Here in Sevilla, everything is much more relaxed, and everyone moves at a much slower pace. No one is rushing around; in fact, most people take their sweet time. This has been one of the more difficult things to become accustomed to. Because my timing usually isn’t the greatest, I find myself rushing to get to class, trying to maneuver between the people that are just obliviously standing in the way during their casual afternoon stroll. If you go out to eat, or even just go to a café to order a coffee, expect to wait a while for your order to arrive, and then expect it to take even longer for you to get the check. When making plans with people, expect them to be late. It’s normal to show up 15 minutes late or for people to just forget entirely about the plans. But, no pasa nada (it’s not a big deal).
Even though it’s been tough adjusting to the “Spanish” clock, it’s really forced me to slow down and enjoy the little things a bit more. Since the environment is much more flexible and laid-back, it’s totally fine for you to hang out in places for hours on end without even ordering something. The people are also much more understanding and easy-going, which has definitely been nice for a person like me who is trying to acclimate themselves in this new culture. Most importantly, it’s forced me to work on my timing and to try to not leave everything to the last minute!
Going out here has been a completely different experience than back home. Basically, the whole night is pushed back. The earliest we’ll leave the house is 10.00, and that would be to meet up for a casual drink or two with some friends before taking on the night. Otherwise, we don’t head to a bar or club until 1.00. It’s safe to say that on the nights I go out (which are many here in Spain), I won’t get back until 4.30 or 5.00! Thankfully, twice a week I don’t have classes until the afternoon, so I’m still able to catch up on my sleep. The nights have definitely been fun, but they are quite exhausting sometimes!
It doesn’t need to be a bumpin’ night for there to be people on the streets. One of my favorite things about this city is that people basically live on the streets. They are always crowded. It seems like all of the cafes, restaurants, and bars are constantly filled with people having a casual drink or tapa with their friends. There is such an amazing energy that comes from being on the streets. Los sevillanos never stay in their homes. Part of the reason for this is that the houses are colder inside than it is outside; another reason is that it isn’t typical for people to have their friends come over. People aren’t usually allowed in each other’s homes; it’s their one aspect of their lives that is private, because they are very forward and direct when it comes to everything else! That’s why you also see a lot of people being very affectionate in random places out in the open along the streets…they aren’t allowed to have guests over!
One of the highlights was finally being able to see La Alcázar de Sevilla! This was a royal palace that was originally a Moorish fort. I couldn’t believe how much there was to the place once you walked inside. The gardens are absolutely beautiful. It’s no surprise that this was one of the selected locations to film Game of Thrones, los Juegos de Tronos, for the upcoming season! Another highlight of my time with Nicole was that we were able to go to a Flamenco fashion show where designers showcased their newest dresses for La Feria, or the Seville Fair, which I absolutely cannot wait to experience (more on that later on). I ended up being connected with a girl, Lauren, who studied abroad here and is now living here with her boyfriend, and she offered me the tickets. Thanks to her, we were able to experience such a cool and cultural aspect to Sevilla that I would have never known about!