Fear a bargain
There was a great deal here at the Hilton in Valencia. An amazing deal for one of the highest rated hotels in the whole city. Five star luxury for only 70 euro a night. Unbeatable!
I paid that for a dive in Pula, Croatia. Off-season
What I should have asked is why.
Why so little for such spectacular lodgings?
In answer to that question, let me share some of the alternate titles for this blog:
Greetings from The Outer Limits
Deep Space Nine and Ten are really pretty interchangeable
Who knew Timbuktu was in Spain?
Affordable luxury in no man’s land
Everybody knows this is nowhere (although I felt like I’d used that before)
The World’s Most Expensive Internet Access Any Time, Any Place, Anywhere, Ever.
How much, you ask?
Are you seated?
Are you ready?
Are you seriously ready?
Are you without a doubt seated and ready?
(And, again, this is not Dubai or Tokyo or Antarctica or the moon)
$20 Euro an HOUR
And god bless all of you, but I haven’t made 20 Euro ($32) off this blog in its entire 11 months of existence combined. Not even close.
Try $17…all thanks to Lucky/Dr. Buzzard and Brad and their ‘buy me a beer’ contributions. (And THANK YOU!!!! Dr. Buzzard and Brad!)
Speaking of which, we are bearing down hard on the first year anniversary of this blog. An entire year of blogging. To think, just a year ago this seemed like such a good idea. Or a fast ticket to fame and fortune. I so had no idea what I was getting myself into…
In other news, I’ve logged a few hours on the beach both in Valencia and Barcelona. The beach here (Valencia) is incredibly deep and soft, and the sand is so warm I just want to roll around in it. I almost wish my towel were thinner so I could suck the delicious heat up better. It’s unspeakably wonderful.
Also, the vendors are fewer.
In Barcelona, you are approached every three minutes by someone selling beer and potato chips and Asian ladies carrying pictures torn out of anatomy books offering 15-minutge massages for a mere 5 euro. Here in Valencia there are just the massage givers and some African guys selling sunglasses, and they’re much fewer and farther in between.
I’m baffled on many levels by the beach-side masseurs.
Why are they always – without fail – tiny Asian women?
Where are all these ladies coming from?
Why is it you never see any Asian people anywhere in Spain, and then you get on the beach and the place is teeming with these masseuses?
Is it some kind of black market slavery ring?
They abduct you from your home and make you sell foot massages on the beaches of Spain?
And seeing as you never see a single person take them up on their offer, how are they making a living and eventually buying their freedom back from their captors?
And if you, as a sunbather, did succumb to the considerable pressure (this one chick WOULD NOT leave and kept touching me until I actually started to get mad), would they just straddle you right there on your beach towel, temporarily borrowed from the cheap but faraway Hilton? Ride ‘em cowgirl?
The other excitement at the beach was my fellow sunbathers. Today I saw a man – who had to be at least 80 – wearing an orange string thong. String. Two pieces of floss in the back and a small satchel in front. Which is not something you see every day. Thankfully.
There was also a woman bathing totally nude. And sitting Indian-style for the bulk of it.
Actually, I kind of admire their willingness to shake their groove thang without the slightest concern for personal modesty or good taste.
Speaking of good taste, I’ve hit my Spanish food wall.
I’ve had enough.
Minus the olives stuffed with anchovy paste (which I am ridiculously in love with), I’ve had my fill of ‘tortilla’ (the potato omelet thing), ham, cheese plates, shrimp with their heads on, paella, dry sandwiches, and oversized calamari for the time being.
Especially the calamari.
When I think of calamari, I think of little tiny, itty bitty squids all fried up nice and crunchy and miniature octopus-like.
Instead, they keep bringing me a plate covered with battered “Livestrong” bracelets. Not what I had in mind…
Nonetheless, the tapas and I will not be for much longer, as tonight we board an overnight train to Paris, and then it’ll be all baguettes and brie and escargot and cassoulet and coq au vin and whatever the hell else they eat until I get totally sick of it or head home on Saturday, whichever comes first.