Another week has flown by in Malaga without really giving me time to contemplate whether or not I have had any important, Erasmus, cultural, intermingling experiences – although perhaps the entire experience of this year was summed up for me by a girl in my group in theatre class who explained why she hated Erasmus students; because they turn up to class, do nothing and then the rest of the time it’s ‘fiesta, fiesta, fiesta’ – I looked at the ground while shifting my eyes awkwardly from side to side and murmered my agreement about how awful most of the foreign students were while trying my utmost not to burp beer all over her.
With no class on Monday we went along to what was advertised as a Vegas night at one of the clubs, although when we got there the extent of the Vegas-ification was two giant playing cards hanging over the bar – although being a holiday there was nowhere else open and they obviously realised that their entertainment could be as rubbish as usual and they would not lose any customers. Disheartened we then took a bit of a tour of some of the less familiar nightspots in Malaga to collect the free shot they give out at the door and then leave straight away.
On Tuesday our new flatmate arrived; Martin from Belgium, who serves the dual purpose of allowing me to pretend that I am practising French by occasionally interjecting when he and Valentine (my French flatmate) speak in their mother tongue, and ensuring that I no longer need to watch football alone (although the first two games we watched, featuring Arsenal and Barcelona, who are set for one of the greatest European showdowns of all time this week, yielded only one goal…and we seem to be missing a classic at Anfield). At the risk of sounding like a broken record…we went to the pub again that night. I know. Yawn. The pub was called ‘Cheers’ (appropriately chosen to celebrate an American friend’s birthday) – where they ingeniously compensated for the fact that the bar itself looks nothing like ‘Cheers’ by placing a life sized statue of ‘Norm’ at the bar. Life sized statues are commonplace in the bars of Malaga and it took me a few days to get over the weird sensation that Elvis Pressley or the Blues Brothers were judging me silently as I walked back to my flat.
One of the features of the ex-pat friendly city which reminds me most of home is the ‘pub-quiz’ which takes place every Wednesday in one of the thousands of Irish pubs dotted all over the city, in which our sparse knowledge of Spanish culture (not knowing that Zapatero came to power in 2004) cost us a prize for the second week running – until we win one of the prizes this quiz takes absolute priority over all University work.
Classes are still going relatively smoothly although there are still aspects that I struggle with – like one ‘literature’ class which I am pretty certain is about things like what Frederick Nietzsche’s favourite colour was, in which I am frequently clueless as to what is going on. Apart from that I cannot really complain – the courses are being taught at a very leisurely pace and it takes about four hours to teach us what they would try and cram into an hour in Edinburgh which makes it easier to follow.
We celebrated the end of the week on Thursday (premature perhaps, but it was what all the Spanish kids were doing) by going to a tiny bar (which, like my favourite haunt in Albi, gave me the impression that somebody just stuck a bar in their living room and got a cooler full of drinks – unlike ‘cosy’ there were at least fifty drunk Spanish students in ‘Viking II’ causing an absolute rammy). The reason for this was that the owners of the bar (nice people, but clearly insane) were selling a litre of beer for two Euros and a litre of various cocktails for three euros fifty. Despite all the chaos caused by the Spanish kids I was still called upon to play the role of idiot foreigner as I dropped a litre bottle of beer on the floor which smashed – which led to a tense few moments; if it had been an old Western film I would definitely have had to shoot my way out, which would maybe have been less awkward…
On Friday, having been let down by the clubs in Malaga too many times in one week, we decided to play drinking games in the flat. I lost. Ler’s leave it at that.
All of which leaves me with the feeling that there is a pattern in my life developing which worryingly similar to that described by the girl in my class, so I have resolved to try and mix things up a bit this week so that, if nothing else I have something more interesting to write about than ‘fiesta, fiesta, fiesta’.