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Remarkable Stories from a Spanish Bar

For you to enjoy the unbelievable stories and unforgettable characters of a Spanish Bar! Some so outrageous that you couldn't make them up !

20 April 2013

 Just a quite note to say I have had to shoot back to the UK for a family bereavement. 

Will continue the blog when I get back in about a month.


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Eye Opening
15 April 2013

 Eye opening events

As I mentioned before drugs are rife in our little village. I was totally shocked by that, being maybe a little naive about this type of thing at the beginning, although have wised up now.
The first summer it caused a few issues, namely I took offense to people buying and selling drugs outside our bar, which also meant outside the swimming pool, with all the village kids right there. Somehow this was resolved very fast and easily, I think the following event may have had something to do with it.
A French family came in with a local estate agent that we knew, the Father spoke amazingly good English, it turns out they were to rent the house opposite us, until their property in a tiny little place about 7kms away was reformed.
All seemed fine to begin with, they introduced themselves, he was in the French Army and explained that he spend a lot of time away. The two children seemed a little on the wild side, but that may just be excitement of moving.
We had a pleasant chat with them, until he made a phone call then, hung around right outside the bar, I could not believe my eyes, when I saw him pass over some cash and take a packet in return. I wasn't even stood outside, they were so close to the bar I could clearly see what had gone down.
I thought if you were in the Army you underwent random drugs tests, clearly not in the French Army.

I could not button my lip, it was all the kids, I really didn't want drug dealers outside the pool, peddling there wares, totally unsafe in my view.
I had to confront this head on, it wasn't good enough to explain no drug dealing here ! 
So I pulled him to one side and explained in English, that it was totally unacceptable to buy drugs, where so many children were and that if I saw him doing it again, I would report him and take down the car registration and report them also. And if I saw him doing outside my house I would do the same thing. He was very embarrassed and apologetic, I don't think he was used to people telling him what was what. Not a great start with the new neighbors. However we never had drugs being sold outside again, so something I said worked.

We thought that was that end of the matter, we could now just rub along and not get too involved with them. 
What happened the next day was unbelievable, worse even than paying for drugs in front of children?

Suddenly this young lad about 8 years old, turned up. Crying. I recognized him from the day before our new neighbors boy, he spoke no Spanish, no English just French. I speak no French, at all, not a word.
Very luckily Gwen spoke a bit and so did an English lad that was round the pool, neither spoke that much but it was a damm site better than my none. It turns out that the poor little mite had been left in our care with the euro entry for the pool and nothing else whilst his Mum drove to Granada and back a good 3 hour round trip, that's without stopping. He had no food and no money to buy food and was confused and upset by the whole experience.

It was the only day that summer that it rained, so the pool was closed early, luckily my girls, who are just brilliant, played with him to try to help him feel better.

My locals were telling me to call the Guardia and tell them he had been abandoned, I couldn't do that, can you imagine how frighting that would have been for him. I think the locals thought he really had been abandoned and I would end up with an extra child.
Of course I fed and watered him, gave him sweets and tried my best to make him feel safe. But as time ticked by, I did start to wonder if the Mother would ever return.
The really daft thing is that if she had just asked I would have looked after him anyway and a lot of stress could have been avoided, mainly on the part of her son.
She did return about 6 hours after she had dropped him off, did she come in and thank me or make sure everything was ok, did she hell. She sat in the car and beeped the horn, she was gone before I had time to get out to her.

When I got home, I went to speak to her, I explained how distressed her son had been and how the locals had told me to call the Guardia. How I had refused, but if she had just let me know it would have been a whole load easier for all. She didn't see my point of view and thought I was over reacting.
We hardly spoke after that and I didn't let the girls play out when her kids where out, mainly as they didn't have the boundaries mine did. My girls knew where they could and couldn't go. The French kids at 8 and 2 would play out even when the Mother was asleep. In my mind a 2 year old is a baby, our house backed onto a fairly busy road, where the drivers drove very fast, it simply terrified me.
Luckily there house was completed quickly and they moved out, never to be seen again. Our sleepy little hamlet returned, much to the delight of all the residences.

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The two P's
10 April 2013

 The two P's


Pee and Poo


The toilet habits of some of our customers and neighbours.

