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What You Should Know Before Your Trip to Granada – Part 2

Artistic and bohemian reputation

Granda, unlike its Andalucian rival Seville, is known for its bohemian aesthetic and a certain louche ambience. Should you choose to take a walk down Calle Elvira, for instance, you’ll see just why that is.

Granada appeals to those wishing for a bohemian, devil-may-care lifestyle, although the reason for that remains unknown. Maybe it’s that the city is considered to be something of an underdog, or it could be the tapas, or perhaps even that it’s had a special connection with writers and artists since the era of its greatest poet Federico Garcia Lorca.

Leave your manners at home

This might appear to be somewhat rude but it’s the way things are around here. The manners used by the English or Americans in restaurants and bars are rarely used by the locals. So don’t worry if you appear blunt by omitting them: clearly state your order and leave it there. It might appear rude to you, and likely would to the folks back home, but it will help you to fit in. The people of Granada are forthright and direct, and they prefer it when you are, too.

Even Spaniards find the accent hard work

The locals would obviously appreciate your efforts to speak Spanish. Don’t be downhearted, however, if you fail to understand them at first when they reply to you. Even the Spanish find the accent difficult to understand, thanks to its use or regional slang and idioms. You’ll soon find you can get by, though, and maybe even start to understand a little bit of it.

Flamenco

You’ll find in Granda one of the most prominent flamenco heritages in the entire country. So it’s likely of little surprise that there are venues featuring flamenco performances seemingly everywhere, with various types of shows and varying levels of quality.

For example, there’s a flamenco venue called Zambia in the gypsy neighbourhood of Sacramonte where the dance is traditionally danced barefoot. In the centre, however, the dancers wear thick-heeled shoes to help them beat complex rhythms known as zapateado. Flamenco is advanced and isn’t the easiest dance to be fond of at first. So, it might be a good idea to listen to it before heading out to Granada, allowing you to pick up the beat and rhythm in advance.

The locals aren’t always in the best of moods

The locals (or Granadinos) have a reputation in Andalucia for being prone to a bad mood or a wave of sadness, known as the Mala folla. While there’s seemingly no way of translating this phrase, just knowing that the condition exists will make encounters with some of the locals in this kind of mood more understandable.

The Hispanic poet Laurie Lee once wrote in a book about Andalucia that the Mala folla comes from the fact the locals remain to inhabit a vibe, which gives them a sense of sad astonishment, a combination of pride and jealousy.