What they say about border towns is true. I know this. And yet last night, I put myself in the position of being in one again. What they say is this, in border towns you usually get robbed one way or another. And in the Spanish/Gibralter border town of La Linea Conception I was robbed. Not by banditos or contrabanditos, but by putting myself in the border town closest to a British colony. Of course in a town that probably gets its main source of income from British, the prices are sky high. Rather than 15 or 20 Euro for a pension, I have had to pay far too much and a cab driver nailed me for 4 Euros to take me around the corner, the minimum charge. The worst part is I walked within 20 feet of where I wanted to go. The hotel was 37 euros, and the two hostels were 27 and 28. I chose the one for 28, not 27 based on having wifi, but it only works in the lobby.
I was tired. I didn’t really need to be on the internet anyway, I needed to sleep. The pension is nice with air conditioning that isn’t necessary, a private bath, tv (all in Spanish) and wifi that doesn’t work in the rooms. Today I will go to Gibraltar, see the monkeys, probably get hosed for another expensive night, and then I will catch the ferry to Morocco. If I can go today and see the apes of Gibralter, I will do that.
It could definitely be worse. I just hate getting shagged by circumstances I could have easily prevented. The smart thing to do would have been to go to Algicares, get a cheap pension, then in the morning take a bus to Gibraltar. Like I said though, I was tired, so I won’t be too hard on myself. I got a Hawaiian pizza from an Indian restaurant where a kiwi dressed like a cowboy was talking with the Hindi owner who spoke English like an American. It tasted like Indian spices. Cowboys and Indians in a border town in Spain, not quite the same thing, but still, sort of fun.
The bus driver on the way here was blustery and the worst driver I’ve seen yet in Spain, with the exception of a woman I saw going the wrong way down a one way street in Barcelona. He constantly shook his fist and yelled at people as the bus lurched and stalled, probably firm in the belief that they were the ones at fault. It was a bit of a jarring ride with lots of stops and his wife whose large buttocks barely fit in her too tight denims rode in the front seat with him on a jump seat. It was sort of a sweet example of Spanish life if not for me wanting to sleep at times and being unable to.
As we went through the somewhat grim town of Malaga it looked like a bomb had gone off. Torn and twisted metal, police lines, workmen frantically clearing debris, and news crews. I think it was probably more of those killer winds that hit Barcelona, looks like Hurricane Vago struck again. I was glad not to stay in the place, though La Linea may not be much better.
(Just looked at the news…it was a Tornado!)
I’m looking to see if there are ferries from Gibraltar to Morocco and it looks like there may not be. Fuck. We’ll see though.
I admit that I am a bit terrified of Morocco, but I know it will probably be alright. Granada felt very comfortable and now I am back into a life of minor discomfort. My money is going too fast and I have to figure out a way to make it go further. I’m thinking of walking and hitchhiking in France, Morocco will probably be fairly cheap, but we will see. As to Portugal, there is an eco-farm I can probably go work on that might be a way to at least not spend any money for a while.
Incidentally, if you want a cup of coffee at 7am in La Linea you might be out of luck. It’s probably right around the corner from me though….
In any event, life is beautiful still and everything will happen one way or the other…
(Originally Published 03 Feb 2009)