CHIRPSES

A Brush With Dana – Not International – In Spain

malaga

Tombstoning, disabling fish and suffering ape attacks on the Spanish coast.

The first recommendation in a Malaga travel guide was to visit another city.

The advisor who offered up such wisdom wasn’t wrong. Malaga is want for a better term a sandy hovel. Like a pensioner’s bum hole after she’s sat on the beach and the back of her costume has accidentally moved to one side. Dirty waters surround the foul, industrial waste filled beaches. Whilst out swimming my leg became entangled in a multipack of Walkers crisps and my hand brushed a dead gull’s beak.

Niall my travelling companion is into tomb stoning and he even baulked at the idea of leaping recklessly into Malaga’s misty waters. To simply step into the sea was a risk in itself. When he finally plucked up the courage to wade in he began to throw jagged pebbles at sardines and he disfigured a fish who was already a loner, now with one eye less he was completely ostracised from the group. We saw he/she (we looked underwater to determine the sex but our view of the genitalia was blocked by a Lidl bag) swim off and put itself under a rock and there it died, sad, lonely and mutilated. Later on in our stay we did enjoy a plate of sardines cooked on an open fire which was housed within a little fishing boat, one of them did appear to be of a Cyclops disposition.

After towelling of what appeared to be oil from our bodies we laid down on the yellow beach made up of glass shards, fag ends and spit. Niall began to tell me of the time he went to Aylestone Meadows in Leicester to take some photographs. The meadows, or ‘the waiting park’ as it’s known to its recipients is renowned for cottaging, and not the quaint warm yourself by the fire while the stew cooks type. Our intrepid photo journalist climbed to the top of an Oak to get a good vantage point of the land below. After taking a few snaps he looked down to discover a man in his late seventies masturbating next to the tree.

Stunned, Niall covered his face, aghast at the tugging horror. He stayed very still, as disturbing him may have led to the pensioner diverting his loving attention towards him. This went on for fifteen minutes. Finally the old man finished onto the tree, a couple of feet higher than himself, quite an achievement. He then sauntered off to no doubt return to his grand children who he’d told that he was looking for the frisbee which had got lost in amongst the woodland. Due to the ‘sap’ flying quite high up, Niall was forced to leap from the branches from a particularly precarious height; luckily his fall was cushioned by a burnt mattress with a used condom on it. Perhaps left by the pensioner on a previous more laboured poshie visit.

Away from the filthy shoreline Malaga is a grey city. In colour and in mood. Tower blocks reach up into the sky like erect concrete clad turds. It’s horrifically outdated and still seems to want to flog the 60’s/70’s package holiday. Tacky looking flamenco dresses hang from the rafters of numerous souvenir shops and Viva Espana booms out from every club and dreary discotheque.

The only saving grace other than Niall’s company and dead eye (no pun intended if the fish is reading this, which it won’t be being as the species is famously illiterate and it’s dead) aim was the feria. A big festival which appeared to be being held for no other reason than having a week long party. Every night the streets were packed with the cities young and not always able. I was hit in the shins by an irresponsible mobo kart rider. She may not have had the use of her legs but she understood the true essence of physical, slapstick humour. If Laurel and Hardy had seriously injured their lower half’s in one of their death defying belly laugh stunts and the technology had been available to them they would have taken to shunting people in the shin. It is hilarious, if you’re the perpetrator that is.

Anyways, the squares of Malaga were lined with youths drinking and smoking. It made for a very jovial atmosphere, a swathing mess of people simply there to have a good time. If this would have happened in the U.K it would no doubt end with the group being kettled.

After Malaga I went to Algeciras a gateway to Africa and Gibraltar. It’s a place so shit even the cats dislike it; I saw one walk headfirst into a wall.

On a day trip to ‘Gib’ I was attacked by an ape. I got off the extortionate cable car and was immediately set upon by a gibbon with fluctuating weight problems (she’d tried the Atkins, wasn’t for her) called Dana. She leapt from a wall and wobbled towards me, palming gawping bystanders out of the way. In my pocket was a packet of Mexican Chilli McCoy’s glistening in the midday sun. Dana went for them, I tried to fend her off by slapping her across the face but she proved to be too strong. After she’d pilfered my crisps she hit me in the stomach, there was no need for that, she had what she wanted, that was just nasty. An American tourist had filmed the incident, ‘It’s taking his chips, oh my God, it’s hitting him, it’s hitting him, this is fvcking great material! I hope it does something else. Say something man!?’ I took my inspiration from gun nut and monkey kisser Charlton Heston and cried, ‘You goddamn dirty ape!’

To describe the view from the top of the Gibraltar rock I have to turn to 80’s classic Honey I Shrunk the Kids for an appropriate analogy. Imagine you’re one of the scaled down protagonists and you’re stood on a toilet seat and you’re looking down into the bowl which is filled with floaters, that is ‘Gib’ from on high.

A town near Algeciras which is well worth seeing is sleepy Tarifa. The beaches are stunning mainly down to the council erecting signs telling you not to shit in the sea. The opposite is actively encouraged in Malaga. The road up to Tarifa is quite treacherous, winding round steep hillsides and although the bus driver had completed the route on countless occasions it did make you feel quite nervous. So much so I was set next to an ancient nun who got her rosemary beads out. She kept looking out the window to make sure we weren’t falling to our deaths but she appeared to look over to me and begin to mouth the last rites.

You can also catch the ferry over to Moroccan city of Tangers from Tarifa. It’s a place crippled by poverty and disagreeable camels. Everything people do is geared to make money, be that playing an instrument, charming a snake or even holding a door open. It’s hard to detect sincerity when everyone is quite blatantly just after your cash. During my time there I rode an uppity camel round a car park, visited an African Allied Carpets and a rudimentary Weldricks where I was told I looked like the type of guy who could do with a bit of help in the bedroom department. The pharmacist claimed, ‘You don’t look like a chap who could stay hard. Chew on this bark and you’ll have wood for hours.’

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