“este silencio contemplativo”

5/19/10 – 1:54 AM

Cámara Lenta means slow motion [I think]. This song, from the Voy a Explotar soundtrack reflects the heaviness in the air between afternoon and evening here.

“Joé qué caló!” = “Jode qué calor!” = “Fsck it’s hot.” This heat is making me so lethargic. When I get back from classes at 6ish, I just pass out [like I just woke up from doing]. But yeah. My first class doesn’t start until 1 in the afternoon so I totally miss lunch and siesta. Sort lame, but it leaves my mornings free to sleep in or go sight seeing. Ana also makes me a substantial bocadillo so I don’t have to buy my food while I’m out.

Hm. Spanish language class is chill. There’s 9 of us and we just sit and talk about stuff. For 2 hours every day. In spanish. Which constitutes a language course[!] The film class is a little bit more intense. And by intense I mean there’s 2 papers we have to write. And by papers I mean 1 page analyses of movies and their significance. It’s not a “latin american film” course like the course title says, either. It’s an Argentinian film course. Because Dr. Sorbille is Argentinian. He has the accent of the Argentines as well. So: Yo no me voy a playa, “Sho me voy a la plasha.” He’s a funny guy. And he’s so comfortable in English that he switches back and forth mid-sentence. It’s ridiculously more legit-sounding than Spanglish though. I could never pull that off.

Let’s see… What else. We took the tour of Sevilla with Pablo and Ana and saw the Catedrál and went up the Giralda, the Arab Gardens, the Jewish quarter, and the Alcazar. Pictures are forthcoming.

So yeah. The Cathedral of Sevilla is officially the one with the largest square footage in the world. There’s a plaque on display from the Guinness people that proves it. It’s lavishly decorated like all the ones I’ve seen already including this gigantic wall of gilded sculptures in the main altar place. It was beautiful, for sure, but I like the one in Toledo better, methinks. The guide in Toledo said that “Sevilla may be the jewel box of Spain, but Toledo is the jewel.” Sevilla has some nice things. Things that Toledo doesn’t. But the catedrál de Toledo has my vote.

The cathedral is attached to la Giralda which is the tallest structure in Sevilla. From what I understood it was a minaret for a mosque which, instead of stairs, had 35 ramps to go up [hell yeah, first wheelchair accessible building] and it offers some great views of Sevilla. I’d have to agree. Sevilla is pretty great from up top. Also, I think that might be a European thing. Building very tall buildings and allowing people to go see the view for a fee.

As impressive as the cathedral was, I was surprised to find out from Pedro that the amount of Spaniards that identify themselves as “muy religioso” is only 10%. What with the history of Spain as a Catholic powerhouse, you’d think more of the country would practice. Pedro said that it’s part of the new way of thinking though. People are distancing themselves further and further from the church. It’s more of a cultural entity than anything now, I suppose. A piece of Spain’s glorious past.

[It’s everywhere though. I mean. On the street leading into the jewish quarter it definitely says: “Judería” and right next to it is a huge picture of Jesus on the cross. Lawl]

The Alcazar has a whole bunch of Islam-influenced architecture and the gardens are enormous and great for picture taking. Our student IDs from the Universidad Internaional Menendez Pelayo allow us to get in for free so I definitely intend on doing that. I’ll make a morning of it.

Between classes, I happened upon this museum of Flamenco, and it had signs saying gratis hoy! I was wondering why it was free, and apparently it is International Museum Day. What luck that I happened to be going by a museum two years in a row on May 19th :P [remember, Gio?] Got in and checked the place out. Flamenco is pretty cool and very very Spanish [at least to a foreigner]. It took around 10 minutes to go through and it made me want to check out a flamenco show while I’m here. It’s pretty spiffy. I like how on the outside of the museum there was a sign saying 友好中国, chinese friendly. I wonder why they’d need that.

I guess they were 日本語 friendly too. I mustn’t forget that Spanish is only my minor. Hah.

