Books & Stories
A tongue-in-cheek look at ex-pat life in Spain
The bar is the place to meet with fellow ex-pats and enjoy liquid refreshment.
Lots of people use the bar, including Fairy Godmother and Handy Husband. When Fairy Godmother is not looking after the visitors she becomes Mrs Sunshine, because from May to September she spends most of her time on a sun-lounger by the pool until she is tanned to perfection. Handy Husband doesn’t like to sit in the sun so they meet infrequently during the summer, but they do like to go to the bar to meet their friends.
Sport is very popular in the bar, especially football which is mostly attended by men. The required dress code is team football shirt, shorts and either trainers or flips flops. Ladies are allowed to join the men provided they know the offside rules and can shout as loud as the men - and usually do.
Karaoke is also a fun night out. To join in you must be able to read, and to sing at the top of your voice - in tune. Unfortunately not everyone knows this, and the warbling of unrecognisable tunes is not unusual. However after imbibing a few of Mr Bar Owner’s liquid refreshments, the Karaokers usually sound much better.
Holiday-makers like Karaoke too, they visit the bar every summer and are instantly recognisable by their glowing noses, robin-red-breast chests, and attractive white stripy shoulders.
The bar is always busy when the holidaymakers come to stay, so the locals have to arrive extra early to claim a seat. Mr Bar Owner is very happy because they make him lots of money and he always has a smiley face to welcome the holidaymakers into the bar.
The mini holiday-makers enjoy Karaoke too, and can often be heard murdering hits by Adele or Rihanna, whilst their adoring parents look on swaying from side to side following their third Bacardi and Coke.
Mr and Mrs Silly don’t like Karaoke; they never go to the bar but were silly enough to buy their dream villa directly opposite one. They do nothing but complain about the noise, giving Mr Bar Owner a headache and keeping our Senor Policia very busy when he should be out chasing baddies.
Mr and Mrs P Head, visit the bar for Happy Hour every day. A jolly couple, they usually stay until closing time and then stagger home holding each other up. Mr Bar Owner likes Mr and Mrs P Head because they drink a lot of lager and make him rich.
Mr Big Ears is a very loveable chap, who always manages to find out everything that is going on and rushes around to tell everyone the latest gossip before he forgets. He is a valued customer of the bar.
The bar welcomes dogs outside on the terrace, where they all drink from the same water bowl kindly provided by Mr Bar Owner. They are usually very well behaved dogs and lay under the table next to their masters. Dogs do however like to lick their bottoms. One day Mrs Sunshine was sitting on the terrace enjoying her Sunday lunch when she spotted a small dog lovingly licking its bottom. A fleeting fly suddenly dive-bombed onto the dog’s bottom and flew off, landing on Mrs P Head’s dinner plate, which she didn’t notice because she was downing a pint of lager.
Mrs Sunshine resolved that she would never have her Sunday lunch on the terrace again and she definitely wouldn’t be getting a dog.
Mr Grumpy doesn’t like Karaoke, neither does he like dogs (especially the licky-bottom variety), holiday-makers or mini holiday-makers. Mr Grumpy goes to the bar at the same time every day, neither a minute earlier nor later, and Mr Bar Owner always has his favourite tipple sitting on the bar ready for him.
One day Mr Grumpy didn’t come to the bar, and as the clock ticked by there were a few worried faces. Three hours later Mr Grumpy still hadn’t showed up, and there was much discussion about what to do. Eventually it was decided to call for Senor Policia to check on Mr Grumpy.
Mr Bar Owner had just lifted the telephone to call Senor Policia, when who should walk in the bar, but Mr Grumpy himself. Everyone stopped talking and looked at Mr Grumpy, who did something very unusual - he broke into a smile. Apparently he had been to the dentist to have some new dentures fitted.
So the bar, as well as providing liquid refreshment, has a vital role to play in the community of ex-pats, because most of them are caring people who look out for one another.