me encanta

I am really, really happy. Things are starting to fall into place…Melissa and I may venture into a tutoring business together under her uncle’s English study school, I have made it past the first round (somehow) to volunteer for the Asociación Contra el Cáncer de Sevilla and am now working on scheduling an interview with a psychologist, I have gotten an email back about working as a PR intern for a company called, and I’ve had plenty published by Cafe Abroad. I’m getting along with Melissa when she’s actually here. She makes me speak in Spanish, but we often cook together and just spend a lot of time talking. I’ll miss Eva when she goes, but I’m excited to meet another person and speak lots and lots of Spanish.

My job is going well. The kids are little snots and my lessons are often too difficult for them, but they get really excited to see me. They always ask if I’ve brought my American dollar or more pictures. One little boy in my 1ºESO class brought in his new backpack to show me yesterday. It was black, red and has a Chicago Bulls emblem! I was super excited. The teachers are all really fantastic and have been giving me great advice, and they’re eager to practice their English (though I really need to work on my Spanish!). Today we’ve got a Halloween party in the gym that’s a fundraiser for the greek and latin students so they may go to Greece. Perhaps they need a chaperone?

Thursday I joined the other auxiliares at La Carbonería, a really popular tourist bar for good reason – there’s free flamenco every weeknight and the tourists are often the ones getting up and partaking! I wasn’t in the mood to drink, as I had to work the next morning, but the bar was really cool. The first room, where the flamenco is held, is like a rustic cabin with a huge fireplace and a piano. The following is partly outdoors with long wooden benches and a bar that seriously offered anything you could think of. The outdoor patio, where we sat, was covered by ivy and palm trees and had plenty of room for all 10 of us. It was great listening to the drunk boys behind us singing the alcohol song and some crazy bachlorette party. Naturally, Kelly and I ambled home at about 3:30 am. The bars here are just so different – much more relaxed and cheaper and just a better time. Maybe it’s like Acapulco – I hate dance clubs, but it was something I wasn’t used to at home, so I always wanted to go out.

My plans to see my friends in Huelva fell through, as Jessi was sick, but I dragged Eva out with me to Alameda on Saturday. The girl told me she’d had two beers and three tinto de veranos the entire time she’d been here. Cómo? I could easily put that away in like half a night. I took her to Alameda, which is the bohemian part of town, full of dive bars and crazy characters and a ton of fun. We found a place where the beer was cheapest and the clientele the strangest. Dogs were wandering in and out of the place, which was so blinding from the lights reflecting off the while tile around the bar and on the walls. We were going to go home since Eva was tired, but it was only 12:30, or 11:30 with daylight savings time, so I convinced her to have one more up the street at Naima Jazz Cafe, a small bar with live music and cheap beer.

It was easier to walk rather than take the night bus back to Ronda de Triana, but we were intercepted near the bus station by a group of people who were looking for our neighborhood. I told them we could walk with them in the direction, but we somehow walked all the way to a famous bar on Calle Betis called Lo Nuestro. Like Carbonería, this bar is mentioned in a ton of travel guides because this is where the locals go to dance sevillanas, a dance that originated here in Seville. It’s kind of like flamenco but not so moody. As Eva drank a coke paid for by our new pals, one of the women tried to teach me how to dance like a local, but I looked so foolish. The energy in the bar was phenomenal, though. As the group, all engineers from the same firm in Pamplona working on a presentation down here, left, Eva told them we were leaving and they convinced us to have one more at Al Alba. One more turned into like 5 more, as we stayed until they kicked us out. I was so eager to meet people and speak Spanish, and I did. I think Eva had a good night, too. It’s not often I can speak in Spanish 100% without reverting back to English when I need to, and having a little liquid confidence didn’t hurt, either. One of the boys told me two of his friends though I was pretty, but one was a mute nerdy dude whose name I don;t even know, and the other was a 40 year old. Mmmm no thanks. We ventured to Buddha del Mar, but it was dead and not exciting. Eva told me she needs to go out more, and I said I did, too.

Sooooo life is good. My crush from Huelva who goes to school here remembered (or perhaps found the slip of paper) about cafe abroad and has sent me an email, so maybe I can hang out with him. Tonight we have a Halloween party at IES Heliche, then I teach two hours tomorrow, going out with the other auxiliares for Halloween, then it’s time to visit Brian and Matt in Ireland! I’ll be in Dublin for a night, Galway for a night, then travel back to Dublin by bus overnight to take my flight back home early.

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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living amongst pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she works in higher education at an American university in Madrid and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.

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