‘More Ketchup than Salsa’ by Joe Cawley
It was while holding aloft a not altogether pleasant-smelling mackerel that the decision was made. The March rain hammered on the rotting tin roof high above the market stall, where I had spent the last six months pushing out dubious trays of marine life at three for a fiver.
After a two-week holiday in Tenerife Joy and I vowed that a life in fish giblets was not going to be our destiny and a life in the sun, was. A complete lack of catering experience, zero business acumen and the sum of our vastly wealth barely reaching waist level of a ceramic pig did little to deter our enthusiasm for buying a bar. “Where do we sign?” we replied. And then the whole silly, sunny saga began…
When Joe and his girlfriend Joy decide to trade in their life on a cold Lancashire fish market to run a bar in the Tenerife sunshine, they anticipate a paradise of sea, sand and siestas. Little did they expect their foreign fantasy to turn out to be about as exotic as Bolton on a wet Monday morning. Amidst a host of eccentric locals, homesickness and the occasional cockroach infestation, pint-pulling novices Joe and Joy struggle with ‘Brits abroad’ culture and learn that, although the skies might be bluer, the grass is definitely not always greener.
A hilarious insight into the wild and wacky characters of an expat community in a familiar holiday destination, More Ketchup than Salsa is a must-read for anybody who has ever dreamed about jetting off to sunnier climes, finding a job abroad… or anybody who has even momentarily flirted with the idea of ‘doing a Shirley Valentine’ in these trying economic times.
Joe Cawley is an award-winning travel writer and author. He’s medically compelled to travel to alleviate sporadic bouts of island fever that leave him with a nasty rash and an uncontrollable urge to shout obscenities at the top of his voice.
His work has been published in The Sunday Times, New York Post, Tapei Times, Conde Nast Travel and many others. His book, More Ketchup than Salsa, was voted Best Travel Narrative 2007 by the British Guild of Travel Writers.
Joe lives in the hills of Tenerife with his family and an entourage of wildlife. The goats are no relation, despite rumours to the contrary.
Follow Joe on twitter – @theWorldofJoe