Tag Archive | family

Callejeando

What do you do on a Sunday afternoon if you live in a city, you don’t have a car and a storm is threatening? Well, I know if we were in the country, we’d go out for a walk!

But since we’re not in the country, we’re in the city — we decided to go out for a walk anyways.

Now, a walk with the kids means spending the afternoon stuffing them up good and hard with all the food in the house before leaving home, because if you don’t, you will either have to blow the entire monthly budget feeding these growing stomachs out on the street, or you will immediately have to dash for home again, because the kids have become faint and weak and lethargic from lack of food. Which means…… night photography! Again.

Anyways, there’s nothing I like to do more than “callejeando”, which means just wandering about exploring without any particular aim. I still find it hard to believe that I actually LIVE in this amazing, medieval city! And I can go out every day and look at historic buildings with their balconies and curlicues whenever I want.

You will never find anything like this in Canada. In Canada, if it’s over a hundred years old, it’s pretty much prehistoric!

It was very unusual for a week-end, since the streets were almost empty. We were even able to cross the Alameda, the main “street” (more like a highway) on the red light! Maybe the menacing skies had something to do with it…… Spaniards don’t seem to be very fond of foul weather.

Wandering along calle Beatas, a pretty jazzy district known for its bars and discos, we discovered a couple of strange things I hadn’t seen before.

Fountain With Caños

This fountain looks pretty ugly, but I think it’s just the flash from the camera making it look kinda garish. This is the same angle without flash.

Fountain With Caños no flash

I was attracted to it immediately because we first saw it from the other side, the side with the faucets.

Cinco Caños

Springing fountains with taps or pipes, “caños”, are important in Spanish folklore and many songs are dedicated to them. In these traditional songs, the fountains usually have seven taps (siete caños), I dunno why but I guess seven is always a magical number and is always supposed to bring good luck.

However, the fountain on Beatas Street only had five taps.

We had actually gone off in search of the elusive “Hammam” or Arab baths. But we found them locked up and dark with a sarcastic note on the door cackling over the “nefarious” management of the former company that had been hired to take care of these facilities. Fortunately, the owner of the premises had apparently won some kind of court case (after four years!) over this nefarious management company, and now had recovered the full use of this historic site and was in the process of renovating and reforming it.

Street Art

Street art can be so beautiful sometimes.

Anyways, I was quite interested in getting away from our usual routine of Burger King or McDonald’s for dinner with a free toy thrown into the kiddie menu. The oldest is a little big for toys now, and the kiddie menu has about as much effect on his four stomachs as the proverbial egg in the giant’s stomach. The youngest still enjoys kiddie menus and free toys, but I was thinking that they were both ready to move on to more mature fare, all the same.

So I spied around for something “castizo”, something home-grown, something typically Spanish. Now, that’s pretty hard in downtown Malaga, where the streets are always crowded with foreign tourists.

But in the end we chose a nice little venue on calle Granada which seemed to have a few people, and they mostly looked Spanish. The menu was a reasonable price too. The kids clamoured for a kiddie menu, of course, and we had a debate as I preferred that they would try out something “adult” — as in, not French fries.

As a single mamma I have a tendency to endure less than satisfactory experiences in restaurants. The waiters usually give me a funny look when I walk in with two kids and no man beside me. They usually hover about me, probably most worried that I wouldn’t have the funds to pay for the meal, or that, even worse, I would take off without paying. As soon as I get up, they’re dashing over to me asking me if I would like something else or whether I’m ready to leave. And when I pay, they always count out the money most carefully while blocking the exit — just making sure it’s all there before I disappear, I guess.

Tapas at El Piyayo

At “El Piyayo”, the waiter also had a slight confusion as well because he thought I was “waiting for my husband”, and therefore he didn’t serve me immediately. After a while, he started to become aware of the fact that there probably was no “husband”, and asked me whether I was waiting for my husband.

However, once I had made it clear to him that there was no husband, there hadn’t been one for some time but I devoutly hoped that one day in the future there would once again be a “husband”, the waiter turned into the sweetest, most educated person and started attending to us as if we were the only people in the restaurant. All our food arrived promptly, and he even threw in our drinks for free!

