Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Border hopping

I find borders and border towns strange places. Between Portugal and Spain any physical barriers have gone but it's a diffrent time and a different language. Between Spain and Morocco there seemed to be a World of difference just like passing from the US to Mexico.

Not content with one border in one day we travelled back from Ceuta to the mainland and then drove to La Linea where we parked the car and walked across the frontier to the UK.

I suppose Gibraltar is keen to prove its Britishness. There seemed to be more pillar boxes on Main Street than in the whole of Huntingdon. Red phone boxes were still in use, fish and chips are on sale every ten yards (none of that funny metres stuff by Gad) whilst the Bobbies wear pointed hats and not a trace of that Bat Utility Belt/Flack Jacket type stuff. Aah, the good old days!

It was a pleasant interlude though. I thought Maggie might weep for joy as she raced around M&S grasping clothes that she knew would fit. We were able to marvel at the funny bank notes we got from a hole in the wall machine using a UK card, we bought burritos in a boozer where they sold bitter, I got a pack of Hamlet cigars and we bought some of those Celebration chocolates as a gift for someone back in Alicante. Oh, and we had absolutely no language difficulties anywhere we went - everyone we met spoke English.

But Gib's not much like the UK really. It's hot for one thing, the cars are left hand drive and petrol and fags were definitely cheap. I suspect there are quite a lot of much more profound differences for those who stay for longer than a couple of hours. I did ask what time it was, by the way, just in case it was different to Spain - it wasn't.

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