…. Cont’d from The man in the linen suit …
I’ve been studying Spanish for two years now and there is nothing more I like, than to converse with the locals, albeit rather clumsily, but I like to have a go. To give it a twist I have also picked up some Castillian, so you can imagine how much fun this is going to be.
Presenting ourselves at the hotel reception, I ask “tenemos una reserva, nombre chinnery, por favor”
. . . I get a dumb look from the concierge, . . ‘no! no name, you say chinnery?’
Stumpy now looks at the C man, ‘eez it anuther nombre?’
Stunned looks . . . bugger, a mix up, i’m about to go into overdrive, ‘let zee passaportes’?
Ah! booking es nombre señor Stamp, confused looks are exchanged, what the fuck goes through my head, ‘I must need zee credit card señor’, I look at C, he passes it over, ‘eetz for any expenses and zee island visitor tax, ok?, Si!
We are passed over the key to our first floor suite, thankfully not too far up the building, as my dear friend, although has his love of flying etc, anything higher than two floors and, yes, ‘Its look out Houston, we have a problem here’.
After the mix-up at check-in, and originally as far as I knew the holiday in which to celebrate my 60th birthday, was infact booked in Chris’s name, we are still slightly confused, a possibility that the last visit was in my name. Anyway life is far to short to try to analyse or worry, the week is paid for, and knowing a credit card with an almost bottomless limit gives us carte blanche . . .
Opening the balcony door the heat hits us . . . perfectly situated, just above the dining balcony and overlooking the restaurants and the melee of street life. Looking through and above the beautiful aged pine trees which Puerto Pollença is famous for is the ever beautiful bay, this late afternoon all is quiet, the heat is searing, swiftly we close the door and crank the air-conditioning up, or is that down? . . I never know!
Choices! , Which bed would you like? Chris asks.
‘You can have the one nearest the bathroom, it will certainly be easier for your thrice plus nightly jaunts’.
I receive a glare, he throws his monkey-bag down on his bed to stake his claim, and the authority of being in charge of the speed for the ceiling fan, such responsibilities couldn’t have gone to a finer person.
Which hand basin? which wardrobe?
Setting the security safe to a familiar pin we store and place E’items inside, jewellery, Passports, Euros etc.
Fancy a drink? .. opening the mini bar I toss over a bottle of San Miguel . . . “Sah-lud”, chinking bottles in the process . . .
Sabado, el 3 Septiembre 2016, Sopar.
Greeted by Leandros the Maitre’d … and in exchange of pleasantries we shake hands, I stuff a €50 into his palm, he looks down and then busily leads us to our table out on the balcony . . he continually trips over himself to keep us happy, word will get around the establishment, I cannot abide constantly tipping at every service we call for. This way has worked perfectly for our few previous visits. Spoilt for choice I pick a Mallorquin produced wine from the Jose Luis Ferrer selection grown near Binisalem. The Blanc de blancs suits our palate nicely. As is said, “When in Rome . . .”
As per the usual, the cuisine is beautifully presented, in a self select style, each individual dining table is immaculately set for silver service, feeling that we are now at ‘home’ we smile and nod at the other diners as we proudly display our delicacies on our individual plates.
And here it comes, the bonus, two glasses of Cava and a lit candle stuffed into a small portion of cake . . . word has got out, “Feliz Compleaños”!
A small promenade is in order after filling our well-travelled stomachs, it’s another ritual to perambulate down to the edge of the paseo de los pinos and the large bronze bust of the famed Spanish artist Hermenegildo Anglada Camarasa, we call him Bert, its easier. Once a revered man in Majorca, now the poor sod has been demoted to a meeting point and recieves more daily head rubs than the belly of a giant buddha.
Looking across the bay towards La Fortaleza, I am reminded of BBC’s TV series “The Night Manager”En mi cabeza ….
Strangely, its hard to believe that less than a year ago an arms dealer was ‘living’ in this port, he was definitely a most wanted man, his entourage moved about conspicuously among the town folk but kept silent in conversation, strangely without warning the last thing that his author wrote was his untimely kidnap by a warring faction.
