I recently took one of those Facebook quizzes because it honestly called my attention (there goes my English getting more Spanish!) The result was feriante – someone who loves the April Fair, six straight days of dancing and drinking. I like drinking and dancing is something that happens when I drink too much, so this holiday was clearly invented for my own enjoyment.
The following day was the celebration of Sevilla’s patron saint, San Fernando. The Real de la Feria was hasta las trancas with people, many of them dressed in typical flamenco gowns or riding suits. Horse carriages and horses march in and out of the portada and to the bull ring, where there’s a corrida daily. I went with Kelly to a friend of Kike’s from his village, where we danced Sevillanas and drank rebujito. I right away felt welcome by Fabian, Carlos and Julian. We did our normal caseta-hopping, going to see Melissa’s friend, Carlos, Susana and Alfonso, Jessica’s boyfriend. Dressed up and dripping Spanish from my tongue, I danced and drank and had a great time.
And it showed the next day in my face. Vaya cara de sueno! I spent the whole day craving a nap, but decided instead to follow some of my coworkers to the fairgrounds. After a quick beer at Serafin’s, we went to the portada by day – white with yellow accents and looking like the front of a Feria tent. Against the blue sky, it was beautiful, and it was fun going to the fair with first-timers like Raul and Lourdes. After a quick walk around, we went to one of the nicest casetas I’ve ever been in – it looked like a home with its mirrors and fancy dining room flanked with bull heads. We ate croquetas, tortillas, puntas de solomillo and other Andalusian foods for less than six euros a head. In this caseta, there was a raised dancefloor and there was a little girl not older than seven in a short pink traje who danced better than all of the women aorund her.
We went to Calle del Infierno, a huge amusement park where gypsies sell carnations and toys, kids play drop the crane for prizes and two gigantic ferris wheels spin on either end. We walked through the stalls and hamburger stands, marveling at girls in trajes riding on the rollercoasters without managing to mess up their hair (LACA’d up!).
Although I didn’t notice it so much until the weekend, it was clear that the financial meltdown affected the fair – there was a sign in most casetas called “A Feria Goer’s Manual Against the Crisis” with a guide to saving money (I didn’t bring my horse this year because they wouldn’t allow it on the metro, etc.) On Saturday especially, the fairgrounds were empty and the casetas half full. It’s odd to think about how the crisis has affected everything here, and I experience it every single day. I’m really happy to have a job because of it!
I am sick of writing about this because I’m still so tired from Feria and this weekend, so I will just include some more pictures. I pretty much spent the week running in and out of casetas, drinking rebujito but being more careful this year to stay sober and alternate with beer or pop, dancing sevillanas (I even succeeded in getting Kike to dance, though I’m sure he did only because he was drunk) and hosting Jeremy and Isabel, two friends who teach in Madrid, for the weekend. I really enjoyed myself, and I think now I’m able to stand on my own two feet here. I impressed people with my musing of saying I was from Chicago de la Frontera (a take on a town called Chiclana de la Frontera), firing off Spanish puns and dancing with mucho arte. Even though Kike was only down for a few days,I had no problems entertaining my roommates and coworkers and friends.
Que viva la Feria!! I’m already thinking of the color complementos I want for next year!