Friday, 11 September 2015

Andalusia, a Summer spent, now approaching Autumn

My time in the south, two months in

It has been a long, eventful two months whilst living here in Andalusia since June if I recall correctly. I may have arrived in July but I don’t remember. Oh well, time is not of particular importance within this part of Spain anyway, one of the few things about the Andalusians that I have come to rather dislike. If they tell you to meet at such and such a time, for instance 8.00pm at night, it would be a wise move to arrive at 8.45pm whereupon you will be ‘pleasantly surprised’ upon releasing that you’re still in fact the first person on the scene. No doubt, it will be 9.00pm when the person or persons show. Yet the Andalusian comes with a hearty salute, a hug, two kisses and the classic ‘que pasa tio!’ or ‘como va quillo!’ In the UK, if one arrived an hour late [for British readers] you could imagine the long drawn out apologies and list of reasons as to why you have wasted the other persons time, pissed away frankly an hour of their existence because you arrogantly assume that they have nothing better to do than wait for you – perhaps their plans are less important than your own. This I’m afraid is the mentality of people from Andalusia it appears. They simply do not use or rather do not understand the concept of time. 

However, Andalusia is a place that has grown on me substantially, cities such as Cordoba being amongst my favourites. Great weather [for myself personally – I love months on end of searing heat], an intriguing culture, fascinating history, good food, beautiful women and a healthy abundance of fiestas! I agree with a man from Seville whom I once met when back in Cadaques, he told me that the south is an ‘otro mundo’ or ‘a different world’ to Catalonia. The lifestyle is extremely laid back, in Montilla, the large town in which I live, shops and businesses close from 2.00 – 6.00pm more or less. The people of this town live in the bars and restaurants, passing away the evenings and well into the mornings sat amongst their groups of friends lively conversing. It is a wonderful social atmosphere here, the favourite pastime of people being just sitting and talking for hours on end with their friends. In the one nightclub Montilla has to offer during the summer, everyone stands talking in friendship groups occasionally moving to the bar for another ‘cerveza o cubata’ or to go and talk with different friends stood in another part of the club. The women dress themselves up to the point of looking mercilessly attractive, yet no dancing takes place. Unlike Honduras, to make a comparison between two Latin cultures, where women throw themselves all over the men in a nightclub, grinding up on ‘muchachos’ to Reggaeton. This would be social suicide in Spain I think, for it is highly frowned upon. Forgive me, but being the warm blooded 19 year old that I am, combined with my lust for Latinas, I rather prefer the Honduran night scene... Although in all honesty, it is a lovely atmosphere when amongst the Andalusians, fully enjoying their parties always. Nobody gets outrageously drunk, no fights occur, if it’s a different world to Catalonia, then it’s another planet to the UK - a place whose people can’t sustain from getting disgustingly pissed and having fights.

I am making plans to visit more places here, I have made some nice friends which makes all the difference when living amongst another culture, all the more in an enclosed community setting that so exists in Montilla. It takes time I feel to get to know and to have others get to know you here, yet when you do, Andalusians make very good friends and can be extremely warm and open. My next few upcoming blogs will be about the cities I think, such as Cordoba, truly unique places that fascinate the individual, places that demand writing of.

Ben Anson, Montilla, September 2015 


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