Malaga recap

I originally didn’t spend the time writing about Malaga, because I wasn’t sure what to say about it. But after being in Granada, I now have thoughts about my time in Malaga. I know that makes no sense, but when has anything I have ever done made sense??

So I decided to stay in a place I found on AirBNB.com in Malaga. I was curious to try it, but also nervous. The idea of staying in a complete stranger’s house is scary. However, the fact that the other cheap hotels and hostels seemed to be full in Malaga forced my hand.

I arrived two hours later than planned and was worried because I had no good way to contact the lady I was staying with. Plus, she wasn’t even there but had made arrangements for me to pick up keys from the neighbor. However, everything went so smoothly that I was happy and impressed. Her directions on how to get there were also perfect.

I was alone the first night, but found the place spotless, roomy and well prepared. There was food in the kitchen for breakfast. My host, Tatiana, and her husband, John, stopped by the second night on their way back from the airport. They just wanted to check on me and were able to help me with questions I had.

In any case, I got to know Tatiana a bit better over the next few days. She was charming and helpful and gave me suggestions on things to do (try bocadillo) and place to go (the charming town of Mijas) and spent several hours with me to figure out bus and train schedules.

All in all, it was the best first experience I could hope for with AirBNB.

I also went to the beach of Malagueta, located in Malaga. It was actually a pretty decent beach for a place in a city. It was much hotter in Malaga than I expected, so swimming in the ocean felt great.

I spent a day in one if the “pueblos blancos” near Malaga called Mijas. Absolutely gorgeous town and made me think that it must be what Santorini is like. Located on a hill, facing the ocean, all white buildings…gorgeous.

The old town of Malaga is quite charming, too, with its windy streets an alleyways and how everyone is out so late. All in all, I enjoyed Malaga much more than I expected to.

For Granada, I decided to book a hostel since I was able to find availability in one with good reviews. However, after doing my sightseeing and coming back to my hostel at night, I wish I had booked an AirBNB place. As a solo traveler, you find more people to talk to and also get a local flavor of the place when staying with a on airbnb. The suggestions on where to go and what to do end up being better, too.

So my next stop is cordoba tomorrow. I booked another AirBNB place. I hope I like it as much as I did in Malaga!

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Hammam al Andalusi and Teterias

Just returned from a hammam in Granada and I must say, I really enjoyed it! The hammams were originally used by the Muslims who lived here to perform ablutions/bathe before going to the mosque, but they were also social places to relax and hang out. I signed up for a massage and scrub and then of course access to the baths. The baths are essentially 3 pools: a cold pool, a hot pool, and a warm pool. There are also areas near the pool to just sit or lie down. And there was a steam room. The entire placed was infused with scents of cloves and other things my sense of smell is not advanced enough to identify. But suffice it to say the whole place smelled amazing. I enjoyed going from pool to pool and just relaxing. There was also calm Arab-sounding music in the background.

My massage was very light and simple. Nothing like the intense 1 hour massages I sign up for in New York to destress and get the kinks out of my neck and back. This was only 15 minutes and the lady used soap, water, some kind of foaming liquid and a scrubbing mitt. Still, it was quite enjoyable.

I also checked out a Teteria (tea house) in Granada. They are all over the place and serve all different kinds of teas, as well as hookah. As a tea snob, I quite enjoyed the teterias!

Anyway, pictures to come once I finally make it to an Internet cafe.

Deep thoughts from Jack Handy

Ok, the deep thoughts are actually from me! Shocker, I know. Well I am back in my room after a few drinks. That makes 2 nights in a row. But this time drinking solo because now I am in Granada and I have yet to make new friends. But I am happily buzzed. The only reason I may not come back with a beer belly is because I walk all day and chintz on food since things are expensive here. On the other hand, Thailand is next, which is CHEAP…

Anyway, on my 2 hour bus ride from Granada to Malaga, I had all these deep thoughts. Which will be followed by my more trivial thoughts!!

Well, here is the essence of my deep thoughts…I was thinking for some reason that both in tv/movies (we all know tv and movies are very important and relevant to real life) and in real life I always root for the underdog or the seemingly misplaced person or the one who is somehow neurotic. Maybe everyone does, but I think for me it’s because I somehow relate. Then I started thinking back to how I have been trying to leave corporate America forever. Or at least have a solid plan to do so. In fact, I can remember back to senior year at Barnard when I had the FDIC offer and the pwc offer. The FDIC work was related to economic research which I was so much more interested in. But the pwc offer just made more sense…more money, the dot com thing was big and the IT skills seemed like they would be important and more relevant…

Anyway, we all know how that story turned out. The point is, the signs and signals were there all along regarding what I really wanted to do, but I just ignored them to be a good Indian and follow the tried and true path that works for so many others. I was successful at it, but ultimately not happy and now I am back at square one. What if I had just taken the path I wanted to in the first place?? Who knows if things would have turned out differently. I guess the point is, now is that time to do the random shit I wanted to do all along! And I already started with my LOA. Good for me. That was a long time coming….only 3 years…

Anyway, onto my more trivial stories. I feel like I have become a better solo traveler. In Mexico it was the first place I went and I second guessed the whole LOA a lot. And I think I was lonely sometimes, though I met more people there than I have here. But Spain is great because everything WORKS and I can drink the tap water without fear of becoming deathly ill. And I am more than ok with my LOA now and ok traveling solo, too.

Great, now I can’t remember the rest of my trivial stories. Maybe it’s because my buzz is wearing off. I guess this means time to go to sleep.

Well, next time I will write about Malaga. And then Granada. I will post pics once I finally make it to an Internet cafe.

Food in Oaxaca

Throughout my stay I have been taking pictures of all the food I have tried in Oaxaca, including a cooking class I took.  Below are some pictures…