Post-reckless retail splurge and I found myself struggling to distribute all my things into two suitcases, a handbag and my rucksack; back to square one with a bus journey ahead of us.
Just stepping foot in Granada there is a noticeable difference in the air of this place; a sense of calm envelops the city, with its undeniable wealth of history, quintessentially Spanish characteristics and a landscape of unparalleled beauty.
Pulling up to my building in a cab, I feel I’ve made the right choice in terms of location (Hallelujah!). In a bid to become as ‘española’ as possible, I am currently residing in a sizable flat overlooking the city’s distinguished Plaza de Toros, in a neighbourhood literally dotted with tapas bars (as in one on every street/ corner/square meter of the area), which themselves create a buzz during lunchtime and late evening alike; a constant hustle of food, drink and Andalusian conversation.
At the time of writing this blog, I have been in Granada for just over a fortnight, and it’s been a surreal blur of adjusting to late nights/early mornings/non-existent midday’s. There are some things that I’ve become certain of whilst being here;
- I will not go hungry (so Mum and Dad, stop panicking)
- If you want to buy something on Sunday, forget it, you can go without for one day.
- The Spanish are not lazy for incorporating ‘siesta’ into their working day – have you TRIED doing anything at that time of day in this heat??
- TAPAS. My bank balance and waistline approve.
- Customer service is not priority, so it’s up to you to holler at the waiter/sales assistant – if you want something done, do something about it.
- They like to stare – coming from where I’m from this is an alien concept – not here though; get used to it, the whole up-and-down staring thing.
- Don’t expect anything to be done immediately; the ‘mañana’ concept, that’s taken seriously. Don’t worry though, it will get done, it’s just ASAP has less of a meaning here…
- I need to learn to slow my pace. Being programmed to London-time is not helpful in the slightest; here there is nothing important enough that requires walking more than 2mph; so keep calm and stroll on.
- The Spanish don’t do tips. It felt uncomfortable at first; not leaving 10% of the bill, almost as if I were pulling a ‘dine-and-dash’, but I checked with the natives, it’s the done thing here.
- Don’t go to the hairdressers expecting exactly what you asked for. Yesterday a friend and I left la peluquería, bewildered and looking like two 16 year old Spanish chicas, ready for our first prom.