Friday, September 7, 2012

So far so good!

I arrived in Sevilla Wednesday afternoon!  I miraculously did not have too much trouble with the jet lag—that’s either thanks to the Spanish coffee (Ahhhhh! Finally, delicious café con leche!), or that I didn’t sleep whatsoever on the plane, and finally fell asleep my first night in Sevilla.  Uf.

Giving up bagels is not so bad when a tostada soaked with olive oil and with a layer of jamón is the alternative. 

A tostada with jamón that I ate for breakfast this morning.  So GOOD!

Moving sucks in any country.  My landlady here seems to require me to be quite persistent if I want anything done.  There was no hot water and the stove didn’t work when I got here, she told me she was on vacation until Friday and couldn’t do anything.  Then she insisted she couldn’t come that day because she had a doctor’s appointment, and then she said she couldn’t come because her legs were hurting and she couldn’t use the stairs.  Hm, maybe if she’d chosen one excuse I would have believed her.  (Don’t worry, my persistence paid off). 

Here’s a picture of the outside of my apartment.  (Inside pics to come once I’m more settled).  Check out the beautiful tile work—very typical of Andalucía. 

The apartment is in a neighborhood called Triana, which a long time ago was the gypsy neighborhood.  It’s on the other side of the Guadalquivir River from the city center.  (Interesting fact: Guadalquivir is the Arabic word for Rio Grande, which is the name of the river that runs through Albuquerque.) 

A view of Triana from the Puente de Triana.  I took this photo this morning as I wandered the city :)

Here’s a common flamenco letra about Triana in the rhythm of tangos:

Triana ay Triana
Que bonita está Triana
Cuando le ponen al puente
La banderita gitana. 

Triana ay Triana
How beautiful Triana is
When they put the gypsy flag
On the bridge

I am also beginning to think that olive oil really is liquid gold like all the Spaniards say.  Or maybe it’s just got some magic in it that instantly makes the most boring bread taste AMAZING.   

I’m just going to have to get used to waiting in line.  Things that should take 2 minutes take 15.  That’s just the way it goes.  Even getting my passport stamped in customs took a few minutes because the officer was in the midst of a conversation about soccer with his coworker, and clearly that is far more important than the long line of tired travelers waiting patiently :P

The grocery store closest to my apartment has German beer.  Score. 

Best part of Spain so far:
People singing por rumba at the bar just below my apartment.  Yesssssssssss! (Even if it is just to get the tourists eating dinner outside to give them money, it’s still flamenco).  

Last night I went to a restaurant called T de Triana that has small flamenco shows.  The best part was a woman that got up to dance por bulerias at the end--she was so flamenco!  Tonight I will be going to the Teatro de la Maestranza to see María Pagés' new show, Utopía as part of the Bienal de Flamenco.  

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