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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

When in Andalucía: Travel Advice from Across the Bar

Plaza Nueva, Grananda
A Donde Fueres, Haz Lo Que Vieres
(Wherever you are, do what you see, or When in Rome, do as the Romans do*)

I was in Restaurante Boabdil in Granada sitting next to a couple of girls from Korea. They didn’t speak Spanish and their English was very limited. The very helpful bartender, Carolina, was trying to take their drink order. One of the girls mentioned that she wanted a mojito but the bartender explained that they had no mint. Now I know that mojitos are very popular all over the world but a Spanish drink they are not. I tried to explain to the two travelers that they should try something more typical of Granada or at least Spain. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. I wasn’t able to get this point across to the two young women but we did at least convince them to order a tinto de verano. Mission Accomplished!

*Which reminds me of this great song by Cy Coleman and  Carolyn Leigh, and best performed by Tony Bennett and Bill Evans

When in Spain for reasons I don't explain
I remain enjoying a brew
Don't deplore my fondness for fundador
You know how a fundador can lead to a few

And baby when in Rome I do as the Romans do

If per chance I'm saying farewell to France
And romance drops in from the blue
Cher amour I beg of you please endure
My taking a brief detour with somebody new

It's just that when in Rome I do as the Romans do

And though from Italy I lie to you prettily
Oh don't think of me bitterly
But know that I'm through

Except now and then in Rome
I get that old yen in Rome
And naturally when in Rome
I do as the Romans do

If I write happily
Best wishes from Napoli
Don't cable me snappily
To tell me we're through

Cause I'm once again in Rome
In somebody's den in Rome
Well pussy cat, when in Rome
I do as the Romans do

So just disregard the signs and the omens
When in Rome I do as the Romans do


  1. A tinto de verano? Yuk! And in our village the smart set drink their red wine cold and long with coca-cola. Double Yuk! Give me a mintless mojito any day!

  2. I don't drink the stuff but lots of Spanish people do. As I said, when in Rome although red wine with cola is pushing that a bit.

    I drink red wine, sometimes chilled in the summer, not shaken or stirred. Or beer, or brandy, or anything with booze in it because I'm an American and we're basically huge drunks.


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