The Latest Haps in Mallorca and Other Frightening Tales

Well fellow expats and sufferers of wanderlust, it has been a very interesting week here in good old Palma de Mallorca full of social gatherings, storms, new traditions and shocking admissions from crazy young foreigners. Here’s a snapshot of an atypical week for this Puigpunyent invader.

A NIGHT OUT. You may be surprised to learn this, but every now and then hubbie and I hit the town for a night out. My sister and brother-in-law, bless their cotton socks, are usually the ones to drag us out of the house. We ate at this trendy little place that I can’t remember the name of. It had a patio lounge area for dining right on the beach! It was lovely and the food was delicious and so were the waiters (lovely, not delicious, that I know of anyway.) The gem of the evening was when a young ingenue came by to deliver something or other and, curious about her accent, we asked her where she was from. Slovakia, it just so happens, but that’s not the interesting part. Somehow we got to talking about her life story. Apparently her mother is from “the worst part of the world.” We were asked to guess where that is and my punk brother-in-law chimes in “America!” I shot him a dirty look, of course. She said “Yes. Detroit, Michigan.” Apparently, Detroit is chock-full of gun-toting crazies. So Detroit, not Congo or Sudan, or any Taliban extremist inhabited territory is the worst part of the world, my friends, just in case you wondered.

NEW FRIENDS. It’s very hard to make new friends in Europe, I’ve found. Especially in Spain and France. Especially when you’re almost too busy to have any kind of social life. Especially when you’re American. Groups of friends here are very tight-knit and making a place for yourself within their acceptance is a lost art I’m trying, not hard enough, to master. Enter our neighbors, whom I loved right from the start. I won’t embarass them by naming them, but they were our next door neighbors when we first arrived, but have since moved down the road a bit. No, it wasn’t because of us. I don’t think… The woman is a half-Brit, half-Mallorqui and the man is from Galicia. They have two adorable little boys, one of which I’m convinced will grow up to fall in love and marry my little girl, of course. They all speak English, Spanish and Catalan. Anyhoo, we were invited to tea at their new place this past weekend and it was on the walk home later that evening that I finally felt like maybe we had some new friends. You have to take your time here. It’s not like in the States where friends are sometimes instant and superficial. So, I won’t rush it, but wish me luck on making some true friends in Puigpunyent. And share some tips if you have ’em!

THE FLOOD. No, not THE flood. It rained yesterday and my house flooded a tiny bit. Welcome to the rainy season where flood pants aren’t a cute capri-alternative fashion statement. As I looked out the window with Fiona, pointing out how hard the pretty raindrops were falling and how lovely the sound was, the water began to come in under the doorways in my bedroom (via the charming balcony doors) and the living room (via the charming terrace doors.) Apparently, closing the shutters helps tame the inflow a bit, but since I didn’t know that — thanks for the heads up familia — I spent the better part of the evening mopping and throwing down towels and sandbags. Just kidding about the sandbag part. We’re not in Kansas anymore. Nope. In Kansas, and the better part of the U.S. we had door flaps, front doors above street level, storm drains, etc. Here, we have…um…

ALL SAINTS DAY. This just in! Halloween has come to the E.U. Yes, even Mallorca! Hollah! And since Friday, the day after Halloween, is All Saints Day, it’s a holiday so everyone stops working and parties. In fact, my nephews at the local French school have the entire week off. Go figure. This is Fiona’s second Halloween. She will be playing the part of Little Red Riding Hood minus the scary wolf and yes, we will be trick or treating tomorrow evening. Can’t. Hardly. Wait. I’ll never forget when I was a little girl living in England when Halloween was avoided like the Plague in Europe and viewed as a disgusting American tradition. Thanks to globalization (it’s not just about McDonald’s anymore!), this fun and unforgettable childhood tradition has made it’s way to the other side of the pond, so my little girl (and myself, who are we kidding) can enjoy the sugar rush.


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