Fafa’s Visit


My aunt Rafah (my mother’s sister who I call Fafa) came to visit us for 10 days. While I cannot possibly write about all the fun and excitement that we experienced during her visit, I want to write about some of the highlights.

Malaga through a different set of eyes

Me, Fafa, and my mom (left to right) on a walk in which we discovered new things thanks to Fafa.

I have been living in Malaga for now a month, so the way I see Malaga is, for the most part, through the eyes of someone who lives here. My aunt saw Malaga through very different lenses: those of someone visiting for a short time. There are things I either see differently or, in some cases, miss entirely. For example, I had walked through Plaza Merced probably a million times. In the middle of the Plaza, there is an obelisk. I had seen it, but I had never noticed any of the details on it until she pointed them out. I had also not noticed an antique shop that I had walked by probably thousands of times at that point.


The view from the beach near the restaurant that we ate lunch at

My aunt has been here before, and one of her favorite destinations is Benalmadena, specifically this one restaurant called La Cala. We went there and had the most amazing view. The service was only ok, but the food was very good. Afterwards we walked to the nearby beach and took pictures together. After we walked on, we realized we were thirsty and stopped at a seemingly nondescript café. To our surprise, we had the most amazing mojitos (sin alcohol, of course!).


Over the summer, my family and I played cards almost every night. My mom and I had not continued this tradition, though. When Fafa came to visit, we resumed the tradition. We started playing a game called Concan. I had learned how to play it before but had forgottenthe rules. Fafa and my mom made the mistake of teaching me; I won almost every single game (although there were also quite a few embarrassing losses). You may think, “who the hell plays cards when in Malaga?” The reality is that the time spent playing is also time spent bonding, remembering the most important events of the day, and generally sharing thoughts with family members.


La Plaza in Plaza Merced has the best smoothies!

Fafa encouraged us to start taking part in more healthy activities. Going for walks throughout the day, socializing with each other at night, turning off our phones an hour before bed, and having smoothies everyday are just a few examples. I don’t know if I would say she is the only reason we adopted all these, but she certainly did push us to do better with some things. Another Fafa-Positive-habit is slowing down, appreciating what you are doing, and experiencing the after-doing. I think other people call this “mindfulness.”


Fafa has a funny way of ranking restaurants. If the bathroom is nice AND clean, then the restaurant must be nice as well, in her eyes. While there is some validity to this system, we all had a good laugh even though we discovered some truly unlikely awesome spots.


Malaga is a great place to live, especially if you have family members who want to come and visit you. But remember this: just because you live there, does not mean your guest can not teach you a thing or two about your new home.

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