We have just settled into our 1st of 4 residences were we will be staying for quite a long time, so we get to really settle in and unpack. We are staying in Fuengirola, a smaller and less recognized town on the southern coast of Spain. Just like in London, I can’t help but keep trying to spot some differences in between here and home. 4 big differences have come to my attention:
1. Transportation: In Fuengirola, as well as in other places we will be going to in Asia, there will be a lot more motorcycles. Motorcycles are a more versatile way of getting around, and are a lot more common in other parts of the world. Another observation concerning transportation is that basically the opposite of London, there is much, much, much less public transportation. Very little buses and trains and metros, though there are a sizable amount of taxis, and that is the best they have for public transportation. Also, the streets are much smaller. Even in the center of town (in Fuengirola), the streets are only big enough for one car to pass through, and you don’t usually see any speeding, zooming cars on them.
2. Buildings: In Seattle, a house will usually have a couple of colors that define the feeling of the house, though in Fuengirola the people go wild. You will see like 3 colors on a house at minimum, and the streets feel a lot less organized with the color of people’s houses, giving it a more chaotic look. In Fuengirola, How people design buildings, with bricks covered with stucco, is actually very common for an apartment building, while in Seattle, it is a lot more typical to find a house made out of wood and planks. Almost exactly like London, you don’t see personal houses, with their own gardens, and a plot of land for one house. Everything is basically just apartment buildings. Tall, towering apartment buildings, with each one having it’s own tiny, little balcony. Unlike Seattle, people here don’t bother with dryers, they have their own little clothes lines, to just hang up their clothes on, and to let them dry. The reasoning for this is that in Seattle, the weather could easily become rainy, and your clothes that were hung up outside would be drenched, so people can afford to have an extra appliance in their house. For example, in Spain, it hasn’t rained once since we landed here, and we have been here for 11 days already. Summers in Spain are hot, so why buey a dryer? The apartment already comes with a clothes line anyway.
3. Food: I have made two observations on food in Fuengirola, besides just the food being different, cuz I mean, we are in Spain. 1, Meat is a perfect delicacy here in Spain, and most restaurants will not have many vegetarian options, *sorry vegetarians* though it is possible to manage with no meat. Fuengirola does not really have an interest in eating beef or chicken, all they really care about is jamon (ham/pig) and seafood. Fuengirola is next to the ocean, so why not eat clams, fish, and all sorts of little scrumptious, tasty treats that are on your doorstep. And the traditions and references of pigs and eating pigs (this goes for all of Spain), and everything pig dates back to the time of the Celtic tribes living here some 2500 years ago. So why not eat pig? 2, Every section of the city has many bakeries, with all sorts of breads and pastries. Every time I walk by one, my mouth waters at all of the rolls and tarts and breads just sitting in the window, perfectly cultivated to perfection, and they look soooooooooo scrumptious, yumptious, and like a super, mega tasty treat.
4. Lifestyle: In Spain, the lifestyle of the average person is different that of an American. A Spanish lifestyle (we are trying to fit into the life of a Spanish person ourselves, though not all of it) includes staying up late (that’s why when you are trying to sleep and you have to keep your window open not to die of heat stroke, you hear musicians, dogs, children, bikes, cars, laughing, yelling, screaming, and all manner of sounds somehow almost wanting to DRIVE YOU MAD in the middle of the night!), sleeping in, eating your meals later than a person that lives in Seattle, and a lot more naps than a person that lives in Seattle (that’s why some shops will open at 8am, close at 1pm, open again at 5pm, and then close down at 9pm, and all the pauses are just because the owner wants to take a nap, or has something to attend to at their house, and some shops will even open at 8 o’ clock at night, and be open during the night).
I can’t help it, but is really fun to look at a country’s culture, and compare it to our own. Just a hobby of mine.
Missing Seattle, but still having a boatload of fun where I am,
View of Fuengirola from our balcony