Only less than a year now. Less than a year til Malaga.

For the pass year or two, I have been haphazardly researching about this Andaluz province, and yet, I still find something new and astonishing every time.

In the post “Since I’ve Been Talking About DEJA VU…“, I talked about two things from Benalmádena, the little town just outside of Málaga’s capital, that remind me of home and who I am. However, I forgot to add that the first time I read the name of this town was when I looked up something about Antonio Banderas. I remember reading about where he is originally from. “Wow, what a long name. I’ll never remember that.” And here I am, years later, thinking about the city every day. 

Now it’s time to talk about the capital itself. After all, this is where I am going to spend most of my time.

The name “Málaga” had always sounded very familiar to me, even before I knew anything about the Spanish language, let alone the city. It is actually a Phoenician word that was given to the city almost 3,000 years ago. In addition of the Phoenicians, the city was home to the Romans and the Moors; and their architectures are still standing in Málaga today, reminding us of the long, rich history of the Costa del Sol.

I would cite the sources for the information above, but this is no academic paper. More importantly, I am not sure where to begin looking for sources. I only wrote what I know about the city based on my accumulation of months and months of research. I guess you can say I am a history buff.

In fact, I am reading a history book for leisure during the short one-week break after my summer semester and before the fall semester. It’s called Over the Edge of the World, written by Laurence Bergreen. It recounts the story of the first circumnavigation of the world. Remember the name Magellan from the world history class? That’s the man I’m reading about.

In the inside cover of the book, there is an ancient map of the world. As always, I tried to spot my home country first. My country itself was not labeled, but to the south of it, there is an arrow, and at the other end of the arrow reads “Malacca”.

(Note: Map is not from the book)

Image

“Malacca” or “Malaca” is located only 400 miles of where my father is from. My mother has told me about this city-after I told her that I wanted to study abroad in Málaga, Spain- that there is a city in Malaysia with similar name. Both names are from Muslim origin, she said. I suppose she is partially correct, since Spain’s Málaga was once under the Moorish rule and it had still managed to retain its name.

I would recommend this book to anyone, especially those who love history. It adds so much colors to that “dull” 10th grade history lesson. Also, note to  people with adventurous souls who love travelling: this is a must-read.

I have always claimed that I love travelling. True, I have been flying across the Pacific Ocean many times by myself, but those “travels” are not for the sake of traveling – the purposes have always been to visit family and then come back for school. It would not be incorrect to say that I have not traveled much at all. For many years that I have lived in the US, the only city outside of my state that I have travelled to (as for the sake of travelling) is Mobile, Alabama. And this is where the second  déjà vu comes in.

What does this very American-country town of Alabama have to do with the very Spanish-country town of Andalucía?

Can you spot the difference?

Mobile:                                                                       Malaga:

Image Malaga 

That’s right! Same statue!

Mobile has a replica of Málaga’s “El Cenachero” statue. I have read that this replica was donated by Málaga to Mobile; but I’m not sure why. Why would a city give its emblematic statue to another city? I guess you can say that Málaga is generous.

That’s enough déjà vu for the day. I’m going back to my book.

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