Facing Reality in Malaga

Smells of Málaga
On my way home from the gym the other night, I realized something really unique about Málaga; the abundance of smells. I’m fairly well-traveled, but I’ve yet to come across a city or place where there such a variety of smells as in Málaga.

I suppose what got me thinking about this invisible but omnipresent topic was the distinct bouquet of garlic being sweated out from all the women and myself during the evening’s intense Ashtanga class. As soon as I got out of the gym, a cloud of Mary Jane, possibly coming from the couple sitting on a park bench down the block, completely enveloped me for a second or two. I’m not a user, but I’ll gladly admit to liking a whiff of cannabis once in a while. And there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of ganja here in Málaga.

Continuing home that evening, as the sun was setting on the Mediterranean, I turned the corner and soon found myself walking behind a plump pair in colorful trainers, each holding a lit cigarette between their fingers. I increased my pace to avoid the couple’s second-hand smoke, passed them quickly and climbed up a flight of stairs that eventually leads to our street. Halfway up, the nauseating smell from fresh dog poop was slung at me. That too is a frequent odor here.

At the corner bar on Calle Los Negros 4, our current home address, the distinct yet alluring smell of stale beer caught my nose’s attention. A Norwegian tween, wearing a sweet perfume, exited our security gate as I entered the building. She was dressed and doused for an evening out for sure. Finally, once I stepped into the apartment, the pleasant smell of a mustard vinaigrette dressing and oven-baked almonds, hinted that we’d once again be eating a tasty salad for dinner.

The unrelated image above is a composite of odorless yet nonetheless intriguing walls I’ve photographed around our neighborhood.