So we've officially been in Malaga for 2.5 weeks now & to be honest, it still feels like we're on holiday. I keep wondering when that feeling will pass but actually I hope it never does, that's kind of the idea right?.....

To be on an indefinite holiday! So whilst we've been here, there's been a number of noticeable differences to life in London that we've come across that I thought I'd share so you're more prepared than we were if/when you come here. In no particular order: 1. THEY SPEAK REALLY FAST The last time I really made an attempt to speak Spanish was when I was around 13 years old in school, you know how it goes: "Me llamo Chinique, tengo trece anos, y tu?" (My name is Chinique, I am thirteen years old, and you?) - in my most London accent. At least in school you had the very patient Spanish teacher holding your hand through each syllable which doesn't compare to the locals here who assume you speak Spanish fluently. Man they speak fast here, I often end up staring wide eyed before blurting out my go to phrase "yo hable un piquito espanol" (I speak a little Spanish) and they often respond with excellent English. They really put the British to shame. Over here if you want to pass your degree you have to be able to speak English, I think it's great, we should all be bilingual at the very least.

2. THEY LOVE PORK Well meat and fish in general. I call myself a sometimeish vegan, as I go through bouts of not wanting to eat meat or dairy, God forbid. We don't eat pork or shellfish and try to limit dairy and of course you'd get by but I wouldn't want to be a full vegan in Spain as meat is EVERYWHERE. We've already found it a bit limiting ordering whilst out, it's not a big deal but definitely noticeable.

3. IS IT BANANAS OR PLATANOS? Supposedly they're the same but different. I don't know. Platanos means banana in Spanish. All the bananas we saw at first were really green and then after a week I thought yes, we found some ripe bananas, well at least that's what we thought they were but yuck....they had no sweetness to them at all. Apparently, we bought the wrong ones, I'm still confused.

4. THEY TAKE THEIR SIESTAS SERIOUSLY It's built into their working day. Many work in the morning till 2/3PM go home for an extended lunch break/nap and go back to work around 5/6pm finishing at 8/9pm. This therefore means that many shops also close up during the siestas but being that we're in the centre of the city, I naively thought we wouldn't be affected as the large chain stores don't usually close. We went to the market at about 2.30pm to buy some chicken only to find the butcher was cleaning up. The market closed at 3 so we thought had more than enough time lol, nope when they close at 3 they mean they're leaving at 3 not stop selling at 3 (face palm). We also tried a local supermarket and got kicked out of there as they were closing up too, they don't play!

5. THEIR DAILY ROUTINES ARE SO DIFFERENT Following on from their siestas, the Spanish therefore eat dinner really late. Like 9-11pm is the normal time to eat dinner over here and we wandered why the restaurants were always so quiet at 6pm. We're trying to do as they do but it takes some getting used to. We were going back to the apartment once at about 10pm for bed only to see families leaving their homes with children on bikes like the day had just begun, that was a really strange site. ​

6. THE FOOD IS REALLY FRESH The food is so fresh over here that actually goes off after 2-3 days, imagine that. We bought chicken on one day, day 2 used half of it, day 3 it had gone off. Now in the UK, the use by date is usually as long as up to 7 days (ewwwww), something has to be wrong with that. Food for thought (pun intended)

7. CLOTHES SIZING IS WAYYYY OFF I should have clocked when hearing Silvia (AJ's brother's girlfriend, they live in Seville) twas talking about buying XL clothes for Kamari (AJ's brother), I thought it sounded odd at the time but brushed it off......and then we bought clothes for ourselves. From Primark, AJ bought boxers in a medium as he usually would, let's just say now the XL remark makes sense, lol (can someone say frenchies hehe). We also bought 12-18months trousers for Taji and they're too small, she's only 9 months!!! You have been warned, expect to buy at least 2 sizes up from UK sizes.

8. THE WEATHER IS DELIGHTFUL We've only experienced rain in the last few days and even when there was 100% chance of rain all day it still only started raining from 2pm. If the sun is out it's soooo warm, even if the temperature is only 16 degrees, the real feel is generally 3-4 degrees higher. It's funny how even though we all share the same sun, it somehow feels different here, does that make sense? With over 300 days of sunshine each year, it's one of the main reasons we chose Malaga as a starting point for our travels.

9. WOMEN DRINK BEER Maybe it's because I don't drink beer why this so strange to me? The women can hold their own here, they drink beer A LOT. They ride motorbikes and they smoke. I think I find it interesting as I expected women to have more traditional roles in Spain, I definitely got that wrong.

10. MALAGA IS VERY FAMILY FRIENDLY And they LOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVE babies. I've been trying to find a moment where I can film how often we get stopped by people who want to talk to Taji and tell us that she is "muy guapa" or "bonita" (very pretty or beautiful). It's almost constant, they're so warm, friendly over here and so quick to help. We've only been here a couple weeks and have had nothing but a positive experience with the people here. If you Google being Black in Spain there's a lot videos talking about racist remarks and to avoid Spain like the plague. I honestly have no idea what those people are talking about as that's not been our experience. Taji gets the most attention from older people (and you might think if anyone would be racist it would more likely be the older the generation) but that's not the case at all. I'm sure it's not perfect but where is? Don't be put off by what people say, this is why it's important to travel and experience things for yourself, we'd miss out on so much otherwise.

We love Malaga and look forward to a continued positive experience here, tomorrow we're off to Seville to stay with Kamari & his family for a few days. Seville is another Spanish city that I wasn't even aware of till recently, I look forward to sharing our experiences of it with you! ​

Love and Light,

Chi x