far too much writing, far too many photos

[continued from previous entry]

Along the narrow way, a thin, slightly weather-beaten 50ish male stood to one side singing a Spanish tune, hat in hand to collect whatever coins passersby might be willing to part with. Just beyond him stood the entryway to another bookstore, this one looking like your standard, nondenominational joint. I stepped inside to find myself in a cavernous-feeling room that extended far back into the building, rows of bookstands off to either side, each featuring stacks and stacks of books. A dangerous place. A half-hour and 80 euros later, I left with a bag of books, wondering what the hell had come over me. At the cash register, I heard a voice singing outside, commented on it to the cashier. She said a couple did the singing. Sure enough, when I stepped back outside, the 50ish male had been replaced by a 50ish female, dressed nicely, hat in hand, delivering a song like she knew what she was doing.

Middle-aged German couples abounded, many wearing strangely awkward-looking outfits — someone’s idea of traveling clothes, I think — walking together discussing what they saw or referring to maps. Many young American women were about, strolling in twos and threes, all speaking English. Folks from other places could be seen among the mix of people streaming through the center, along with locals going about their day — delivery people, individuals working in shops or stalls, business folks walking together talking or on cellphones or crowding into cafés for a hit of caffeine.

Clothing stores are strewn around Sevilla’s streets with amazing abandon, shop windows displaying flamenco dresses were visible on virtually every block.

As were tiendas dealing in garb or wares a bit more startling to foreign eyes, in particular the KKK-style outfits for the Semana Santa processions.

No, it’s not a shop catering to coneheads — it’s a business specializing in made-to-order processional outfits, something taken with pride, part of an expression of devout, deeply emotional beliefs and traditions.

So. Much of the day passed in wandering mode, me happy to be where I was. Stopped at a neighborhood restaurant for a good meal, the only furriner there until the end, reading a Spanish paper and speaking Castellano well enough that they didn’t seem to know what to make of me. A nice place, tucked away on the ground floor of a flatiron-shaped building, relaxed and quiet until just after the stroke of two, when neighborhood workers began lunch, pouring in the door, one 60ish woman in the middle of them all, the only other furriner.

A woman sat in an SUV outside the door at the building’s outside corner, every few minutes she’d lean on her horn, piping its delightful song directly into the restaurant where eating would stop, heads turning in her direction, expressions less than sanguine until she’d stop. It turned out someone had double-parked directly behind her vehicle while she was off having a life, she returned to find herself trapped, using the horn in the traditional Spanish means of calling out to those who have reduced your life to a parking space with no exit. A 30-something male from the restaurant realized the situation, went out to confer with her, managing to guide her out of the space. She drove off, he returned inside to sit down quietly and resume eating.

And through all of these hours of life happening around this city, perfect weather. Sunny, temperature in the 70’s. Just what el médico ordered.

[continued in next entry]

Madrid, te quiero.

Leave a Reply

Proudly powered by WordPress. Theme developed with WordPress Theme Generator.
Copyright © runswithscissors. All rights reserved.