I spent spring break 2009 in Russia...so when spring break 2010 came along, I decided to go somewhere that made a little (LOT) more sense as a spring break destination: Malaga, Spain. Before take-off, the pilot got on the loudspeaker and announced “Well... France is having an air strike...again...so our choices are to sit on the runway and wait it out or to go around France and add 2 hours to our trip, what do you think?” And then he paused, as if was waiting for a collective response from his passengers. “Ok crew, come to the front so we can discuss.” Obviously they decided to circumvent France, because who knows how long an air strike can last. This is the third French air strike that has affected my travel plans, and I’ve never even lived in France. As my French friend says, “France has a strike anytime a pilot wakes up grumpy.”The airport in Malaga was, at this point, the weirdest airport I’d ever been to (later surpassed by Belfast City Airport). Passport control was designed as a bottleneck, creating an awkwardly long and jumbled line at a time when organization and systematization should be the goal. Then, post-customs, you can see people waiting on the other side and you can run along beside them, but you can’t actually hug them until you’ve fully exited the airport. It’s weird, it’s just a really weird design.I was visiting my friend Alfia who worked as a secondary school teacher in a surrounding village. I taught English in Barcelona last year, so visiting her school made me a little nostalgic for my days employed by the Spanish education system: everything starting late, the professors showing up half way through the class, students obsessing over the cool foreign English teacher, no working technology, never raising your hand to speak, complete and utter chaos. Very luckily, I happened to be there during the week prior to Semana Santa, or Holy Week (ending with Easter Sunday). Malaga and Sevilla are the hubs of Semana Santa in Spain. And we were in the center of the center- Alfia’s flat overlooked the parade route (and was situated directly caddy corner to Picasso’s birth home), so from the comfort of her fabulous flat, we could watch the processions, music, chants, KKK-garb (pre-KKK’s existence though), and tronos. The Tronos are massively heavy structures featuring Jesus and the Virgin Mary that are carried through the streets on the shoulders of hundreds of men. The entire event was exactly what I pictured: serene, sacred, and a little creepy.- - - Aditi L

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