It was the colours – bright but gently worn by time and the Mediterranean sun – and it was the green in particular. Its verdant hue offset with the deep fuchsia and red flowers, the white stone and golden yellow accents that trimmed doorways and window settings.
She realised that London was brash and vulgar, miles of concrete and a visual cacophony of colours: the illuminated red of the fried chicken take away, the acid hallucinations of 80s vintage against pastel-hued hair, the technicolour smear of rubbish collecting in gutters. All of it was wrapped in a grimy film. The smog of the city left a fine layer of soot, completely imperceptible until your left the Big Smoke and your eyes took a bite of a real red or a brilliant blue, untainted and kissed by the sun.
–Oh, but the palm trees, though! They made her feel like she was in Miami or LA, or some other exoticised Instagrammed landscape that lit up the minute pixels on the screen of her smartphone. But there was something that she preferred about the terracotta-tiled side streets, and the clean cubic geometry of the residential buildings. Marbella felt more homely than the sterile picture-perfect artifice that she knew of LA or Miami – not that she had ever been there, but still. Something about this place felt earthy and familiar. She felt welcome.