Taberna El Piyayo

So as you can see, we had a thoroughly great time and the meal was excellent! The atmosphere was warm, cosy and welcoming. There were photos of people singing and dancing flamenco around the walls, and the few patrons about spoke in low voices and all were clearly Spanish. No “guiris” here, apparently!

We had made a superlative choice! Which is why I am mentioning this little taberna here in this blog — but I hope tourists don’t start to descend upon it like flies now that the news is out! This is just a little secret for the few people who read this blog and happen to live in or near Malaga.

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A Celebration of Single Motherhood

Lately I’ve been going through blogs by other women where they talk about how they raise their children, and what everyday life is like in these typical family households. So I thought maybe I would do something similar. I expect that in some ways my life wouldn’t be like those of other families, because we’ve only got one “head” of the household – and it isn’t a man!!

But in so many other ways, life in a family with children always has certain similarities, no matter the individual circumstances.

However, I have to claim that I LOVE being able to wake up my children to go to school every morning in the way that I want. All the same, they HATE getting up in the morning to go to school. I’d like to remind them how lucky they are to get woken up with lots of tickling and stroking and kisses, instead of lots of screaming (although I do also do a lot of that, when tickling, stroking and kissing don’t work!).

It doesn’t make very much difference to them at 7:30 in the morning, though. All they want to do is turn over and go back to sleep!

Running a marathon with my kids to get into school on time is yet another new challenge every day. We got the tough luck of getting them assigned to a school about fifty miles away (okay, it’s more like just one kilometre, but try running one kilometre in ten minutes every morning!) because one year we arrived from Barcelona in the middle of the school year, and they didn’t get admitted to any other school.

I’m very pleased and happy with their school, though. It’s in a nicer neighbourhood than where we live, which means that the kids in their classes are generally from nice, well-educated, polite homes.

Being a single mamma means no lounging around in bed until a late hour, then ambling off to the local market for the day’s menus, the way I would probably do if I were a traditional Spanish housewife married to a working man.

No offense meant to stay-at-home Spanish housewives, of course, please don’t be offended! I know that housewives work veeery hard and here in southern Spain, still a bastion of machismo, even more so. However, I also believe that single mothers must still work harder than married ones, because we have to go out and win the bread as well as cook, clean and run the household.

We also have to pay the bills alone.

Having said that, I believe that we also enjoy a load of luxuries that married women most often can’t claim.

When the kids don’t have school, I can sleep until the hour that I want. Now that they are old enough to prepare their own breakfasts and entertain themselves……

I can cook what I want, and if I don’t feel like cooking, I can buy something frozen or ready-made at the supermarket across the street. I imagine if I had a hubby, he’d be roaring for specific menu items, and I bet Eroski brand Spanish tortilla just wouldn’t make the cut in his opinion!

We can do what we like on week-ends. Of course, being a “struggling single mamma” most often means that we can’t take luxurious outings, like going to theme parks, on a regular basis. But I do save up so that occasionally I can treat the kids to something a bit pricier, like a trip to the zoo for my son’s birthday.

Being single and a mother means that I have to go to work. That means that I can’t sit around every morning waiting for that slow-cooking pot of stew to boil, and lunch will often have to consist of something that pops into the oven and simmers there for just ten minutes. It means I don’t meander through the local marketplace every day, chatting leisurely with the merchants, and our routine usually consists of a once-a-week shopping excursion – except I’ve probably only got about half the amount of money to spend on these once-a-week shopping excursions than would a complete family with a working father and a working mother.

It also means, though, that I get to lounge around at home in the evenings and do what I please. I don’t have to give hubby a massage because he’s “beat from a long, hard day at work”. I don’t have to clean up hubby’s mess because his mamma never taught him to clean up after himself. I don’t have to give my son a shower every night if I don’t feel like it – after all, hubby will never know and be able to protest about that, because hubby doesn’t exist!

