- David Olguín
“Without surprises, even if they are unpleasant, no one would be ready to live.”
It’s hard to believe that I’ve been here in Sevilla for two weeks. In fact, there is a lot that is hard to believe about this beautiful city. The past couple of weeks have been filled with curiosity and bewilderment as I’ve been trying to become acclimated to the lifestyle here, la vida Sevillana. As I walk through las calles (averaging about ten miles per day), I stop and stare at the statues, gardens, and plazas in disbelief while los sevillanos pass on by, simply living their every day lives. I’m so lucky to be living in a city that has been the crossroads across so many civilizations of people and that has been so greatly influenced by each of these unique cultures. This city has taken me by surprise in so many ways, leaving me in awe, yet I think the part that surprised me the most was, actually, myself, and how I was feeling the first couple of days here in Sevilla.
Culture shock: it’s something that time and time again, we are told that we are going to experience at some point throughout our time abroad. I never thought this would be something I would feel to such the extent that I did the first couple of days here in Sevilla. This isn’t the first time I’ve traveled outside of the country, and I was so ready for my journey abroad to begin. Yet, when I translated a letter my mother had written to my host family, I couldn’t help but tear up. It was then that everything had hit me: that I’d be living a very independent lifestyle with my host family, that I’d be studying here for four months, that I’d be in this huge city that I knew nothing about. Having gotten no sleep on the plane, and being forced to try to explain myself in Spanish right off the bat, I guess I was just very overwhelmed. I’m happy to say that because I was beyond frustrated that I was feeling homesick, nervous, and scared, I quickly got over my anxieties and began to fall in love with this beautiful city.
One of the biggest adjustments here in Sevilla has actually been the nightlife. Everything here in Sevilla is pushed hours back in the day. All of the meals are much later, with dinner usually being eaten around 10:00 PM. The earliest people will go out might be 11:00, but that’s to make a stop for preliminary tapas and casual drinks. The bars aren’t lively until around 1 AM, and that’s still considered early. Most nights, we don’t get back until 4:30 or 5 AM! The streets come alive at night, and it’s been really awesome to see every one of all ages getting together and hanging out. While it was definitely tough adjusting to the Spanish clock at first, it honestly makes sense. During a conversation about the difference in these lifestyles in America and here in Spain, one of my advisors asked me, “Well, what do you do after dinner? Not as much, right? We are simply extending the hours of the day.” I have to admit, I have definitely been taking advantage of these longer days.
So, that’s my attempt to try to cover my first two weeks here in Sevilla, but this post doesn’t do them justice. My goal is to try to stay on top of this blog more so that I can write shorter, more detailed posts. Definitely feel free to ask any questions!
Un abrazo (Hugs)