Yesterday I enjoyed a traditional Costa del Sol Sunday – late breakfast, and then down to the beach to "toma el sol". Dotted along the coast are beach bars that provide drinks and food throughout the day. These are called Chiringuitos. We went to a great beach between Marbella and Elviria that is mainly used my Spaniards, away from more popular and luxurious resorts for the foreigh visitors. Here. rental of a sun bed here is just 3 euros and a beer 1 euro!
Paella is the dish of choice on a Sunday here in Andalucia – and when one arrives at the Chiringuito it is a good idea to pre-order your paella, so that when you take you table mid-afternoon, the dish magically arrives, having been simmering for some time in the kitchen.
In complete contrast the privileged experience of all of us lying on the beach are those that walk the beaches – selling imitation designer sunglasses, handbags and the like. Often, dressed smartly in long trousers and formal shirts these men have to carry all their items with them in the heat of the sun; and at the moment its just spring time with temperatures in the 20s. It must be hell in the height of summer.
Usually I think these people are really annoying, always asking me if I
want a watch or some glasses.Yet it’s worth remembering that at home,
they may have been a lawyer before war destroyed their country.These black sales people are usually referred to simply as "Los negritos de la playa" by the somewhat unpolitically-correct locals. Yet, many of these vendors are here illegally to escape poverty, diseases and the atrocities of war in their home countries. Often well educated, they flee their nightmares in sub-Sahara African to try and earn a living in Europe, sending what spare money they have to their families at home.
– update 2010 – I wrote an article about the beach vendors 5 years later – read it here.