I also don’t have to put up with disagreements about how to raise our children. There are no forced catechisms for them, no boring masses on Sunday mornings when the bed and warm quilts are just soooooooooo much more inviting! I don’t have to leap up from the middle of a dream about “kissing Valentino in a crystal-clear Italian stream” in order to dash over to the in-laws’ for their traditional Sunday lunch.

So, all in all, I guess life’s tougher if you’re single with little kids.

But then again, if you’re married, you also miss out on so many small pleasures, like having no fights, playing what you want with the kids, feeding what you want to the kids and being able to watch all your favourite TV shows hehe!

Kids On The Beach

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Stories From Granada

You may have heard of Washington Irving’s “Tales of the Alhambra”, right? Well, since I wasn’t able to get any real prime, supreme photos on our trip to Granada, I thought I would instead accompany the few poor specimens I was able to take with stories and anecdotes about our life there.

The Alhambra from our rooftop.

AlhambraThis poor little, split-up thing was the only salvageable portion of a pic I took from the rooftop of our old building where we used to live, back in the day. My little baby was born there (well, not there, he was born in the hospital, but we were living there when he was born), so you could say he was literally born in the shadow of the Alhambra. From our rooftop we had a spectacular view overlooking this famed Moorish castle. You can’t see it very well in the photo though.

(I might add that it was even taken in those olden days when digital cameras were only the possessions of the rich and the famous (or technology-obsessed computer geeks), which we obviously were not. In other words, we took it with an analogue camera and scanned it into a computer, hence its crooked lopsidedness.)

You might be wondering, with such a privileged location even someone richer and more famous than us would have died for to possess, with our complete and unobstructed view of the Alhambra day and night, why we left. Well, my husband (now ex) packed up his bags and moved to Venice with an Italian girl. I got tired of sitting all alone with the baby on the rooftop and gazing at the Alhambra and decided that I preferred to gaze at the sea instead. So we left, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

(I might add, he returned a few weeks later with his head hanging, something about the Italian girl not willing to support him and demanding that he get a job……)

Plaza Nueva

Ah, the famous Plaza Nueva which is most emblematic of Granada. I think every tourist knows where it is and has passed through it sometime. I have so many tales to tell about this place, I could probably fill up a whole book.

It’s a mecca to every hippy, saltimbanco, juggler and rasta on the planet, I believe. Okay, so in this photo it looks kinda forlorn. I guess maybe it gets a bit livelier when the weather lightens up.

Reyes Catolicos

This is the famous statue of the Catholic Monarchs (Isabel and Fernando) which probably every visitor to Granada has seen (and posed in front of). My kids weren’t going to be outdone and had to pose in front of it too.

Science Museum

The Science Museum.

This was the actual object of our visit to Granada. Our luck is fantastic and on the one day that we had chosen to visit the city, it was closed! Normally it is closed on Mondays, so we went on Tuesday – and it was closed! Something about a bank holiday……

Fuente de las Batallas

La Fuente de las Batallas (the Fount of Battles).

Well, actually, La Fuente de las Batallas is the one beside this one. I couldn’t take a photo of the actual fountain, because there was some sort of protest march around it. But this one is right next to it, and it’s quite similar, so I figured, it can sort of substitute. Right?

I used to love going there on lazy summer afternoons with my newborn and have an Italian gelatto. It’s what I remember about this fountain, and I associate it with Italian ice cream now. Of course, I’m sure we did other things there too. But that is what I remember.

Garden

Balloon Man

This is the long passage that leads from the centre of Granada and Bib-Rambla to the back streets behind the cathedral. A friend used to live there, and my son spent many afternoons bawling away in her home. (When he was born he was always bawling.)

Cuesta de San Gregorio

This is perhaps the most frequented little lane in Granada, the Cuesta de San Gregorio, the entranceway to the Albayzín, the old Moorish neighbourhood. It’s lined with teterías (tea shops) all the way up, and it’s very typical to go there in the afternoons and sip hot mint tea while nibbling at Arab pastries and sweetmeats and observing the crowds go by.

My favourite shop, an ecological, health food store, El Panadero Loco, is on this street, but when we passed by it was closed because, apparently, it was a bank holiday……

I asked the locals and I was pleased to discover that after all these years, business was still booming there. (Taking into account that my son, who was born in the shadow of the Alhambra, is now twelve……)

Cuesta de San Gregorio

Kinda reminds you of a Moroccan zoco, doesn’t it?

