his shop sells? Cigars? Tacky souvenirs? I’d understand that, however his shop is called ‘Regalos Picantes’ (literally ‘Spicy Presents’) and he sells sex toys. Perhaps not the most attractive of options but I can give you the address if you’re interested…
  • In between classes I have on Tuesday afternoons, I’ve started watching Chuck Norris films dubbed into Spanish with Spanish subtitles in a local bar which is a good way to improve my Spanish. Unsurprisingly, these films are not much better dramatically than the Mexican telenovelas I used to watch here for similar linguistic reasons (honest!), however, in both scenarios a man in a leather jacket, a carefully sculpted beard and a mullet saves the day. Who’d have thought!?
Nice mullet, Chuck!
Nice mullet, Chuck!
  • Have you seen Flamenco Elvis? Like many Andalucian cities, Granada is full of buskers (some of whom have Chuck-esque mullets) playing flamenco and from time to time, they are magnificent (read post Gracias A Dos Guitarras). However at other times, they are less so and there is one guy who goes from plaza to plaza playing Elvis Presley songs in a sub-pub-Elvis voice. To be honest, it’s not really an attempt at flamenco, simply an Elvis covers thing, but I prefer the idea of Elvis songs played in a flamenco style
  • En route from Granada to Madrid from my ALSA bus window, I saw a small bullring next to a petrol station. Yes, a bullring. You know, just in case you fancy a quick bullfight while sneaking in a quick beer at the petrol station bar
  • I was on the bus to Monachil (a pueblo near Granada) one Friday night recently and the bus driver stopped at a petrol station to fill up. Pity there wasn’t a small bullring or we could have popped out for a bit…
  • There is a perfume shop in Granada with a couple of promo girls outside asking you to try the perfumes which is fair enough and a pretty standard way of of selling perfume these days. However, the rather quaint (and perhaps original) twist  here is the pianist playing cocktail party jazz on a full-size piano in the shop. As I approach the shop and the girls, I’m not sure my thought process is: “Mmm. Not sure I like perfume being squirted in my face as I walk by but I know, maybe if I go inside and listen to some cheesy easy listening jazz piano, my life will be better and I’ll buy some perfume?!’
female hand with perfume bottle
Want some perfume in your face?
  • Driving can be an adventure and one of the amusing things I have noticed in addition to the now ubiqutous parking on a roundabout is after you’ve missed the exit on the roundabout, instead of going round the roundabout again, why not  just back up a bit on the roundabout. It’ll be fine…
  • Spanish children could not survive without bocadillos packed full of jamon. During pauses in the Semana Santa processions, children taking part were approached by eager parents to make sure they were okay which is understandable. In one case, mum lifted up one of the boy’s hoods and got out an aluminium foil-wrapped bocadillo the size of a house and proceeeded to put it into the boy’s mouth and then when  the ‘bell’ went to restart the procession, mum left with the leftovers, perhaps keeping a bit aside for the next pitstop

Bocadillo

  • I love the bus company ALSA’s Supra service. And I’ve also just discovered Supra Premium. Yes, it is more expensive but not much and it is much cheaper than the train. It’s wonderfully comfortable and perfect to stare vacantly out of the window across the beautiful and dramatic landscapes of Spain and so far I’ve only travelled to Malaga, Sevilla and Madrid. Lots more journeys to look forward to…
  • I don’t get the inappropriate music in public places and I know this is perhaps not necessarily unique to Granada or even Spain. I get the local radio station, talk radio and the TV with random chat shows and quizzes. That’s a part of the culture. There’s always a TV on and nobody’s paying any attention to it as it’s just ‘background’. But I was in a bar this morning having coffee and a tostada with some awful trance thing on. If their target customer were teenagers, I get it, but the kids are at school. In the bar there was me reading a newspaper and a woman in her 60s quietly reading a book. How does the music contribute to the atmosphere of this bar which is also a restaurant? Or am I just turning into a grumpy old man?! Or should I say ‘malafollá’?

Grumpy Old Man

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