So I’ve grown to appreciate all sorts of new things throughout my experience in Spain. I figured why not make a blog post of everything, big or small, that I’m going to miss about this country? Lord knows I need to write it down anyways if I ever want to remember it all. So here we go..
1. It’s amazing to walk out of my building to hike my early morning brisk walk to class and hear different styles of live street music played on the way. I will never forget the accordion man on Pedro Antonio.
2. And with that being said, I think I might miss the beggars on the street as well just a little bit. Mostly the one outside of Zara who speaks Spanish like google translate.. “Ho-la gua-pa… ayuda-me por-fa-vor.” Love that guy. I might just ayudarle before I leave in 10 days just to show him how much he has stood out to me this semester.
3. The people in Spain are so family-oriented it’s beautiful. Walking through town with arms linked, 15 year old kids still holding their moms hands, older men pushing their even older father’s around in a wheelchair, men and women greeting each other with a kiss on each cheek, men greeting each other with hugs and firm pats on the back. At first I expected to feel uncomfortable by the comfort zone of Spaniards or lack-there-of. Turns out I’ll most likely be bringing it back to the states… so prepare yourselves :)
4. So get this.. you’re hungry and want a beer. So you go to a bar/restaurant, order a round of beers.. 2 minutes later a free plate of food is being brought out due to the round of beers. Repeat this process by 3 or so. You get the gist of it I’m sure. 4 beers + 4 free servings food. This process is called tapas by the way. Probably my top 3 favorite things about Spain. Well, Granada, I should say. It doesn’t happen in every part of Spain. Mostly Granada because it’s such a huge college town and we’re ballin’ on a budget.
5. 100 Montaditos. Preferably on a Sunday or Wednesday.
6. Walking everywhere rather than driving. I absolutely love that most things are within walking distance here. Walking distance consisting of 5-35 or so minutes to wherever I need to go. It’s nice to constantly get fresh air throughout the day and take in the surroundings. Don’t get me wrong though.. sometimes I miss being able to hop in the car and drive my happy ass where I need to go. Mostly because I like to jam out while I drive. I guess that’s what headphones are for while I’m walking though.
7. Churros and chocolate. Everyone has their own personal hangover remedies, mine are churros.
8. SIESTA. Even though I rarely participate in the actual “siesta” aspect of the “siesta” time… I still appreciate the tradition. Except for when the store or market I need to go to is closed during siesta and I have to put my life on hold from 2:30-5:30. Siesta is mainly for relaxation though which, for some reason, is when I feel like being the most adventurous. So sometimes I just wander around. Other times I take advantage of this country-wide nap-time.
9. How easy it is to hop on a bus and take a ride for a few hours to a city halfway across the country for only 13 euros. Oh, and the flights across the CONTINENT or country for less than 100 euros. Ryanair, baby.
10. The beautiful, bearded, perfectly dressed and groomed spanish men. I won’t miss the beautiful, flawless spanish women though because they make me not want to leave my apartment.
11. The SOCIAL drinking atmosphere in comparison to the American binge drinking atmosphere. The simplicity of having several drinks with your friends but still remembering everything the next day and also having your dignity remain.
12. To totally contradict the above statement…. the chupiteria aka the chup aka the shot bar. 100 different types of shots all for 1 euro each. These are for the nights when we feel like being the american binge drinkers that we are. Oh and you get a ticket for each shot you get at the chup, 75 tickets gets you a thong that reads “Chupiteria 69” … I think 100 for a hoody. Classy, huh?
13. Whatsapp!! What a beautiful creation of an app. Except for the fact that you can totally tell when someone has read your message and not responded and vice versa. But there’s just something about that app…
14. The random, obscure art on the buildings around town.
15. Buying a bottle of wine for less than 2 euros (5 out of 7 nights of the week) and not being judged. Well, not too harshly at least.
16. Being overly fed by my spanish host mom because she thinks I need to put on some weight or something. “Quieres más?” “Quieres fruta?” “Quieres postre?” “Algo más?” Nooo mamá, estoy llena. After the dinner that could’ve fed a family of 6 was split between my roommate and I, I don’t think I can manage to fit dessert in my stomach but I truly appreciate the concern and hospitality. No, she really is a great and fantastic woman though. I was incredibly blessed with Marian as my host mother.. it’s possibly that I’ve been contemplating adult-napping her. I can’t even fathom leaving her in 10 days.
17. The coffee. So much cheaper than Starbucks. So much better, too.
18. The architecture. I am infatuated with spanish architecture and even after 3 and a half months of living in Spain, I have never once became even remotely bored with the designs and buildings. I spot something new everyday, something worthy of taking a picture of. My dream home WILL include spanish architecture.
19. The Andalusian accent! I was terrified to live in this region of Spain at first due to the extremely different accent, but now I love it and have even picked up on it myself. It makes so much sense why they pronounce the “c’s” and “z’s” with what you would consider a lisp, obviously different than the “s’s” .. that slight difference in pronunciation can completely change the word you’re trying to use. I applaud you, Spain. Your use of vale, vosotros, and the andalusian lisp have totally transformed my spanish (for the better).
20. The well-behaved dogs. Minus the shitting in the streets. But honestly I don’t really blame them considering there is absolutely no grass in Spain. So it’s not their fault they have to shit in the street, but the owners should definitely clean up after them. Other than that… the dogs are so much more well-behaved here than in the states.
21. That goes for children too… it’s rare that you hear a child throwing a tantrum in public. The children really seem to mature at a more rapid rate than the children in the states. Maybe it’s because they actually go outside and be humans and speak face to face with other humans. Rather than having their faces glued behind an iPad. Technology is amazing but it’s deteriorating our social skills/lives.
22. The beautiful sunsets in the mountains. We like to hike up through the albayzin to the Mirador de San Nicolas and watch the sunset over the Alhambra. It’s honestly magical. Especially if you bring some nice red wine, loaf of bread, cheese, chorizo, and grapes and have a little bit of live background music playing. Not much else compares.
23. My overall favorite aspect of Granada is the slow-paced lifestyle that everyone lives. Nobody is in such a rush that they cannot appreciate their loved ones and the small things in life that are truly essential and important to stay sane and happy. Things that are easily overlooked back home. I’ve learned to pay more attention to detail and have my ears, eyes, and heart open while I’m exploring this new, strange world. There is so much to learn and the majority of it can be done simply through observation. La prisa mata :)
I’m going to end it at that because I could probably continue my list to 100 and I don’t want to bore you to tears. Granada is truly a magical city and I’m so content with the life I have created for myself here because I’ve made it impossible to not return in the future. :)