July 23, 2005

7/23/05 Málaga Spain

Blessing into a curse

Planning one last 'tourist' trip to El Centro, to visit the cathedral in Málaga. Inside it was pretty impressive. But like most places these days, on cameras allowed. Even though the stained glass windows were pretty high, the interior seemed to have plenty of natural light.

The cathedral only is still missing a tower

Outside I was approached by a woman, a gypsy I think, who handed me a sprig of evergreen or lavender or something and then started to do a blessing on my hands. But when I wouldn't pay her, I think she turned the blessing into a curse. Guess I need to be careful. [smile]

A big container ship moving into the harbor

The bullfight ring is in the heart of downtown

Finally bought a book on irregular verb conjugations. But still looking for a good copy of Don Quijote. For those who might be thinking of taking Spanish in Málaga, I would suggest bringing a big dictionary and a small one to carry around, a book of verb conjugations and maybe even your own book on Spanish grammar. Probably the only non-school item I would recommend is a coolie. You know, one of those foam things you put your beer can in to keep it cool. Despite the heat here, they don't have them. And remember, they're not only for beer.

Was just walking around and as I got closer to the Mercado Central de Atarazanas, I sort of let myself get swept up in the crowd heading inside. We passed the building on a tour several weeks ago, but I thought it was just a vacant historical building. Oh, it's very much alive inside.

It's a giant indoor farmer's market. The first two rows were fish mongers, then two rows of butchers, followed by several rows of fruit and vegetable stands. What a place! And packed with people too. The vendors sang out prices and then when someone bought something, some would sing that out too. “Dos kilos de naranjas por la chica.” (“Two kilos of oranges for the girl.”) I could have bought a ton of stuff. The vegetables were so much better and cheaper than at the supermarket. Oh, well, kind of hard to shop for one person.

Inside the Mercado Central de Atarazanas

The 'double arches' are everywhere

As I headed home, there was a huge basketball event happening in the Plaza de la Marina. Basketball is big in Spain. I think Spain just won the European Championships. Lots and lots of Michael Jordon wannabes.

Actually caught Rudy before he left. That makes five new friends from Sweden and I still have five more weeks here.

A lot cooler today, so ended up at the beach for awhile, then took a walk up the boardwalk towards El Centro. Feeling pretty good but still a little apprehensive about my scheduled 12-mile run tomorrow. Ended up taking two running days off this week when I was sick. Was going to get up early to run but found out that all the language schools in the area are throwing a party on the beach for the foreign students. And it doesn't even start till 11pm. Guess I'll just have to see.

The beach near my apartment

Our new roommate arrived as Britt and I wee eating a late dinner. Ingrid is from Belgium. I think she was a little overwhelmed by having roommates, just like Rudy. She is a Cervantes student, a school just down the street. But she's up for the party tonight. Looks like another good roommate.