Thursday, February 3, 2011

This is home... Málaga, Spain.

So, I'm in spain. What a trip, where to begin, what to say?

After 33 hours of traveling, 3 plane trips and 4 airports, after 3 years of waiting, anxiety and preparation. I don't even believe it's here and it's officially been a week! I've found an apartment (or actually make that two), I've moved in, I've gone out, made friends, gone to a flamenco bar, at least 3 different clubs and officially have a regular place for drinks, food and shopping. Made too many friends to count, learned new names, new slang, new phrases, new faces, new places and all that you would expect of a city I've never been before and that I'm a little in love with already.

Arriving in Malaga was a trip to say the least. I walked around with my jaw dropped to the floor for the first couple of days just taking it all in. The architecture and layout is so starkly different to Sydney. Along with the rest of europe the history and culture is written all over the old buildings, the alleyways and the castles that dot the mountains. You walk into stony apartments or bars or restaurants that smack you in the face with a sense of deja vu or a feeling of nostalgia for a time you never even knew. You can't escape the feeling that there's so much that this city has been through.

Having said that, at the same time Malaga is always under construction. There's dust everywhere from a building being renovated, a pathway being laid with stones. You'll be walking along the corner where Picasso used to live and you'll run right into a jackhammer and construction guys in fluro vests about to start work. The dichotomy is bizarre but only makes the city that more interesting - like a kid caught in those awkward teenage years (you know the ones?) still growing and not quite right just yet. 

It's a big tourist city, too. The main street, Calle Larios, is cleaned to perfection by Malagas little trucks that go around picking up rubbish and shining the lamp posts. There are gorgeous pink flowers on each lamp post down the street, buskers with harps and flutes and guitars. There are more bars, restaraunts and clubs than I know what to do with - just enough to never have eaten at the same place twice after a year, I think. After the main tourist spots there's all the apartments and buildings that change as you move away from the city, no little trucks picking up rubbish here folks! It's what I refer to as 'the real Malaga' where you don't feel like you're walking down a fashion parade of Europe's finest. And this is where I'm living! Just a little bit out of town, no more than 5 minutes from the centre, with a gorgeous view, a dog named Hendrix (after Jimmy, of course) and a shy little cat named Chula. 

So far, it feels like home. It feels normal, like this is what I've been meaning to do, waiting to do for such a long time; now that I'm here Malaga and I, we're fitting in pretty snug. The routine of waking up lazily and leisurely then going to have breakfast lunch (what's breakfast? A meal you eat before 12am what is THAT??), exploring the city, exploring the city, exploring the city. Meeting up with new friends and old ones, shopping, swapping spanish slang and striking up conversations at bus stops, in op shops, on a street corner asking for directions. 

I have random moments where I get struck down remembering that I'm here in Spain and then a big fat, stupid grin spreads across my face. Then I realise that some spaniard probably caught me out and is thinking, 'bloody tourist!' or similar, in spanish of course. So the dust is barely settling but it feels like I've done so much already, like I've been here for months. On the other hand, I've been accumulating a long  bucket-list of things to do in this city, this country. Tips from strangers and friends are making slow and hazy plans in my head for what this year is going to look like. There's so many things to do - places to conquer, people to drink with, dance with, talk to. I feel like I've taken a lot of Darwin with me too, the talking to strangers and not caring what other people think. There's a lot to say about that so I'll leave it for another post - this one is all about Malaga for now! 

The tales of shenanigans and adventures will come pouring in a bit later, for now this is just a bit of rambling about my first week in Spain - a snap shot into the good life!

With love, from Málaga.


  1. i'm sitting here painting my nails whilst reading your blog... and i must admit i did get a bit teary... I'm so happy for you sis, living your dream and conquering your bucket list one place at a time! You make me so proud and I miss you!! ohhh noo literally the tears are coming now. Miss you sis, be safe skype me soon! love you
    - Baz . **a tear just dropped, now I have the sniffles... its 2:00pm and i've got me crying...** xoxoxoxo love you lots

  2. I'm sitting her painting my nails and crying too...
    haha sorryyy bazzz didn't mean to steal your idea, just sounded like fun.
    That aside - I'd completely forgotten about the construction in was everywhere! haha naww and the little spanish street cleaners..and the creepy tourists smiling randomly at busstops...... nawwwww

    I don't feel nostalgic AT ALL. nor do i miss you. nope. you get NOTHIN! but I will say this - I am mighty excited to go to a spanish bar and have a few 'social' drinks with you.
    Keep us posted kiddo xx

  3. sounds phenomenal! this whole 'reading your blog thing so i can live through you' is going to be my new favourite hobby. so glad you're loving it and can't wait to read more of your adventures.
    love and miss you!