Monday, August 31, 2015

The Family Experience in Torre del Mar

I'm not very close to my family. Many of my Canadian friends are the same. It's the opposite in Spain, and sometimes people here feel sorry for me. They assume that I'm walking around sad all the time, because I'm so far away from my family. It actually doesn't really bother me, as I've been independent my whole life, but once in a while I attend family events here that highlight the divide between my family relationships, and families in Spain.

I visited a friend in Torre del Mar, a small "district" near Málaga, along the coast. Upon arrival, she announced that we were going to her aunt's birthday. All of the family would be there. She felt sorry for dragging me to the birthday, but I told her I didn't mind because I love being involved in intimate spanish family events. It's always interesting to note that, while there are obvious cultural differences in terms of language or food, families all over the world are the same. You have the cool uncles, the overbearing mothers, the caring aunts, and the incomprehensible grandparents. Adults laugh about their generation, while children roll their eyes. Nieces ask for only a tiny piece of cake and groan upon receiving the hugest slice ever. Younger cousins excitedly ask to join in on the adults' plans to go on a pub crawl, only to be shushed by their parents.

That night, when I thought we would go out dancing, my friend suggested a game of beach volleyball instead. At 10:30 p.m., which surprised me. Of course, I was in. I may be the shortest girl in Jaén but I LOVE volleyball. I was all over the place, in a very competitive way. Good thing only one cousin had B1 english and understood my swearing (“Oh my gosh, she said 'shit'!”).
Despite volleyball, I still had time to get my drink on.
The next morning, an aunt invited me to a morning of churros and shopping, while my friend was working. I heartily agreed, and we spent the next few hours talking and laughing while traversing the town centre.
This vacation was a nice quiet affair, in that I spent time getting to know my friend better, and getting to know her family. They treated me in a lovely way, so much that I hope to see them again. Who knows, could be another family reunion!

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