Term starts tomorrow, so this week was essentially a holiday in Malaga, complete with a visit from my parents and sister – although their presence did not make me feel under any pressure whatsoever to act responsibly. I went through a bit of a Malaga initiation ceremony on my way to the bus station to pick up my family; firstly, as I was waiting to cross the road outside the cathedral, I felt what I thought was someone tapping me on the shoulder and looked around to see that it was, in fact, one of the horses that give tourists carriage rides, licking me. Explaining hastily that I just wanted to be friends until the dust settled with that dog that humped my leg last year, I turned to look at the traffic lights and notices something amazing: the green man in Malaga (and perhaps all of Spain) actually walks; pedestrians get a count down from sixty to cross the road or just watch this phenomenon, which becomes even more exciting when the countdown gets to five seconds and the green man actually starts to run! For a small mind like-what-is-easily-amused, it was almost too much to handle. On meeting my family, I was informed by my sister that my theory from last week that the building work in Malaga was a network of tunnels to house a race of fish-people was actually half-right (a generous half, like getting ‘fifty percent’ in a university exam). It is actually a Metro system (which is a network of tunnels but used to transport homeless people, not fish people) which is running three years behind schedule – which is probably why Malaga’s Olympic bid has never been successful.
On Valentines day, obviously not otherwise engaged, I joined three of my female friends at a club in which all girls were presented with a Rose and a glass of pink champagne on entering. Or so they thought. Obviously a rose just was not quite in keeping with the atmosphere of this particular club, so instead the ladies were presented with a cardboard box which contained a red g-string. I did not feel too left out though as there seemed to be plenty of spare ones being catapulted at people on the dance floor or worn as hats. We eventually left when a couple of German students from the girls’ language class started trying to procreate in front of us and, on the small dance floor, it became impossible not to become an extra in their pronographic stage show. One thing I particularly enjoyed about this club was their equivalent of the half-time show; the music was turned down (not off) and a guy was ushered on stage to play the saxophone over it while a half naked lady danced awkwardly beside him. I do not think I have ever been part of an audience who felt so collectively dumbstruck – so I look forward to more live entertainment in other clubs.
On Tuesday, as happens every time my family go somewhere with nice weather, it started to rain. Not just a shower, but such a heavy downpour that the raindrops actually started to type words on to my touchscreen phone as I attempted to send a text while walking, until the phone stopped working altogether. Having been assured that the last time it rained in Malaga, it was ash from the volcano that wiped out the dinosaurs, I was just a little disappointed to let this weather take me by surprise and end up sniffling away like a toddler who fell through a frozen lake for the rest of the week. Being in this condition and with not a huge appreciation of the difference between art and somebody sneezing paint on a piece of canvas, I was perhaps not in the best frame of mind to visit the Picasso museum. While obviously a phenomenal painter, he did play it fast and loose with his definition of ‘a human being’ in some of his work, which led my sister and I to play a game where we had to guess the title of the painting without looking at it, giving up when we guessed ‘a goldfish’ and ‘some kind of boat’ to then learn that the painting was called ‘reclining nude’ which raised the issue of what the model for this painting must have felt like to see that, in the eyes of one of the great geniuses of the twentieth century, she was green and had three eyes, a sideways mouth and eleven chins.
Not dwelling on the poor Picasso models I went out again, this time to a live-music club called ‘Sala Wenge’ in which middle-aged guys sing classic American rock while young guys get drunk. As always I performed my part of this bargain admirably but decided to call it a night when I asked a girl who had told me repeatedly that she was American what it was like to live in Sweden (I think Dr Freud would surmise that I want to meet some Swedish people). On Friday it was my twentieth Birthday and so, on the advice of my flatmate, followed the Danish tradition where eighteen year-olds drink eighteen shots to celebrate. Not having been deemed to have drank my twenty shots quickly enough I had to do a couple more extra-disgusting ones to compensate. There ends the night as far as I can remember it, although I am told my evening ended quite soon after that when I , obviously deciding that I had had enough for one night, decided just to run off laughing like a maniac while we were looking for a club, and woke up in my bed near-enough unscathed yesterday morning. Since then I have been feeling the ill effects of my sniffles and having drank mixtures of vodka, ketchup and milk on Friday night.
So that brings us up to date. I now need to perform my part of the cleaning rota and then find out when my classes actually are tomorrow. More next week.