For us running a bar it was very important to have clean toilets, whenever I go anywhere I judge a place by the cleanest of the bathroom, sad I know.
For a select few at our bar it was far from important, because they didn't use them.
We had two male customers who both would leave the bar and pee on the garden area in front, where the kids played. They walked past the toilet to go outside. Now to me this is odd but to them it made perfect sense. 
In our little village they have only had electric and inside toilets for about 30years. In fact some still don't have these amenities that us Brit's take as being essential.
We did explain to both these men that the kids play there so please could they use the toilet, which they did do, but we had to explain why.
Driving around here you will often see a man at the side of the road having wee, they don't bother trying to hide the fact, often their manhood is on show for all to see. I find this unpleasant as they are almost always elderly.
Then you have those who have toilets in their houses but don't use them, like an elderly neighbor of ours who still goes outside for a poo, to me that is horrible, but to him it is a way of life.
A neighbor of a friend of ours poo's down the side wall of his house, yuck. We don't know if he has a toilet or not. It may just be to keep all the flies in one place who knows.
Then you have the mystery of the foot prints on the toilet seats. In the bar almost daily when I went to clean the toilets, a job I do NOT miss, I would find footprints. On the toilet seats and sometimes on the cisterns, too this day I can't work out why. I thought maybe it was something to do with drugs, so I checked the light fitting, nothing. Then I thought it may have been some sort of sexual adventure, but after monitoring the length of time and who went in with whom, this also draw a blank, so still I am none the wiser.
I also used to find small blue or white circular tissue paper, I am told that these are wraps for cocaine. I was shocked to find out that in a our rural community cocaine use is everywhere. My main priority is to educating my daughters not to touch it and what it can do to you and fingers crossed they will not ever take it.
On one occasion Antonio wood (we call him that because he sells wood) decided that he would give a female customer a treat and flash at her, of course he was slightly worse for wear. When I found out about it a few days later I was horrified and next time he came in, I took him outside away for other customers for a quiet chat. I told him never ever to do that in my bar again. He denies doing, but I know he did, the things that come things that come out of his mouth are very crude at times and I really believe that he is capable of doing such a thing and that he would think it is totally acceptable.
On the odd occasion we had love birds nip in for a quick snog, but must have only been a snog or very quick !
Cleaning the toilets was always a joy, never knew what you may find, especially if it had been a busy and late night. However I got away lightly, not much sick to clean up over the years, thankfully. Really don't miss that bit of running a bar.
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Donkey Man
03 April 2013

 Donkey man 

At the beginning we didn't know people's names so we gave them nick names, as time went on they stuck mainly because there are so many Juan's, Jose's, Paco's, Jesus's and Antonio's. 
We had a book where we wrote down the customers bill, so we didn't over or under charge anyone. In Spain it is normal to have a tab running and pay when you want to leave. We had a rule that we didn't take the book over to the bar or table to work out the bill.
Most of the them had nice names like - Smiler, Smiler Jose, Family, Elady, Twin, Alconter, Los Zolios, walking Pepe, Football, Goalie, Teacher, Alcaponie, old neighbor, beard, chain saw, red t-shirt,group,young group, Antonio wood, curry girls, Donkey man. As you can see they relate to where they live, what they look like or what they do for the most part.
Because sometimes if a customer was difficult they may have been written down as w***er or a.h. You never know who can read English and we didn't want to offend anyone, especially if they were already difficult.
On one occasion however this system failed us big time a staff member had written down a group of young girls down as 'fatty' because the first to order was large, then she took the book over, unfortunately her friends could read English, the table erupted into laughter, I could have killed her.
Luckily no offense was taken and the group continued to come in. 

On another occasion the same member of staff, got very confused as Barry had written down Elady. We left the staff member in charge, to enjoy some family time away from the bar. She told us later that she was confused because she though it was a lady selling 'e's' the drugs and she didn't think there was that problem in our small town. Also she thought it was odd her bill was only 1€, couldn't be selling much. Barry had only written down Elady because he couldn't spell her name but knew it began with an 'e'. We had to laugh at that classic, misunderstanding of our nickname system.


Now for Donkey man, named so because he would arrive on his white Donkey ! He was in his late eighties and we would see him, slowly making his way towards the bar, the Donkey that looked as old as he was. He would then tie it to the climbing frame in the park, at the back of the bar. So Spanish, what a treat to see. He would come in order his coffee with brandy, then ask me to speak English to him and teach him words, like table. He would then repeat the word 'table' and roll around laughing. Then he would move outside a fall asleep, bless him. Sometimes he would have a sin alcohol beer and want to try a new tapa, he was a game old man, up for every new experience he could get. He told me he wasn't allowed alcohol, which is why the beer was always sin, and brandy of course isn't alcohol. Always amazed me the amount of customers who don't drink alcohol, but would have brandy or whiskey in their coffee, because that's not alcohol.
One day Donkey man met some of his family in the bar who went to great lengths to tell me how because he was on medication he wasn't to have alcohol. They ordered a bottle of wine and tapas, I gave them three glass, then was told 'no, we need four, one for him too' another glass for Donkey man that isn't allowed to drink, so wine doesn't count either. I am relieved wine doesn't count as I like a glass or two !
The bar wasn't the only place that Donkey man visited. He would turn up at a friend of ours house have a beer or two (with alcohol), have a chat, then fall asleep in the chair all afternoon. Our friend,some times drove him to see relatives in the next village from us, it was too far for the donkey. A good man he would wait to bring him home, because of that he would arrive home laden with goodies, vegetables, eggs, cakes the list goes on.
I am told Donkey man was one of the riches men in the village, although you wouldn't believe it to look at him, I am told he didn't believe in banks so all the money was hidden round the house. I have no idea where he lived, but again I am told it wasn't luxury.

One fateful day the donkey died, it just dropped died. Donkey man didn't believe in giving the poor animal too much water, it was a very hot day, so that may have contributed to it's demise.
There is no question that he loved that donkey and was seen begging it to get up that day, it was the beginning of the end for donkey man. After only a matter of days he had a fall and was moved to the local hospital for old people, he was died within two weeks.

A medium came to see me at the bar one day, and I was delighted when it turned out that donkey man still visited our bar. In fact when I said 'it's Donkey man', he laughed, so must have liked his nick man. 

Next time more of why the customers had the nick names they did.....

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