Cooking, Groceries, and More Groceries in Spain

Trip Start Apr 25, 2007
Trip End Oct 03, 2007

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Friday, May 18, 2007

    Dan and I left hot, sunny Munich and landed in cold, rainy Spain. We were about to begin our two week job, Dan (a chef) cooking, me serving and cleaning, for an American family living in London on vacation on the southern coast of Spain. We were met by our employers at the Malaga airport and whisked off to our own apartment up in the hills of Benalmadena, a Costa del Sol town of concrete, concrete, and more concrete broken up by a golf course. (We later discovered the old, picturesque pueblo hidden away in the mountains). Most of the inhabitants of Benalmadena are either Dutch, English, or German, so we didn't have any high hopes of finding the Spain that we love, but that was ok. We were there to work.
   Our days started off at the supermarket at 9:30am and at the villa of our employers by 10:30am. By this time the two nannies had done their best to clean up the breakfast refuse of the six kids so that we could get to work preparing lunch. After two hours sweeping, setting the tables, chopping, cooking, plating and serving, lunch was usually ready by 12:30, and cleaned up by 2pm. Then it was off to the supermarket again, back to our apartment for a rest, then back to the villa by 5pm when I would drop Dan off to prepare the kids' dinners. I then had a couple of hours to myself, which usually meant lounging by the pool or taking a quick swim on the beach. By this time the weather had become beautiful, and the Mediterranean was just beginning to warm up.
    We worked steadily for over a week, then on our one full day off Dan and I went into Torremolinos to wander around the place I had spent a year when I was thirteen and my father had a sabbatical to study Spanish at the university in Malaga. I hadn't been back to Torremolinos in 28 years. What we found was highrise apartments every which way you looked! We walked down to the beach and did manage to find the Casa Suecia, a traditional, Andalucian house with apartments where my parents and I had stayed when we first arrived in Torremolinos. It still had the inner courtyard filled with pots of flowers that I remembered, and colorful tiles decorating the walls. Determined to have a good day off, Dan and I perservered and decided to follow the old adage that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. So, we rented beach matresses, got massages from the Chinese ladies wandering the beach, watched the three Brits a few mattresses down get drunk on big bottles of beer, and just generally enjoyed the show. Besides, we had won 200 euros at the casino the night before on one bet on our lucky number at roulette, so anything we did that day was free!
     Work was tiring but we felt lucky to have met and worked for the people we did. Everyone was nice, interesting, funny, and so appreciative of the food and service. As we worked our last day, May 18th, I actually felt a little sad I wasn't going to see this family again (or at least, not for a while). Dan and I took two days to just relax on the beach, then we packed our bags and went on the search for "real" Spain, in Sevilla.......
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