San Juan de los Reyes

You can see by this church (it’s actually a cloistered monastery, I’ve been told) that there is a street that leads upwards on the left-hand side. The street on the right (not visible in this photo) is San Juan de los Reyes, and that is where we used to live. It’s a very long, winding and quite renowned street as it runs up the length of the Albayzín.

In the background you can see the bar with the green awning. We used to call it “El Veintiuno” (Twenty-One). Here you can see it up closer.

El Veintiuno

If you pay close attention you might notice that the sign actually says “22”. Why, you might wonder? Shouldn’t it read “21”?

Well, the girl who owned the place was twenty-one years old. When she turned twenty-two, she changed the name to “Twenty-Two”. We can see that she decided to remain twenty-two forever.

They used to serve some truly incredible tapas there. (Well, they probably still do, but it didn’t occur to us to go there this time.) The hippies used to lounge around in there half-stoned, and it was impossible to have a coherent conversation with them.

“What are you up to these days?” you might address one of your acquaintances.

“Ah, just sitting around here, doing nothing,” they would reply with a vague wave of their hands.

“Well, we’re going home now. Where do you live?”

“Over there,” would be the response, with another nebulous waving towards the sky.

Well, I’ve saved up for another day the tales of our “Anecdotes from the Albayzín”, so be on the look-out!

Souvenirs

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Check Out My Son’s New Blog

My son has a new blog all his own! I’d love it if you’d check it out (in Spanish). You can see it here or here (I’m testing out the two platforms to see which one I like better, so far I prefer WordPress, although partly because I’m familiar with it so I find it easier, but also I haven’t been able to upload photos to Blogger because the link hasn’t been working, all I get is a blank page.)

All right, of course, he’s getting a little help from his Mami. Namely, I set it up, control it and manage it, and I’m in charge of the images too! But the text is all his!

So once again, here are the links: http://elblogdehermenegildo.wordpress.com/ and http://elblogdehermenegildo.blogspot.com/.

Hope you enjoy!

El Blog de Hermenegildo

On Christmas Day in the Morning

When we woke up on Christmas morning, my son looked out the window and said, “It sure looks like a great day to go out.”

So we went out. We actually went out in the afternoon, because if we go out in the morning the kids don’t pay attention to anything except their stomachs the whole day long. So it’s much better to fill them up first with a hearty lunch.

Parque Alameda Malaga

First stop: Alameda Park, the major park in downtown Malaga that’s right next to the port. We snapped a pic of the lush winter foliage and then immediately, we were off to the real object of our day trip: the Moorish castle that overlooks all of Malaga, the Castle of Gibralfaro.

Climbing Gibralfaro Mountain

I took a lot of photos of Malaga looking progressively smaller and more bird’s-eye sort of view as we climbed higher and higher, but those will have to be the subject of a future post.

Flowers Gibralfaro Malaga

Yes, this is really what Malaga looks like on Christmas day. Certainly not a sight that you could ever see in cold Canada!

Flowers on the Mountain Malaga

But then again, this is southern Spain.

Walls of the Alcazaba Malaga

The first part of the climb was simply stairs and more stairs meandering through a very pleasant park with lots of plants, especially flowers. We could see Malaga shrinking below us, but other than that, it didn’t seem too different from a walk through any other urban park on a mountainside.

And then we reached the castle. This is a view of the actual walls from below, when we first came upon them. These walls are probably over a thousand years old. (I’m not too sure exactly, would have to check up in the history books, but taking into account that the Moors ruled Spain from the eighth to the fifteenth centuries, that would more or less be a rough estimate.) Formidable!

Oven Gibralfaro Malaga

My son discovered this mystery lurking in the mountainside underneath a sort of cliff wall, well hidden from sight from the main pathway. We’re not too sure what it is, but it sort of reminds me of some type of oven, perhaps.

