Late yesterday (Monday) afternoon, I still had about 30 minutes of work to do, but I needed a break and got hit with a case of claustrophobia. So I impulsively dressed for town and headed to the bus stop! Buses don’t run as often at that hour, but I only had to wait ten minutes for one, not enough time to talk me out my non-plan. 🙂
It was past four and just from the bus, I could tell I was about to discover a whole new Almería since there were businesses open that I’d never seen open before.
I got off at my usual stop and started ambling aimlessly, passing a restaurant with this quote outside that made me laugh really hard:
Notice the name on the fake quote and think back to the movie “Braveheart,” (still one of my favourite movies of all time). This quote says, loosely translated, “They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our enjoyment!”
I was famished and decided to see if the fast food Turkish restaurant might be serving food that odd hour. Yes! I ordered chicken and rice and paid the extra euro to get veggies, which was a good choice since one of the veggies was a really good oil and vinegar coleslaw that made my tastebuds very happy! And of course, I asked for their garlic sauce. 🙂 I really hadn’t gone to town to eat there, but I’m glad I splurged on dinner!
I continued to amble. Downtown is compact and I can wander around now and not get lost, although with the streets being at weird angles I couldn’t give anyone directions and it takes me a few turns sometimes to get back to the main thoroughfares.
The varied architecture is lovely.
A stature of Dr. Nicolás Salmerón y Alonso, president of the first Spanish Republic.
I’m really not into the whole holiday season thing, but who doesn’t like pretty lights?
It was chilly and I was acutely aware that I need a proper coat and footwear before I leave Spain. I checked out a few dozen shops, but found nothing that was quite right. Prices were generally very reasonable, so that’s not the problem. I also discovered that clerks will ignore you unless you specifically ask for help. I’m glad my host told me that a major etiquette thing here is to greet people when you come into the shop, otherwise you’re seen as rude. So I would say hi, browse, and ask questions if I had some and clerks were happy to help.
I had just barely enough vocabulary for this exercise and didn’t know how to say things like “high heels.” So I’d point to high heeled boots and say, “I don’t want them like this, rather like this,” and point to flat shoes. Like in Mexico, it’s hard to find sensible shoes without heels in Spain. I was shocked that leather shoes that would be 100CAD+ in Canada were around 45 to 60CAD here. Anyway, the shoes were all either way too urban or way too rural. There was, however, a surprising amount of proper lined cold weather footwear, but I didn’t want actual winter boots, just something I can waterproof and wear with heavy socks.
Coats were difficult because I don’t have the shape of the average Spanish woman (same problem I have in Mexico), where you either have to be a stick or an hour glass figure. Amusingly enough, I saw a woman about my size and shape wearing exactly what I’m hoping to find, so I actually stopped her to ask where she bought her coat. Madrid. That was not helpful. 😀
I’m staying with someone about my age in Málaga and I think I will wait till I get there and get her advice as to where to shop. I haven’t found many used clothing stores here. Population-wise, Málaga is about five times bigger than Almería and gets more foreign tourists, so it definitely sounds like a better place to look. Anyway, I have a better idea now of what I’m looking for.
One thing I really liked as I shopped is that most stores will list what the storefront mannequins are wearing, along with the prices. So I could know at a glance if I could afford to shop in that store or not.
I loved this pretty pink store and that grey coat would have been awesome, but, of course, it was the most expensive thing I’d seen all night (200 euros)! If I thought I might get regular use out of it beyond the next three months, I would have bought it, but since I don’t, I’d prefer to stick to my plan of buying something new for less than 60 euros or, ideally, at a used store for much less.
The sign in the window has a list of the owner’s wishes for 2017: peace, love, health, friendship, work, happiness, and prosperity.
I found an ice cream at one point and could not resist even though it was really not ice cream weather because it was chocolate-hazelnut, not a popular flavour here and one I’ll forever associate with the Balkans. A tiny scoop was reasonably priced.
While I had every intention of getting a beer to cap my night, I started to droop around seven and still had some work to do. So I went to the bus stop and a bus pulled up in less than five minutes!
The ride home would have been freaky in my early days here since it was pitch black out and for some reason, the stops weren’t being announced so it was hard to know where I was at times. The bus emptied out at the university, with just me remaining, and the driver asked if I knew where I was getting off. Yes. It’s very easy because the bus makes one turn after the university and I’m the stop immediately after that turn. Didn’t remember the name of it the stop, though, but he understood what I meant. It was then a walk of a couple of blocks to get home.
Almería after dark was a whole different world than I’ve been used to, much busier than in the earlier part of the day! I think Spaniards are vampires!