THE Utopia that we have today in Mojacar started way back in the 60’s when the derelict place was resettled.
A kaleidoscope of fortune hunters arrived along with a gaggle of remittance men, busloads of colourful hippies, dark travellers and societies’ usual drop outs all found their way to the hilltop village.
Drawn by magnetic waves or spiritual lay lines – they just came. The itinerant Spanish suddenly noted a confabulation of strangely dressed folk, humble, noisy but not bothersome in the least.
No remorse was felt by the locals for the intrusion. It could have been a passing fad of those times or just another circus passing through that had decided to make camp at the Hotel Indalo in the main village plaza.
The colourful costumes worn by the invaders were as pleasant as their custom to be free with their money and invites.
In every case the offer of food or drink was automatically extended to anyone and everyone within listening distance.
Wine no longer became something for just sipping or to drink during fiesta days but, a main staple of daily life; along with the chance to laugh without examined conscience or dance in public without regard or contrivance.
Young Paco Haro, a barman then at his father’s hotel and the author of the recent book witnessed the entire daily show from dawn until sometimes dawn again.
He quickly picked up on the programme; all were to participate or at least watch while the main foreign actors strutted and fretted their hours upon stage and then slumped into a quiet corner they hadn’t been peed in.
Within months the street wise Spaniards had understood the concept and soon began participating, that is inviting their distant relatives to the village to observe the shows and share in the tidal wave of free drinks that were flowing.
After all, this is a nation of fiestas so adapting to the latest variety came as easily as smiling. Yet, personal decorum wouldn’t yield to random conversation and both armies continued to use outrageous hand signals and arm waving to communicate (a popular contrivance that continues to this day).
In fact, English is a difficult language to learn compared to a world of lexicons, while Spanish is amongst the easiest. But, better than all was the instant acceptance of the other presumed traditions and respect for their past culture.
Everyone got along famously especially as the English insisted on always paying for the drinks. More smiles all around.