Flowers by the Alcazaba Malaga

We wandered around the castle a bit. Moorish castles in general are known as “alcazabas”, the ultra famous Alhambra in Granada is the best-known example of a Moorish castle or “alcazaba”. However, it’s not the only one in Spain, as virtually every southern city enjoys its own. Most are run-down and not very showy, but they are all conserved as monuments and you can usually visit them. We’ve also been to the one in Almeria, not very well-known at all in the rest of the world (or even in Spain, for that matter).

Sunset Alcazaba Malaga

The sunlight glancing off the walls of this “alcazaba” reminded us that soon it would be dark. I found the colours of the almost-setting sun a striking golden-orange sort of shade against the red earthen walls.

Tunnel Gibralfaro Malaga

After admiring the setting lights we decided to check out this tunnel that runs underneath the monument.

It leads to the back of the mountain and, in fact, the castle itself is like the centre of a star and depending on where you begin your descent from the mountain, you can end up in different parts of the city, with each pathway down acting sort of like a ray that spreads outward from the centre of the star towards a different neighbourhood.

Flowered Path

But we weren’t ready to go down yet!

Steps Alcazaba Malaga

As you can see, we continued climbing UP!

Path Gibralfaro Mountain Malaga

Path in Black and White

Good exercise for the soul, and I finally realized why my son failed Physical Education!

Setting Sun Alcazaba Malaga

A last view of the sunset off the reddish-golden walls.

Malaga Cathedral by Night

I found this view of Malaga’s cathedral as we left the grounds captivating. The night air was behaving and acting especially crisp and clear today.

Bar Malaga

Of course, you can’t end a day like today without something warm and filling. So we took a different route down into the city centre so we could enjoy tapas. What a fantastic ending to a lovely Christmas day.

Who Is Jack Frost?

I took my son to watch that new movie that just came out, “The Rise of the Guardians” (translated here into Spanish as “The Origin of the Guardians”). We had a thoroughly good time consuming buttery popcorn and doing the usual things that people do at movie theatres.

Frost

I thought that the movie was pretty clear. But when we came out, the first thing that my son commented about: did he remark about the amazing special effects? The heartwarming, happy-ending story? The lesson about how good can conquer evil and how joy is much more powerful than fear?

No.

He said: “Mami, what is frost and who is Jack Frost?”

Oh yes, sometimes I do tend to forget that we live in an almost tropical land and that he has never experienced the “joy” of having to fight through snow dunes higher than you are and getting locked up in the house because your door has frozen over.

I forget that he has never had a snowball fight, slipped on ice and broken his bones or admired the beautiful designs that frost can create on windows and tree branches.

And I forget that he has never seen frost.

Frost on Tree

The only frost that you will ever see in Malaga.

Torre del Mar Curiosities

A few days ago we decided to take off again, on another short day trip nearby. We figured it was time we finally discovered the lands…… East of Malaga! I wanted to go to Torrox, but it rained for days on end, never affording us the occasion to explore that picturesque village under clear blue skies (which lend themselves so much better to taking bright, jazzy photos), so one fine, rainy day we decided we’d have to see Torre del Mar.

Bienvenidos a Torre del Mar

Now, that isn’t because Torre del Mar is particularly beautiful, nor is it full of monuments. But grey skies don’t encourage photography very much, and it’s a fairly large town which I fancy any self-respecting resident of Malaga should get to know at some point in his life. Right?

So we hopped a bus to Torre del Mar and wandered about a bit. We didn’t do a lot, and it wasn’t an exciting visit, and there wasn’t a whole lot to see. Sorry if this disappoints loyal residents who happen to be crazy about the town, but we didn’t find a whole lot to see. Perhaps if we had gone out to the countryside instead……

So instead of posting gorgeous, drop-dead portraits with incredible landscapes, I thought I’d just upload a selection of the most curious items that we happened to bump into.

Baby Train

This little baby train is just perfect for babies, which explains why my youngest son was the one who spotted it, I suppose. It’s stuck onto a lone pole in the middle of the beach, we’re not too sure why, but we thought it was cute.

Parrots in Torre del Mar

Parrots up a tree.

Biodramina

This is my eldest, still suffering from the ravages of Biodramina (medicine for people who get sick on buses and cars).

