Thoughts on food
There’s a tiny shop on the corner of my street that sells fruit and vegetables. For breakfast I buy a handful of strawberries, frescas, and then a baguette from another shop a few doors down. The ladies who work behind the counter are friendly and helpful, despite my lack of Spanish, and assist me to count out the right change from my handful of shrapnel.
There’s certainly an advantage to living in the centre of a city. I’ve become used to a ten, or fifteen, minute drive to the supermarket, whereas here I can pick up an apple whilst the kettle boils for a cup of tea. There’s no need to plan one day to the next, or even one meal to the next.
Turn in the opposite direction as you leave my apartment building and you come across signs for paella, tapas and deals for coffee and crepes. There’s also Japanese sushi, pizzerias and down by the port an American diner. Should you want a full English breakfast, there’s a place for that too, all though it’s a different place to the ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ restaurant with its iconic pictures of Audrey Hepburn.
The cafe’s are busy, despite it being only February. People sitting in the street lick their ice-cream or munch handfuls of roasted almonds.
For lunch I choose a ripe avocado, aguacate, and a tomato, tomate, to put with the remaining baguette. Simple, but delightful.
Thoughts on exercise
When I wander through the city, which I do each day, taking in new streets, finding statues and piazzas a fresh, I think about where I will run. In the afternoon sunshine there are numerous cyclists and joggers who dodge between the photographers, pushchairs and couples holding hands as they make their way along the port.
It was down by the port I ran for the first time.
Parallel to the route along the port is a long garden, with twisting paths, water features and that tambourine man. It’s a garden of orange flowers and deep green trees. Its smell is so distinct, so strong that it takes me back to wandering around the Eden Project in Cornwall with my friends, or to the Botanical Gardens of Aswan in Egypt. It’s this smell that when I leave I will associate with Malaga. It makes for a delicious place to run.
The paths are softer on your joints in this tropical paradise whereas along the port everything is clean and strong. Or maybe everything seems to sparkle like an advert for a kitchen cleaner, because I’m comparing it to Cairo?
During the final stretch back to the apartment, I pass the Roman amphitheater beneath the castle. It’s hot. I’m sweating and my face is typically as pink as beetroot, but I’m almost laughing as I sprint up the street home.
Thoughts on rock and roll
It starts with being asked if later, perhaps, I want to get a ‘small beer’. It’s not like the said ‘small beer’ will be more than a few minutes’ walk from the house and this isn’t an area where you feel you have to worry all that much. Plus, it’s an opportunity to discover the place and make friends. The Belgium couple sharing the apartment only stayed the weekend and the Japanese guy (who can cook) is studying for exams.
This is Spain, so later really means half eleven, which becomes more of midnight. I expect this to bother me, but it doesn’t. Bed by ten in Spain is like being sent to bed without any supper. It’s just not going to happen.
We go to a small place, amusingly named ‘zz pub’. People hang their coats under the bar on hooks. I learn that it’s common knowledge that Londoners here drink vodka with lemon. I point out that I’ve never lived in London and that a Yorkshire lass ain’t quite the same as a southern city dweller, but this doesn’t compute. I drink my vodka.
I’m amused every time I recognise music abroad. I shouldn’t be because wherever I go the radio plays English songs. It’s like being surprised that people abroad have heard of English football teams. Just silly.
The singer of the band that plays is a local Spanish guy, but every time he starts talking to the audience in Spanish I’m surprised because of how English he sounds when he sings. Somehow, accents are more fluid when people sing. When he sings an Arctic Monkeys song I declare that I’m from near where they’re from which is definitely not London.
Later in the evening, another band take the stage. We’re blessed with ‘Spanish rock’. I don’t understand a word being sung, but it’s music so the message is bigger than just the words. A friend explains that he prefers the earlier more upbeat songs, these are more (Google Translate is checked) ‘desperate’.
I think of a certain someone’s descriptions of Coldplay.
Finally, at some ridiculous hour in the morning I finally collapse on my bed, and as the sun rises, I am yet again appreciative of the window shutters.