IN the late 70’s I discovered that the visiting English were absolutely reluctant to buy property in Spain, especially from an English speaking overly casual American.
Yet I surmised that possible buyers might be more open if I should re-meet them back in England sporting a coat and tie and toned down vernacular.
It worked wonders. So, within a few months I had fine tuned the sales presentation and allowed Spain to sell itself.
During that epoch one of the most interesting restaurants trading in our area was the Cortijo Suesa. You had to know someone quite well to be able to find the place. The food was simple and served in a rustic setting. Ironically the attraction of the place was the unlimited rivers of wine that flowed unaccountably.
Against the interior wall stood large wooden casks named: Son, Mother, Father, and Grandfather and each increasing its potency with age. The food flowed like a medieval banquet, dogs wandered in and cats were chased out.
Each participant, whether he knew it or not, would drink buckets without giving it a thought. Well, as I got to understand the times better Suesa became the Sunday watering hole and an integral part of the authentic Mojacar experience (although located some 15 kms away near Alfaix).
The owners soon became friends and were ecstatic at getting a guaranteed 15-40 visitors each weekend. I selected my guests carefully mixing in plenty local folk with the unsuspecting clients.
Within a month I would be visiting each possible buyer in England and continue to press the gilded benefits of owning something in Spain.
On the English behalf, being a Yank they presumed I had never enjoyed or understood full English hospitality. What a rush that was. Only the finest wines, Champagnes and cuisine would touch my lips.
It was a subliminal patriotic act performed to equal that spectacular lunch that I had entertained them. If I hadn’t spoken with my American twang it might have been less of an effort, but it never was.
I was punished in the most wonderful of ways, driven about and shown the local monuments with a tour replete with ancient ages and historical victories. “If you ever want to return to this place remember it is quite simple, a left at the Duck and Dog about four miles to the Drunken Hamster, turn right for another three miles to the Hole and Ladder, straight on to the Leather Bottle.”
Yup, got it! I quickly learned that when the English flew the flag no pageantry was too small nor gesture too trifle.
One would expect nothing less from a nation of shop owners (quote from Napoleon) that persists on giving directional coordinates from pub to pub.
A startling characteristic not to be denied but highly respected and acclaimed.