Since I have successfully reached the halfway mark for exams, or reached the halfway mark successfully (or both, however you want to see it), I shall reward myself with writing a blog entry. All these writing juices need to be let out! Way to go brain, thanks for the writing itch during exam period – forever finding a way to procrastinate! >.<
I developed a weird fascination with narrow winding streets and back streets while in Andalucia. I would often ditch the main roads and walk through the dizzying mazes for hours, just for the sake of it. It was such a joy to turn a corner and see something I totally didn’t expect, like a wonderful view of the Alhambra or the blooming flowers cascading from someone’s balcony.
I know some of you might think it isn’t safe, especially to do alone but.. I felt confident and safe doing so in Andalucia (not in Barcelona!), for reasons I cannot truly grasp. Perhaps it’s the whitewashed architecture (psychology101, anyone?), the friendliness of the people, the relatively low crime rate or the faith that Allah is always with me. Whatever it is, I loved every moment I abandoned the map and just walked around.
To be fair, I did start wandering around with these ladies on my first day, so I had a sense of the level of safety (and craziness) before I ventured out on my own! Always good to test the waters first, y’know. 😉
I cannot express how liberating it felt to ditch all sense of direction and just…. wander.
You know how while traveling, you tend to feel exasperated, frustrated, rasa macam nak terajang orang when you get lost or don’t know where you’re going in a foreign place?
I was like that initally – getting anxious and stressed when I couldn’t locate myself on the map (hahah tough luck, too many of the back streets weren’t even labelled on it!). It was only after I realised it was the perfect opportunity to let go of my need for control that I started to relax and enjoy not knowing where I was or where I was going.
There was such a profound beauty to getting lost and walking where my heart wanted to. I mean, isn’t that what life is like most of the time anyway? We keep moving forward in life with faith and certainty that we’ll get where we’re meant to be, even when to be honest, we have no idea what we’re doing.
Sidenote: Of course, if and when you’re taking this and applying it literally, please make sure you’re wise enough to make sure there is enough sunlight left during the day while exploring! You wouldn’t want to get stuck in these back streets alone when night sets – that’s just… dumb!
I loved finding graffiti on the walls – it gave an inkling of the sense of the people residing there. There’s always a story, a struggle, an issue trying to be conveyed. There’s so much character in and around it, y’know?
I also loved getting a pleasant surprise whenever I walked out of a street and find myself at the edge of a square where people were dining alfresco and being serenaded by street musicians.
I loved it so much, I couldn’t resist joining in. 😉
So… I guess I’ve just kinda professed my love for the back streets of Granada. Need I tell you again how much I want to go back and live there? 😛
Ahhh, I left a part of my soul in one of those back streets. I left another part in one of the miradors facing the Alhambra too. Will be back with more on that at the end of exams (or tomorrow if I feel like it, hahahaha), inshaAllah! ♥