Why should we buy locally in inland Málaga?

One of the best ways of supporting your local community in inland Málaga is by buying locally. That means visiting the weekly markets in the area, making the most of the one-of-a-kind shops in your town or village and visiting your local farmer.

This may seem difficult, as these tiendas don’t always stock the largest variety of produce, where you can, when you can, support them. I have actually found that in Guaro, that if you ask shop to try and source/stock a particular item, they will go out of their way to bring it into the shop to keep you going back and spreading the word.

I suppose it’s like a big circle. If we foreigners start to support more local businesses, these businesses will be able to stock a larger selection of items and the owners will have more profit to spend on luxuries, such as going to bars and restaurants. So this money that we are spending somewhere other than Mercadona is enriching the community and it’s inhabitants and helping to the grow the local economy.

Apart from this clear economical advantage, there are other things to take into account. Do we actually ever know where the fruits and vegetables stocked at supermarkets are actually sourced? And how long is it really taking for this produce to hit the shelves?

Anyone who has picked an orange from a tree in the campo knows how amazing local produce can taste. We should be supporting these local farmers who are creating the highest quality product right at our front door.

We are lucky enough to live in an area that so rich in agriculture. Why don’t we take local buying that step further and contact the farmer directly? Apart from buying the absolute freshest food, you will also begin to understand the importance of agriculture in our region.

So this week, get to know your local butcher, baker (and candlestick maker), ferreteria, fruteria, papeleria and all the other ia’s in your community.

Laura Wood

www.grapevine-properties.com

Inland Málaga is Singin’ in the Rain!

Let’s do something really Northern European this week: talk about the weather. 

It’s a given that the die-hards amongst us are still trying to tan; shivering and shaking by the pool. Most of us though, are not. We do not exactly feel like doing the Macarena this week. The rain in Spain does NOT mainly stay in the plain.

Only one of us is humming ‘Singing in the rain’:

The campo!

The campo, or ‘field’, or ‘countryside’, that great provider of our fresh vegetables, fruits and water, the territory of our wildlife, is having a field day. It couldn’t possibly be more ideal.

First a day of drizzling, making the soil moist and heavy and solid enough to cope with showers.

Then the showers, then raining cats and dogs, not draining away with the dust but actually sinking deep into the earth, filling up all natural reservoirs and wells that have been so dry or empty after such a dry winter.

Then a filmy rain, making leaves and branches shine and putting a layer of lushness over the countryside.

This changing of the type of rain is as if an expert of irrigation is carefully manipulating the weather with the greatest empathy for every fruit under the sun. Not to mention the wild boar who no longer need to come down the mountains in order to find water.

According to predictions we’re still in for a few days of the same – which is…

…the best possible preparation of the long, very long summer to come.

So, actually, it IS a moment to be happy.

Have a cozy week everyone! (Just tell yourself you just saved on a holiday to Scotland.)

Ben Geurts
Guaro, Málaga

www.grapevine-properties.com

Thoughts on Integration

Expats have a bad reputation in Spain for not integrating into the local communities. It’s no wonder we’re sometimes labeled lazy and ignorant when a lot of us a living largely in an expat community.

I hear the phrase ‘you know what the Spanish are like…’ a lot. And every time I hear, it surprises me. This ‘what the Spanish are like’ is often half the reason why we moved here in the first place.

This phrase is for one, nearly always used with negative connotation and secondly, and most importantly, a complete generalisation of a nation we all personally know a tiny corner of.  Since when was it OK to judge people by their nationality? Aren’t we all individuals with different up-bringings, interests and hobbies?

Why do we discriminate when, at the end of day, we are all just people that can learn from each other’s backgrounds and values? Isn’t this what enriches our lives?

We live in such a beautiful part of the world. It’s a rare combination of some of the freshest air in Europe, the most relaxing and healthy attitude towards life, rolling hills, dramatic peaks, warm weather, ocean breezes and rich culture. As immigrants here, we should appreciate Málaga for all it’s beauty and that includes its people. Being part of the social fabric of a region not only means that you will get so much more out of your experience here but will also help disbar some of the expat stereotypes.

This keeping alive of the negative stereotypes of locals is exactly what feeds the negative stereotyping of us.

Moving abroad to a country that speaks another language rather than our mother tongue is a challenge, especially for adults. Children adapt quickly and are language sponges. I know children that have immigrated to the area and been fluent within six months. That’s a skill they’ll have forever.

I think at a certain point in learning Spanish we reach a barrier, where we know just enough to get by. Is that enough though? Shouldn’t we be constantly striving to better ourselves and further our integration into this rich and vibrant lifestyle?

We as a nation living abroad must break the stereotype. Even if it’s just picking up a phrase a book, listening to some Spanish radio stations or having a conversation with your local butcher.

Now, more than ever, it’s time to break the mould, be the exception.

Laura Wood

http://www.grapevine-properties.com