Dusting Off: Digging a Hole to China

There comes a humbling moment in every boy’s life when he realizes that digging a hole to China is impossible.

Previous attempts at burrowing a Sino-antipodean tunnel had been foiled — not by his inability to procure a plastic shovel capable of withstanding earth’s 9,800-degree inner core, but rather by a late-afternoon thunderstorm or his mother’s maddening penchant for whisking him off the beach just as the tip of a chopstick was being exhumed.

Digging in the wrong direction? 

As Robert Krulwich explains, China’s antipode, or diametrical opposite, is in fact 150 miles north of Buenos Aires. If you dug a hole from any point in the contiguous 48 states, you’d end up in the South Pacific Ocean somewhere. Sadly, only four percent of earthly antipodes are land-to-land.

Then again, if we all keep digging, we might one day meet in the middle…



On Being Gay by the Strait

Every facet of Spain’s culture seems to be firmly rooted on the Costa del Sol: Picasso isn’t just celebrated in Málaga, he was born here; gazpacho isn’t just served in Andalusía, the recipe was written here; flamenco isn’t just danced in Seville, it was choreographed here; and Hemingway didn’t just write about bullfights in Ronda, streets and children are named after him here.

“Very new” effortlessly rubs shoulders with “very, very old” in these parts, including at the Vincci Selección Posada del Patio Hotel (VincciHoteles.com) in Málaga, where my backlit bidet, at full blast, rivals the Bellagio Fountains laser light show in Vegas. It’s a little disconcerting when a bathroom is hipper than I’ll ever be. The new-meets-old is also evidenced by the Vincci’s millennial-modern lobby, which straddles a Roman wall circa 400 b.c. Seemingly every basement in Málaga, including that of the magnificent Picasso Museum (MuseoPicassoMalaga.org), has remnants of an ancient civilization on display.

 I arrive fashionably late in Torremolinos, the region’s gay capital, which I’m told “really comes alive” around 4 a.m