domingo, 25 de mayo de 2008

We wuz robbed!

Elvis is alive and turned into a speccy Spaniard whose chin bears more than a passing resemblance to Jimmy Hill. What's more - he's a star over here and beat the British choice in Eurovision.

For the past . . . oh God, feels like years, we've been subjected to the Chiki Chiki (pronounced Cheeky Cheeky) every five minutes. Its singer, Rodolfo Chikilicuatre, started life as a spoof on the popular Buenafuente show - a rip-off of those US late night programmes like David Letterman etc. Somehow, he managed to make it to Belgrade.

We, meanwhile, managed to make it all the way to the German entry before being forced to take solace in La Terraza. We knew with Danny being the Boogie Barman that we'd not escape, but it would seem a little easier on the ears with a caña or five inside us.

And that's when the cultural differences came in. In the bar, we had British (us), Romanian (Danny, who for some reason gets called Ricky by everyone else) and Spanish (the others) with an average age of Noah (and no, I'm nowhere near that). Songs we giggled into the foam at, they loved; those that we (well, I) gave thumbs-up to (come on, Latvia's pirates were fabulous) got a stunning silence from them.

Then came the Chiki Chiki. Ged and I stood waiting for the joke to hit . . . and then the song ended. Like the audience, we were stunned into silence at just how bad it was (although it's on non-stop, even appearing on bloody ringtones, I'd never had the - ahem - pleasure of hearing it all the way through), the locals were picking themselves up from the floor laughing.

France got a bum-wiggling vote of confidence from us (the beards went down well with our drinking companions) while Ukraine and Greece caused an amazing amount of slavering on the part of Danny (he's only 26). Meanwhile, Ue (yup, that's his name) started telling everyone how much he missed Cliff Richard and how Franco "had a problem with the English". And several others.

But Eurovision was the perfect opportunity for the Spanish to do what they do best - talk very loudly about absolute rubbish. Everyone had an opinion, even the old men enjoying a late meal ("ha, they couldn't change the colour of their shoes," muttered one as Georgia's costumes changed from black to white). This was a tertulia at its absolute best. And Ged and I laughed through every minute of it.

As we left, Danny decided to explain the Spanish entry to us.

"You see," he said. "We are laughing all the time in Spain. This is a joke. We know it is a joke. We want people to enjoy themselves. To see that we are laughing all the time here in Spain."

"We?" I queried.

"Did you hear the Romanian song? I'm Spanish."

Who'd have thought Eurovision could turn La Terraza into such a melting pot.

PS. We wuz robbed!

domingo, 4 de mayo de 2008

And here he is, Lucifer himself in Retiro Park! Looking suitably fallen, it has to be said. The artist, Richardo Bellver, took his inspiration from Milton's Paradise Lost apparently. Pic from