So the WiFi at my hostel doesn’t work, which is why my posts died down. I’ve been getting orange juice and cafes con leche at a nearby cafe to use their internet, which is why i’ve been posting less frequently.
Seville is nuts. I love city’s like Venice and Seville that used to rule the land at one point so that they built their cities to show off their glory. And how glorious it is! Once again, I had no idea what I’d do with myself, but I soon learned that relaxing at taking in the beauty is what you do here and it happens without you even trying.
My hostel is right outside of the “centre” and probably a three minute walk from all the shops. Its about a ten minute walk from La Plaza de Espana and basically anywhere I want to go. I’m really glad that I gave myself so much time here, lingering is superb in this city.
The other reason why I’ve been to busy/distracted to post is because I met some more insta-friends. This time it was a guy from Michigan who is actually transferring to Fort Carson in a year (we’re going camping and hiking when he gets to the Springs), and a girl named Liz from LA. Haidar had to leave after the first night, but Liz and I saw a lot of sights together. She’s a UC- something grad who’s starting Teach For America when she gets back. She was great company (we had a long discussion about dance and theater in Parque de Maria Lusia over a bottle of Cava) and really fun.
The first night the hostel offered an activity called “The Pub Crawl” which is a guided bar hopping tour. So that was a great night, I got to know Liz and Haidar really well and some other people from our hostel. I think it was my first real european party night- we didn’t arrive to the last bar, which was a “disco” until about 3am. We danced and chatted with some locals (Liz and I translated for Haidar who only speaks Arabic as a second language) and then went went home around 6. Yes, that is six in the morning. It was a fun night- I discovered that my way of dancing acts as a deterrent for Spanish women: men here don’t tend to loose control over their hips, shimmy, body roll, and jab at nonexistent bubbles above their heads when dancing. I now know how to keep things strictly friendly and “uninterested” at a European nightclub. Perfect! (I stepped on someone’s foot behind me at one point, got nudged, and then turned around to see a group of people with their hands out to protect themselves, and a couple of “whoa, dude” faces. I just said sorry and then kept going. Yeah, so sorry, but I’m not about to do a two-step to Katy Perry!)
The hostel has been really great about offering activities. Last night I paid fourteen euros for a Flamenco show and a drink. I was actually kicking myself for not trying to find an “actual” flamenco show since this one was just for hostel stayers at a club in the tourist district. I almost begged for my money back but then realized I might have to just settle because of my budget.
So Liz and I go with the hostel to the show, and I’m just trying to stay positive although I’m expecting some sixty-year-old fat lady to come up on stage and stomp her foot. The music starts, its great. No dancer yet. Song ends, a girl in a flamenco dress enters from the audience. She looks young. Bummer. She turns around- oh! Pretty. The next song starts. She stands, and slowly moves towards center stage, softly clapping with her hands in front of her face. She’s meditative and calm, but something was building. I thought: “well for a bad flamenco dancer she sure knows how to start a performance dramatically, maybe over-dramtically.” And then she simultaneously stomps, whips her arms up, and gazes beyond the audience. Gahh- my jaw drops. I forget where I am. Then she unleashes it, driving her emotions into the floor with the force of a stallion, she completely stuns me.
I later learn she won second at some national competition and is a teacher here in Seville. Aha. So that’s why she can take your heart and rhythmically stomp on it until you’re wonderfully numb and peacefully overwhelmed.
I guess you see my point. I love her, I love flamenco, and I love that I can attribute my emotional imbalance to my ancestry of hyperdramatic performance and dance. So needless to say the experience turned out to be a winner.
After, Liz and I went with some other hostel peeps to a locals-only kind of piazza. We all split a bottle of really nice red wine and had some tapas. I didn’t recognize anything on the menu so Liz and I split some gazpacho type thing with ham, and then grilled goat cheese with jam. Holly goat cheese. After our first bites of the cheese, Liz and I couldn’t express ourselves. Warm, perfectly strong tasting goat cheese, topped with some orange marmalade. Just scooping it up with a spoon. I feel that the best way to sum it up would be a quote from Liz: “Its like sex in your mouth!” Paired with the wine, it really was almost too much. It made me giddy and I officially announce myself as a proud foodie. Because I can’t help myself.
So really, that was a long story short. And now you can see why I’ve been so distracted, because its so amazing here! And I have two more nights! Haha!
However, while all is well, I am troubled by something. Blaine and I have too many places we want to see in Italy. I need help deciding and planning. We fly into Brindisi, in the south, and then we’re taking a train to the Amalfi coast. Then really, we just have about three nights. Problem is, we both want to see the the Amalfi Coast, Island of Capri, Naples, maybe Pompeii, Rome, and Florence. And then I fly out of Venice and Blaine, Rome (after the unincluded fourth night). So what we have is an impossible agenda. Help? I’ve been told to skip Capri, eat a pizza in Naples, and then go to Rome. For a night? Too little? The Amalfi coast was the original plan, which is why we’re flying into the south. And we both want ample beach time. But we also want it all… Any ideas?
Whoa long post! Time for another cafe con leche, and then some more Seville. Maybe art museum today?
P.S. Meg, I’m trying to imitate the picture of you leaping in the same spot in that picture 🙂