First World Amusements


IMG_7467The sun was shining in Nerja. The waters were as aquamarine and inviting as we remembered. Carrabeo Beach was just down the stairs. Our daughter, Maresa, is a beach bunny. There was no question about how long it would take us to hit the beach.

Somehow the sunscreen didn’t make it into our beach bag. Donna decided to go back and get it. When she returned she was lugging the dilapidated umbrella from our rental’s patio. Putting it up required assembly, and catching a lizard. This attracted a small crowd who watched with amusement.

I was of the “leave the lizard alone” school of thought. Donna was in “catch and release” mode. I joined the crowd of watchers and enjoyed the show. With a look of triumph Donna caught the lizard, and returned it to its natural habitat. “Now it has rocks, shade, and a small pool of water!”

Donna was the first one into the Mediterranean. Then she convinced a skeptical Maresa to get in. It was clear that the water wasn’t warm. I eventually edged towards the waves. “The water is fine after the first five minutes. Really!!!” Not the strongest words of encouragement I have ever heard. It was an accurate assessment though. The water was eventually fine.

While we were swimming I watched a woman entering the water with a dip net. Whatever she was catching was being deposited in a blue bucket. Interesting!

I watched an elderly Irish woman make the sign of the cross before entering the water. In a beautiful brogue she said, “Ah, he’s laughing at me now for making the sign of the cross!?!”  In a short space of time we learned the beach had just reopened. The day before thousands of jellyfish called Mauve Stingers had filled the bay. That’s what was being deposited in the blue bucket. Mauve Stingers can cause a nasty case of burning, nausea, and muscle cramps!


Donna didn’t go into catch and release mode this time. She jumped out of the water and started scanning the surface. Maresa pointed out a Mauve Stinger. Donna borrowed the net. In short order there was another jellyfish in the blue bucket. Swim time was over.

Later that night I fell asleep while Donna and Maresa watched a television show about dictators. The focus was on North Korea. The show was broadcast in English. That was a first.

I woke up to three waves of shrieking! I figured a lizard must have made its way in from the patio. Given the increasing volume of the shrieks I figured it must be a big one.

After the show about dictators was over Donna started channel surfing. She found the Disney Channel, but the show wasn’t capturing their attention. She hit the clicker again…“Porn!” “Porn!!!” “Gay Porn!!!” 

There right next to the Disney Channel were three channels of gay porn! The giggling continued into the night.

I am grateful for first world amusements, and first world problems. Not everyone is able to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.  Not everyone has moments they can laugh about, or change the channel on. We keep these fellow humans in our hearts!



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