Domingo, el 4 Septiembre 2016, 07:20, Sunrise.
Bleary eyed and knackered I wanted to see the first sunrise of the week, giving grumpy pants a nudge we managed to observe the spectacular birth of a new day. Within minutes of its appearance we had to return to the coolness of our room, closing the balcony door, I commented, “its certainly going to be a hot one today, I think we may need a hat!” … I feel a steely glare!
Preguntas. Just a few items consisting of jamon y queso tambien huevos break our fast, followed by naranja y cafe con leche, our sufficiency had been suffonsified, we take our leave and head out into the heat of the morning sun.
Deciding a few weeks earlier, we would call into the Anglican Church in the town to take Communion early this Sunday morning, it made a pleasant change to place ourselves back on an even keel in a different locale after a bugger of a week.
I suggested that we go and see where we can stake our place down by the swimming pool area, and off we trot, but not before diverting to the Casa at “Fish Bridge”.
This is one of our daily walking limits where the fresh water lagoon meets the Badia de Pollença and shoals of grey mullet abound, in packs they scour the finite line between the salt and fresh waters, team leaders, almost as big as the ba-ba-ra-ra-cu-cu-da-da’s. . . . I shudder!
Our destination was to be two of the executive sofas under the cabana, upon our arrival we find the antisocial act of smoking in public and this desire to eSmoke with pathetic chemicals is rife. It is such a pity that they don’t ban smoking completely by the pool area.
Most of them, well, let’s be kind and not in any form racist or segregative, but honestly, the ‘in group package clients, the jock and scouse’ visitors are all billowing their tabs away like chimneys atop a row of old tar sheds full of smoked kippers and bloaters.
It is a vile habit, and now seeing that this obnoxious act is barred in most UK places, these slugs seem to get off on it by inflicting it to others when abroad.
Suddenly, without warning, the heat intensifies, I feel like I am going to vomit, the as per usual of forgetting something comes to the fore, It would appear that I did pack everything except the actual kitchen sink, the actual kitchen sink being my anti sickness pills, necessary to quell the daily aftershock of my combination therapy . . . . those tiny little buggers are still on the kitchen work surface at home.
On the table opposite where we are consuming our helados y liqores, is a gentleman, being once tall and slender, now sits and positions himself bolt upright, although slightly paunched with straight shoulder, he airs his priority.
His monobrow is of silver colour and rears wildly out of control like a badly pollard pine tree, his silver hair is disheveled and greasy. A once cream when new linen suit hangs off of him, it has seen better days, as has his hat, every possibility it might even have been made by a tailor in Panama, who knows? He is obviously a traditionalist, his Rioja is chilled, some would say, that’s obscene, but I know he has taste, for I too am guilty of that particular pleasure.
Busily he fidgets his left ear with both his thumb and forefinger, he seems extremely distracted, is he signalling morse?, has he been affected by the Parkinsons? either that or he appears to be talking and pointing out something to someone, although he is alone.His eyes are shaded by green tinted Ray-Bans, probably purchased some forty years ago, or given out as what would have been standard issue in the days of the Middle East crisis in 1967 when Harold Wilson played a real life checker-plate battleship game with any of the many Muhammeds that were around at that time.
The theatre of the arrival of the flaming gambas as they sizzle, are placed at his table on a glowing red-hot plancha, without acknowledging the cambrer, and with the flick of a quick wrist his napkin is tucked roughly into the second unbuttoned space on his shirt. The blue tie worn at many a previous lunch awaits another stain. Looking at the eight aioli infused delights he “Gitano, Sastre, Soldado, Espiars” them.
The immediate ritual of devouring these beautiful seafood delights begin, firstly, sucking out the brains of the rended creature and secondly, running the nail of his thumb right up through the belly and twisting out the soft fluffy succulent tail ….. My god, has this man no end of talents! How come he is served this dish when it is not even on the menu del dia, could this be a last meal request? …. Could he infact be the perfect spy?
Unashamedly and hard to miss, affixed to almost every post in town at head height is a glowing sign “D J M C” weds nite ! (fortunately, the night club is situated way past FishBridge, so not too noisy, at least not for us)
To be continued …