Car-parks are one of those areas that an anthropologist would identify as a “non-place”; somewhere transitional, with no memory; a shared place inhabited by no one; where you are in the company of others and alone at the same time; a place at its best when nothing happens, because when something does, it’s usually unfortunate.
When I think about the things that could happen in a car-park, there are always two in particular that come to mind: a book by Chimo Bayo about La Ruta del Bacalao, a name given to the Spanish club scene in the late 80s and 90s, in which many stories begin in a car-park, the place where this whole culture was born. After all, we must not forget that a car-park is above all a discreet place.
The second thing that comes to my mind is a clip from The Simpsons, in which Moe the Bartender teases car drivers looking for a parking space, making them think that he’s about to leave, when in fact he isn’t. Moe sadistically enjoys the pleasure of watching the disappointment in the faces of those who have lost the hope of finding a space. It seems like finding a free space in a car-park full of cars has become one of those little pleasures of modern life.
It was there in a car-park that this brief conversation took place; the genesis of what Ama would become:
“Wait! We need to talk.”
“What is it?”
“I´d like to get together a group of people for a little project; but I wouldn’t be able to do it without you.”
“What is it?”
“We´d like to do kombucha, are you interested?”
“You won’t believe this!…. My girlfriend and I used to make it. Tomorrow I’ll bring you a few bottles. Since the baby was born I keep them in a cabinet over the telly.”
“Bring them! We’ll be trying different ones…”
This is how it happened, in a quiet and discreet place, we began to drive in the opposite direction like smart-asses do in a car park when they see a free space next to the gate. This was the beginning of Ama, a drink designed for pleasure and hedonism. Let’s not forget that, as the “good” Moe teaches us, there are many ways to find pleasure; for us food enthusiasts, pleasure means to enjoy the here and now, sharing food and drink, and this is the prime reason for Ama. In La Ruta de Bacalao, in secluded places, in those car-parks where youngsters lost their memory, in a junction between fun and creativity, a new era and a new culture began.
In a similar space, we began to build a drink without memory, without category, a new drink, hoping that the creative work of our team would contribute to a new culture, that of innovative drinks, driven by new ways of drinking and of understanding life itself.
How do you face something new? Which words do you use? What are the references to use? Many of these things are a work in progress, and therein lies the challenge.
I usually get lost in car-parks, on many occasions I can’t find my car, I don’t remember where I parked it; many other times I can’t find the exit; luckily I’ve had the same car for years and so far I have not found myself needing to call the firefighters to exit a car-park, yet.
by Ramón Perisé, Ama Co-founder