Casa Miguel Torre del Mar

Truth is, the beach looks so forlorn outside of tourist season, all alone in the rain with its beach bars all abandoned. Bet the food was yummy during the summertime, though.

Monument in Torre del MarMonument to the Dead Torre del Mar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The plaque reads, “Homenaje a todas las víctimas de la violencia” (homage to all the victims of violence).

We applaud the initiative, however it spurred up a rousing conversation with my son, who wanted to know just exactly what constituted a victim of violence. For example, if you were blown up by a bomb, would that qualify you to become a victim of violence? What if someone murdered you? Could kids be victims of violence too, or did it only apply to soldiers? Are there victims of violence in

countries that are at peace, or do they only exist in war zones? And what happens in the case of a car accident? If a car ploughed aggressively into yours, would that turn you into a victim of violence?

And since we were on the subject, why did the victims of violence need a homage anyways?

Sheesh, I wonder where kids get all their ideas from!

El Meon Torre del MarPlaya Torre del Mar

Thank you for reading!

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Midnight… And All Is Well

Today it’s been raining and raining and raining all day. I LOVE rain, so I’m a happy camper!

However, what do you do on a Friday night after it’s been raining all day?

You take your kids to Taco Bell, of course!

Taco Bell Malaga

Fancy finding a Taco Bell here in Andalucía. Well, I love Mexican food and even though this clearly isn’t the authentic real deal, it’s still pretty yummy. Fancy planting a Taco Bell in one of those picturesque historic buildings in downtown Malaga, though.

River Malaga

And what do you do after dinner?

Flowers on the Bridge in Malaga

Well, since my life isn’t exactly comparable to James Bonds’, we can conform ourselves to a quiet stroll.

Lights on the River in Malaga

Night Lights in Malaga

We can see the river is quite swollen up after the rain.

Paseo by the River Malaga

I would’ve liked to delight you by saying that my kids had a wild time goofing off on our stroll, but…… they’re just not that kinda kids! We had a nice tête-à-tête however. Something about this fresh, rain-washed night air seems to loosen their tongues, so that they speak about what’s on their minds.

Chapel in Malaga

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Andalucía cuatro de la tarde

Today I thought I’d work on the “musings” part of being a single mama in Spain, rather than the “adventures” part. What do I think are the pros and cons of being a single mama in today’s economy in Spain?

Well, Andalucía, the southernmost region of Spain, is definitely not the place to be in these times if your aim is to become rich and have a prospering career, with unemployment over 26% (and depending on which segment of the population you belong to, could be over 60% as pretty much the only employable people these days are single, childless men with a great professional training), a majority of businesses and jobs reserved for “family” and businesses going bankrupt left and right (like the company that I was working for).

So why DO I keep hanging on here and struggling away, instead of seeking out the “greener pastures” up north in Barcelona or Madrid, or even, for that matter, in another European country? Well, I do debate that myself, and sometimes I wonder whether I shouldn’t just pack up and head on north.

So, let’s see what I consider the pros and cons of continuing to live here:

Cons (or why life is so tough here in Andalucía):

