by Hadiza Duncan
Since I came to Spain, I have been kissed more times than in my entire life. If I had a Euro (and here in Spain it is pronounced “eh-uh-roh”) for every kiss I’ve received since I came to Spain, I would be a very rich woman by now. It is the traditional greeting in Spain, the Spanish equivalent to the Yoruba dobale or the Hausas sunkuna. It’s called “dos besos” (two kisses). I am introduced to someone and I politely bring out my hand to shake them. Before I know what’s happening I am hauled closer for “dos besos“. And it’s not one of those effizy air kisses here – I’m talking about resounding smacks on both cheeks, with one hand firmly on your shoulder or elbow just in case you try to wiggle away! I am certainly not complaining!
The only thing I’m complaining about is the smoking. Man, the smoking in this country is more than I’ve ever seen or imagined! All my clothes, and my wigs (yes oh) – anytime you go anywhere, be sure you’re coming back smelling all smoky! Even just sitting anywhere, 2.5 out of every three people that pass by will be smelling of cigarette smoke. I am convinced that the smokers cheat other office workers with their five-minute smoking breaks every 40 minutes. The government intends to ban it, but men, I don’t know how.
Forget all that though. This week, I had to mix business with pleasure and I headed down to Marbella, the jewel of the Mediterranean, for some meetings. Marbella is indeed the playground of the rich, and this is where I found myself (on business oh) this past week. I could hardly believe the huge number of yachts berthed at Port Banus, with owners of different nationalities – English, Arab, French, Italian (maybe there was a Nigerian one but I didn’t see it sha). The shops in Port Banus are ALL high street designers – Roberto Cavalli, Bvlgari, Carolina Herrera, Louis Vuitton, Loewe and the like. The cars are even worse. ONLY Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Jaguars, Porsches and Corvettes (ok and a few Hummers and Mercedes and BMW but absolutely no Fords or Volkswagens and definitely no Hondas or Toyotas)!
And the people are rich and beautiful (or at least beautifully dressed in top designer clothing) Rich fathers and their kids; toy boys and beautiful women are all in Marbella to play – on the ocean in the daytime and in the clubs at night. It’s a sight everyone needs to see. While I had no problems dancing with the white folks in Las Palmas, the ones in Marbella would put even P-square to shame! Not to mention the billionaires sitting down in the clubs in all their glory, while desperate women try to score them. I’ve settled for spending a long time at the dinner table watching the rich people go about their business. Then there are these my brothers …really really black guys carrying around the same bags in the CH and LV and BV shops. These men have the amazing ability to disappear out of sight as soon as the police come by. I don´t know if those bags are stolen or fake (neither do I care), what I know is I now own a CH bag of my own!
We spent a day out cruising the Meditarranean sea. It was calm but very cold. Passing through the straits of Gibraltar, I could see the Shores of Spain on one side and on the other side, the hills of Morocco (amazing – two continents in one view). The dolphins came up to swim beside the cruise boat and play with other fish. I saw fish flying above the water like birds for a full minute before going back into the water, and birds diving in to the sea like fish to catch one to eat. It was an amazing trip.
So this is where the rich people come, and this is where I am, at least for the week. (And just in case you have forgotten, Marbella is also, unfortunately, where our dear departed Stella O passed on).