Grant me a moment to observe differences and rant a bit, please.

As I mentioned in my last post, there are a lot of families vacationing here in Malaga. In addition to the added crowds, there seems to be another issue, that — given the number of tourists — I’m reluctant to attribute to Spain or Malaga, but may apply to Europeans, in general. (Or, possibly, it’s simply a “the rules of the road” kind of thing, when in Malaga.)

It is the norm here, that not only do you have the typical crowd-related possibility of anybody coming to a dead stop directly in front of you, at any moment — you also have the added fact that NOBODY (old, young, male, female) will step aside to let you pass. (Let me be clear: You are walking toward another person who is walking down the middle of the sidewalk, or group of people who are taking up the entire sidewalk. You see them. They see you. They don’t move. No, seriously, they don’t move . . . at all.)

I personally find this unbelievably rude, but since literally everyone does it, I figure there must be some subtle, elegant system (that I have yet to figure out — since, in this game of chicken, I always blink first), that allows people to walk down the street and get to where they are going without smashing into each other.

Speaking of walking down the street . . . There are so many charming things about Spain (lovely architecture, talented musicians playing in the streets, attractive people, interesting history, beautiful views of the sea), but can somebody direct me to the non-smoking section, PLEASE. Seriously, a girl’s gotta breathe.

I already knew that, in general, it is more common to be a smoker in Europe than in the U.S., but this is a bit crazy. SO many people here constantly have a cigarette in their hand. Which means that when I take a break from work, to walk around and get some fresh air . . . it’s not so fresh. If you know me, you know this is a big problem. I don’t do smoke. I don’t hang out with smokers. I have a zero tolerance policy on this one. And yet, here I am — tolerating it. I will never like it. I will never be used to it. I will never approve. But, I’m a guest here. So, for now, I tolerate it (and pray that all of those studies about second-hand smoke are a hoax).