Monday, 3 June 2013

Ten things I love about Valencia

  1. Valencians are fun. They love getting together for a party, marching bands are two a penny and their traditional costume is a regency makeover for Princess Leia.

  2. Life is so easy. No one rushes, nowhere shuts. Bars are open until four or five, clubs until seven or eight, and that along with a much more sensible drinking culture. I've been here seven months and I haven't seen a fight and only seen one person be sick, a New Zealander I think, he launched from a balcony while me and a Spanish guy sang 'It's raining men'
  3. The weather. Is just amazing, Valencia's default weather is gorgeous, and it's funny to watch the Spanish bust out the hats and scarves when it drops below twenty.
  4. Road beers. This is a gem of an import from Pakistan. Where ever you are within a decent radius of the centre, a you can by a cold beer for a euro. To the heroes who make this possible I say  آپ سَے ملکر خوشی ہوًی
  5. Spanish practices. Affably inefficient is the default style of business, from the gadget shop that has headphones on racks with two different prices an unknown distance from the other headphones, to the barwoman who wasn't able to serve tequila in a glass with ice, only as a shot, because that's how you serve tequila. Think of yourself as the straight man in a comedy sketch and you'll have a great time.
  6. Spanish is funny. A perfectly rational confusion between Mexican and home grown Spanish caused me to ask a newsagent if he was gay, and if you're looking to buy a centrifugo, I think you'll find this one surprisingly reasonable.
  7. Seven is a gripe. Nights aren't so organised around music, which is predominantly Spanish flavoured pop and of varying quality, but that's a gift English immigration could give.
  8. It's so cheap. Wine is as consistently good as it is laughably priced, I'm more confident spending one fifty here than six or seven pounds in London. Bars and clubs are a quasi-public service, it's perfectly acceptable to go, drink road beers or nothing, and pay nothing.
  9. You eat so well. Delicious oranges and fantastic tomatoes all year round, and seasonal treats like strawberries, which come in in January, just as you're saying goodbye to Kakis, top notch asparagus and from my excellent greengrocer Nawab, you rarely pay in folding money. La Carneceria al Andalus takes care of my meaty needs and my favourite restaurant, Tinto Fino Ultramarino, is an absolute find. I took a vegetarian on a date there and asked them to prepare special dishes, which they did, delicious ones too. And number nine feeds into number ten...
  10. Women are gorgeous and men are short. It's as close to a lynx advert as real life is ever going to get. I'm not sure how stripping down to your grundies in a laundrette would go down, we have a top-loading washing machine in our flat so I haven't had to. It's a bottomless treat.

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