Malaga Esperpento, S.A.

Malaga has a beautiful downtown boulevard called the Paseo del Parque.  It's lined with tall palm trees and there are rather majestic gardens between it and the port.  A great place for a walk, as its name suggests.  Today was such a day, or so I had hoped.  I walked over to the Paseo around noon with the idea of seeing a Panda de Verdiales.  The Pandas de Verdiales play the traditional music of the hills and mountains behind Malaga.  It's a music with ancient roots and one of the provinces many "pandas" can usually be found in the Parque on Sundays at midday. What was my surprise then, to see the Paseo cut off to traffic so that the Boulevard could be turned into a drag racing strip for Ferraris and large cylinder motorcycles.  The roar of the engines was as deafening as it was obnoxious.  The Paseo del Parque on a Sunday morning turned into a speedway!  And yet, there was indeed a Panda de Veridales in their usual spot, trying gamely, but fruitlessly, to overcome the deafening noise.  Well, if you got right up close, so close that the fiddler's bow could practically poke you in the eye, you could hear something.  I tried sitting on the beautiful bench that curves around the statue of the festero, but it wreaked of stale piss.  Then a teenager dressed all in black, but with bright pink socks, hopped up on the bench next to me, but not before expelling a huge wad of spit right at my feet.  Ole!  Just your average Sunday walk in the park.  (The term esperpento, by the way, was coined by the great Spanish dramatist Ramón del Valle-Inclán.  He used the term to identify some of his dramas and to refer to the reality of Spain as a deformed, grotesque distortion of life; he also likened the esperpento to the reflection you would see in one of those circus mirrors that grossly distorts images.)

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