  • obviously, just about all the cons will be related to money, since that is what appears to be most lacking in this part of the world
  • the first major con, of course, is the absolute torpidity which is the act of trying to find a job here, trying to secure any kind of employment, even if only the most unstable, temporary of temporary or contract positions, is like trying to wade through treacle
  • the salaries here, which graze on the minimum wage in virtually any and every field or profession, unless you happen to be a highly qualified CEO, doctor or lawyer
  • it’s hard to get ahead as well, both professionally and personally, if you don’t have family or know a lot of people here, when you come right down to it, nepotism is still pretty alive and well in these parts
  • the social life, people are very friendly, but it’s hard to enter into the real “inner circles” if you don’t have some sort of family base around here, I myself have loads of acquaintances and people I might stop in the street and chat with, but I have virtually no close friends at all, people I would actually confide anything near and dear to me to
  • the importance of family life, now, you could say that that is also a pro, because it provides me with every opportunity and excuse to get closer to my family (aka my kids) and spend more time with them, but I find that it is also a con, because people here place the greatest priority on their families, which means that they will plan most of their activities around their families and have little time or energy left over to do things with anyone outside their families
  • once again, the social life, in a land where most people make the majority of their friends at grade school or the very latest, in university, so if you don’t happen to attend any of those institutions it’s almost impossible to meet good new friends, that is, people who are open to becoming friends with someone who is not from around hereabouts, although as I mentioned earlier, people are friendly and they will be open to meeting you for a drink or to have a café or breakfast, but it’s hard that a relationship would ever get any deeper than that
  • the difficulties in finding things from outside Spain, now, of course, you might wonder, what sorts of things would I really need from outside of Spain, because after all, didn’t I come here for the “Spanish experience”? Well, there are some things that Spain doesn’t exactly produce an excess of, so you almost virtually have to buy these articles imported, one example is make-up, which, when it comes to Spanish-made products, is pretty much limited to the polvos de Maderas by Maderas de Oriente, a very fragrant and luxurious-feeling face powder but which, nonetheless, I can’t use (much to my chagrin, because I LOVE the way they smell!) because they are too drying for me (probably the only people who could use them are little kids, like my youngest son, who still has that sweet, soft baby skin, and my oldest son, a teenager with greasy teenage skin!)
  • the lack of ecological, organic and vegetarian products, since unfortunately, Spain is still light years away from the “consciousness” and awareness of the importance of things like taking care of our planet and our health, and the south even more so than the more progressive and modernized northern regions
  • the very laid-back and non-proactive attitudes that prevail in general around here, my ex (when he wasn’t yet my ex) defined it as: “People here talk a lot about doing things, but no one ever gets up off their butts to actually do these things that they talk about so much”, which, however, on the other hand, can actually be converted into a “pro” when you’re in a situation, like I am, where much of what you are doing you need to do alone, at home, at least for the moment (in the case where, for example, you happen to be working on a project that you need to work on alone in the introspection of your home)

Pros (or why I love Andalucía):

  • well, it might be legendary and trite, but I bet every andaluz would agree, there’s just something about the sun in Andalucía that you won’t find anywhere else, that glorious fire that can give you a light suntan even in the middle of January and that stings so hard in July and August
  • the people here are so friendly
  • the cost of living is quite cheap here, compared to pretty much any other part of Spain or Europe, so if, like me, you are currently living on a fixed income like unemployment payments or pension payments of any sort, your salary will go further here than it would in a more expensive part of the world
  • the blue Mediterranean, which just can’t compare to those cold, turbulent, dark grey waters in the north Atlantic or even worse, the total LACK of water in a more interior setting
  • being able to go out and walk along the beach, no matter what is happening in your life, after all the beach is free
  • the great climate, and isn’t that what draws most foreigners who live here, to settle here rather than someplace else, to begin with?

And here is my wish-list, of things that I could probably do if I weren’t living in this part of the world:

  • have a car! Then I could TRAVEL (and if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ve probably realized that I practically live to travel!)
  • earn enough money to take my kids on longer trips or holidays abroad, so they could get the opportunity to see the world and learn more open attitudes towards other cultures and languages

So who knows? Maybe one day I’ll just pick up that ole curriculum vitae and send it off to a hotel in Paris or a Starbucks café up in London.

But if I did that, I would miss that indelible Spanish sun that you can only enjoy on the coasts of Andalucía.

Andalucia

Thank you all for reading! I love to receive (good, positive, bright) comments, so please, don’t be shy, and leave me a word!

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…And It’s a Rainy Night In Malaga

There’s nothing very spectacular in today’s post, just typical sights that I pass by every day. Kids have to go to school, groceries have to be bought. And these are the landscapes that I see as I do these things.

Empty Garden

An empty garden in the rain.

Rain in Malaga

Just a corner of Malaga.

Garden in the Rain

Orange Tree

This is actually an orange tree, the reason it has no oranges, is because it’s not the season. Well, if you look a little closely, you might catch a glimpse of a very green fruit hidden inside there, peeking out.

Rainy Courtyard

Thanks for reading!

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