For one of my assignments for language class, I had to talk to Ana Maria about the role that TV plays in Spanish culture. She was like. I never watch TV, but I alwas have it on in the background while I study my scores. And I’m like. No way. Then we got in this huge conversation about how she’s in the Choir of Sevilla and how I play instruments and how they have concerts in the Cathedral. She invited us to go out to their next concert which is an exposition of baroque music. She sings soprano. I’m excited that we share that. Hooray for music!

I have my mornings off, like I said. And I went to el Parque Maria Luisa where the plaza de España is. It’s pretty huge and one of the big things to see in Sevilla, but they didn’t take us to see it because there was construction on the center portion. Ah well. It has a whole bunch of little sections with the cities of spain, a map of where it is, and a painting of an important event that happened in that town. Pretty spiffy place. I think a lot of Spaniards like coming there and taking pictures in front of their city’s thing. It’s like taking a picture in front of your state, I guess. Some demonstration was going on there too. Some people were pretty disgruntled and started protesting in front of this building. Hm. They had whistles and signs asking them not to cortar [sus] derechos. Oh, while I was there, too, there was a street performer playing the harp. It was like friggin’ HARPIST VIRTUOSO and I really enjoyed his performance. He definitely mereció my pocket change.

On the topic of nightlife, the scene here seems to be pervaded by bars as opposed to clubs. I’m fine with that though. I went out after dinner earlier tonight with Stephanie, Nova, Erin, and Liz and we hit up the strip of bars where all the international students go and there was a fair amount of chill places and good deals to be had. However, nothing beats the supermarket down the street from where I live. I think it’s called Dia% or something and they sell everything for nothing, lol. I can get a soda for 20 euro-cents, a bottle of red wine for 3 euro, and a 2 liter of tinto de verano for maybe 1,50. [Oh damn, look at me being all european and using commas in place of periods.] They also have snacks for what is basically pennies. Nice job, Los Remedios [That’s the neighbourhood I’m in.] There’s a football game between Atletico de Madrid and Sevilla on the tele tomorrow night and a whole bunch of us are going to a bar and watching part of it. Should be good.

The picture on the left is an ad for this one bar called Catedrál. Apparently it is a SEXY PLACE 4 PEOPLE. Love it.

Also, I bought my toiletries and my toothpaste was not just any old regular Colgate or Crest. It was:

PROTECTION EFFECT. My teeth feel safer already.

Besides that: this quote occurred the first night I tried to go out.

“Yeah. I just have to go to the farmacia to get my… stuff. Then I’ll go out to the bars.”

“Ryan. You gotta sound less sketch.”

Alright guys. I’m feelin’ an all spanish entry comin’ on in the next few posts. Beware.

PS. Let’s play Where’s Jesus? Find the Jesus in the featured picture. :P

4 Responses to ““este silencio contemplativo””
  1. Doss says:

    Those catedrals look beautiful, I wish I had more time to explore Seville. How do you like so far and how does it compare to your few days in the city? idk if they do it there but have you heard of “botellon”? and isn’t ‘tinto de verano’ awesome?
    i am enjoying your blog and pictures

    • ochancoco191 says:

      It’s pretty great. I explore in the mornings, go to class in the afternoon, and go out in the evenings. There’s never a dull moment and there’s lots to do. :]

      Sevilla is a little less city-like than Madrid, but it’s definitely not a sleepy town either. It’s the 4th largest city and Spain and the 3rd most visited. And there’s lots of international students too so everywhere’s pretty llena de gente.

      Ah! Botellón! I’ve heard of it yeah, and I think people do it down by the riverside. I’m actually participating in a mini-botellón después de cenar, later. :P I’ve already got my supplies.

      I haven’t tried tinto de verano yet, but I know where to get it, and it’s someone’s birthday tomorrow, so I think I’ll try it then, haha.

      Glad you like. Te echo de menos! Hope you’re having a chill summer. :]

  2. gracealicious says:

    …lmao seeing a sign about “karumen” only reminds me of this. XD oh japan.

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