Bienvenido a Granada

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.

La Alhambra, Granada
La Alhambra, Granada

 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;

  1.  I will not go hungry (so Mum and Dad, stop panicking)
  2. If you want to buy something on Sunday, forget it, you can go without for one day.
  3. 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??
  4. TAPAS. My bank balance and waistline approve.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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…
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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. 

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