24

Sevilla Travel Blog

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I only ever saw a few episodes of that show called ‘24’ but it hooked me in straight away. What got me was how an entire hour could contain so much drama. And here’s the thing . . . that is exactly how my life looks at the moment.

I have now been in my new home for 24 hours. (yes - it is official, I moved in with no hassle, all easy, all fun). I just love it already. Although I have made the reference to the show ’24’ I will not inflict on you the exact details of the past 24 hours.

My lovely housemate, Oscar, welcomed me warmly and then dashed off for a run. I was shocked at first because last night was a typical August night, soaring in late afternoon to high 30’sC. By 8.00pm it would have been a stable 34C or 35C. I asked Oscar where he was running to and he explained that there is a wonderful tree-lined track beside the river, only 5 minutes from the house. You can then cross the Rio Guadalquiver to the barrio (suburb) of Triana and have a drink on Calle Betis before wandering home.

By the way, google maps will find my house - just key in Spain, Sevilla, Calle Bailen 40 and you have the same view I have from my terraza (terrace)- cute huh?

So last night was a frenzy of unpacking and excited giggles as I pinched myself to really comprehend that I am here. It is a coup! I have a tiny bedroom (and a bed that is only 105cm wide) but my own bathroom, an enormous office, and the best terrace over two levels in the neighbourhood!. I am sure I will just have to adjust to not sleeping like a starfish any more.
My floor is on the same level as the lower terraza and I look out of my window onto it as I lie in bed. I had to compromise on the bed as this place has everything else on my list - and more.

I woke this morning ready to take on the world and set about getting started on the next project - getting a job. I am having a shite-load of problems getting my CV (created on my MAC) sent and opened on a PC. I think I will now just have to resolve to creating it on a PC and printed off. It is a little step back in time here as you must have your photo on your CV and include all sorts of sensitive information like marital status, address, age (!!!) etc. I have resigned myself to this and will just keep forging ahead.

So by the end of today I had sent emails to three language schools (it’s a start) and had one rejection. I actually do not really want to tie myself up with language schools as the pay is traditionally poor and hours long. When would I get to write my book if I was working so many hours?

So, my plan is to find several short contracts working in businesses teaching to people who have to improve their English for business reasons. I will also take on private students to supplement my income. It may take time to get a network but it only needs the first one to get the ball rolling.

I am making new friends daily. Yesterday, I went to the information centre to get a bus map and ended up befriending one of the staff there. Each time you ask for any assistance, you are asked where you come from. When I replied that I was from Melbourne, this lovely woman jumped on me and explained that she will be going to Melbourne in October. I have since returned and given her some of my favourite Melbourne pass-times and web sites. In return she has told me about a small village not far from here (Chipiona) where there is a feria (festival) early next week. I can take a bus and perhaps stay overnight if I want to. Sounds like fun!

I have just come been outside and returned to my office. It’s 10.00pm and there is a slight breeze tonight which is a welcome relief. I sat out on my terraza eating a light tapas dinner of Manchego cheese, fresh bread and my favourite sardine paste form Portugal. Oh, and of course I washed it down with a tinto.

I had to have a mini shopping excursion today which was an episode in itself as I hunted the nearby streets for an elusive supermarket before 2.00pm as they all close for siesta. My luck was with me as I spied a young man unloading groceries from a shopping trolley at his home. I hoped against hope that he would do the right thing and return it. It was by now 1.45pm and I was loitering on the footpath near his house waiting for him to emerge. Minutes ticked by and finally he trundled the trolley off down the street with me, James Bond-like (more like ’99’ from Get Smart) in pursuit at a safe distance. Now for anyone who has lived in Europe, you will understand that following someone in these narrow, zig-zaggy streets is a little obvious. I am sure he thought I was stalking him!

Finally, we arrived at a M.A.S. supermarket, not close at all to my house. The only bonus was that it adjoins a local market so I know where I can get fruit and meat.
Speaking of fruit, I have been invited to join Oscar in his weekly box of organic fruit and vegetables that is delivered to his work. This means I will not have to trundle the streets of Sevilla every week cutting my fingers to shreds with the bags.

You know I actually love walking everywhere. It reminds me of my pilgrimages - the walking becomes insignificant and it is the experiences on the way (internal and external) that become poignant. I am not sure if I will ever tire of getting to know and understand my new lover (Sevilla). Each corner has an unexpected vista or a new way of looking at how humans can live.
I am becoming more and more Spanish and have even become a little lax with time (heaven forbid). It just doesn’t seem quite so relevant when most of the country stops in the middle of every day to take stock and appreciate life.

And Sunday is a whole new ball-game for me. Almost nothing is open except for a few bares (bars) catering to the necessity to have long lazy family lunches. I am not sure if I will ever have the thrill of being invited to one of these but it is almost as much fun sitting on the sidelines and watching.

I have thought about it a lot and I doubt I will ever be truly accepted here. The language barrier is just too strong and family ties are what bind people together. But, I will certainly enjoy my view and the snatches I get of local life.
The Spanish are incredibly open and friendly, but I suspect it would stop at family gatherings and close relationships.

In the meantime, every 24 hours brings me new pleasures as I continue on my Spanish pilgrimage. What did you get up to in the last 24 hours?
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Sevilla
photo by: JP-NED