Postcard from Sevilla
I can't believe I'm reaching the halfway point of my time here in Sevilla, España. And what a city it is! Sevilla is a world away from everything I know, quite literally, but I don't think that I could have chosen a better place to study abroad.
By gushing profusely about my love for the city and my once-in-a-lifetime experience here, I run the risk of descending into cliché, so I'll try to avoid that and focus instead on one of the things I find most distinctive about Sevilla: its street culture.
Here, the people live on the streets. Or rather, the life of the city—its spunk and its beauty—stems from the fact that its residents use the street as a space in which to live and socialize. To give you a mental image of Sevilla, it is very flat and has a beautiful river running through its middle. In other words, the city, though big, is very walkable and la gente generally skip the bus or the one-line metro and walk to get to their destinations.
At noon on weekdays, Sevillanos take a break to have a beer with their friends and co-workers. Rather than sitting comfortably inside a bar at a cozy little table, people crowd the sidewalk with drinks in hand. On weekend nights, the youth gather in plazas or by the river to share a drink and take in the night. Even though no stores are open on Sunday afternoons, la gente abound, filling the air with chatter and their handsome Sunday best as they take a post-Mass stroll, arm-in-arm through the city streets. Whenever I run by the river, I’m bound to come across a bustling crowd soaking in the sun and enjoying each other’s company. It’s like the Colby quad in springtime. And it's true that the lovers take to the streets as well. Sometimes it feels as if there is no limit to PDA in Sevilla. I'll leave it at that.
PDA aside, I can't help but smile as I walk through Sevilla. Although "magical" might be an over-the-top way for me to describe my impression of the city, I'd have to say that it's a pretty good approximation (Yeah, I remember that I promised not to gush. I’m sorry.). The fresh air, the intense sun, the happy, relaxed people all around...it's a culture unlike any other that I've had the pleasure to experience. This city has the rhythm of a Saturday afternoon in the park, and I love it. The people here probably think I'm crazy: I've caught myself muttering, "I can't believe I'm here" under my breath more than once.
But I have to say that despite the mild winters, despite the street culture, despite fútbol and the intentional lisp that graces Andalusian speech, I miss my family. I miss peanut butter and iced tea. I miss my isolated little college (yes, that's you guys...I miss you). I guess I'm American through and through.