4. Sevilla – April 18-20, 2010

4. Sevilla – April 18, 2010

It has been raining and thundering most of the day. I slept ten hours last night and woke up feeling fine. Stephanie was here helping us and Freddie had been up for a long time. Freddie made me coffee and Stephanie made me some breakfast. How nice it felt to be taken care of! 
Chris (young American guitarist who has been living here for 2 years now) came by to visit us. 
Later, after helping me with some organizing and cooking, Stephanie left, Freddie had his lesson with Carlos and I took a nap for 4 hours!!!! Sometime during that period Freddie joined me and he is still asleep. 
I woke up thinking of Bulería steps. When I got up, I figured out why the refrigerator wasn’t on and fixed it. There was a faulty plug. No one seems to go out much in the rain. I was able to read about the Iceland volcano on-line and now realize how lucky we were to make it to Spain as planned. 
It is cold in here and I am sitting with my computer on my lap and its heat warms me! What a use for a computer. I still haven’t figured out which classes I want to take this year. Chris told me that Concha will start up her classes again in May. I will call her tonight, but I am waiting for Freddie to wake up first. It is almost 8:00 PM and still light outside. I don’t hear rain at the moment. 
We haven’t even thought about going to Feria, which is why we came to Sevilla at this time. Hopefully the weather will be more inviting tomorrow. Most of our friends do not seem excited about it. I was there in 1980 and I have been told that it was very different then. Freddie has never experienced it, so we should go.
The 8:00 PM church bells have sounded. I love these familiar sounds. It has felt so good to sleep that I am just letting myself do it. That is a nice thing about being here for a while. I do feel a little unsettled knowing that we are only in this apartment for a week right now. Then we leave and come back on May 1st. Freddie wants to explore Jerez and we will stay with friends. We have many invitations and we may be out of internet connection for that week. I am trying to organize here so that when we return it will be easy. 
Stayed up late again tonight playing brain games on the internet that my friend Marcia wrote to us about. 

April 19, 2010
We have patches of sun today. Both Freddie and I woke up early (9 –ish). Freddie made coffee. Carlos called to schedule Freddie’s lesson, which Freddie decided he did not want today. But Carlos came over anyway to bring some gel for Freddie’s bruise. He also invited us to lunch at his house, but we took a “rain check” because we wanted to rest and organize our suitcases. We have to be out of here by noon on Friday, unless the airplanes not flying change the next renter’s schedule. 
So I am re-packing and storing what we can do without until May 1st. I no longer need to carry all the medications with me like I do on the plane. I can also take liquids in any quantity I want, and so save my “flying” liquids for when we fly. 
Stephanie came this morning and did more shopping for us. I love it. We talked to Josh who invited us to Granada during our time of couch surfing and wandering. Luis came by to give us besos (kisses) on his way to an appointment. 
The Feria of Sevilla starts officially at midnight tonight. That is when they light the lights. We are thinking of going. I am doing our first load of laundry right now, which I will hang inside the house. I am a little tired and will probably nap soon. What a concept: to take it easy. Freddie’s bruise is slowly healing, but it still looks horrible. It covers almost his entire arm. His right arm still hurts and is difficult for him to lift, but it too is improving. Tomorrow we have our second massage appointment with the naturopath, acupuncture doctor. 
Last night we called Concha. She is still in Sevilla but plans to move to her new house in Lebrija in June. Her son Curro is in Japan for six months. She and Carmen did an early Feria show last night which we didn’t know about and missed. I should have called her the day before. But I am taking it easy and calling people slowly. Time for a nap.
Dressed and ready to go to the Feria, waiting for Javi who will take us there. I walked outside this evening to take the trash and recycling out. The weather has warmed up and the streets were filled with people. I am feeling more present. 

April 20, 2010
We did go to La Feria last night. We took a taxi because of parking and traffic problems. We got there just before midnight when they lit all the lights. There were crowds and crowds of people in the street watching the Feria lights come on. They will be lit all this week of Feria. People were already dancing Sevillanas (folk dance that almost everyone in Sevilla dances) in the street, and playing the palmas (rhythmical hand clapping).
Freddie was walking amazingly well and quickly. I was walking behind him, holding on to the back of his vest so I wouldn’t lose him. I was in a sea of people and often couldn’t see beyond them. As we got closer to the lit arch, we turned left and headed for the casetas, cute little decorated tents that serve food and mostly play recorded music. People talk, drink, eat and dance and wander from caseta to caseta. Some are private but many are public. The good ones play Flamenco music and hire live artists to perform. 
I hadn’t been to Feria since 1980 and Freddie had never been before. In 1980 almost everyone wore Flamenco Feria dresses and suits. I brought the dress that I had bought in 1999 for Rocio (another Andalusian festival). Everyone at Rocio had been dressed up too. Last night there weren’t too many of us in our long and ruffley Feria dresses. I tried to take photos of people in beautiful costumes, but my camera didn’t function quickly enough in the night light and I missed almost all of them. 
Instead of traditional Flamenco dresses, many women wore very short skirts or very tight pants and very high heels. They put flowers in their hair for a very modern day Feria look. 
The canastero Gypsies (not the “educated” Flamenco Gypsies) were still there begging. One woman worked really hard on Freddie but the wallet Freddie finally pulled from his pocket was empty so she lost out. I will post a few photos.
A wonderfully new thing that we saw was a “servicio mixto”. That means a unisex public bathroom. It was in a caseta that we were in. I have photos of a man trying to crash it and the women in line holding him back. When I shot his photo he left. When I left he tried to come back but the young women almost bursting in line were adamant that he had to wait his turn. Yes things are changing here. And this is in a good way!
At almost 4:00 AM we decided to go home because our friend Javi, who was with us, had to work very early the next morning. As we left the Feria I tried to hail a taxi and then realized that there was a long line for the taxis. We walked and walked and finally got to the end of the line. We thought about walking up to the bigger streets to looks for an unoccupied taxi, but Javi thought it was better to wait in line. I also did not know how far Freddie could walk. So we waited in line for 45 minutes until our turn came. There were still many more people behind us!
The taxi driver confirmed that the taxis were not picking up people who walked to the nearby streets and said that they only pick up people from the long line that we had waited in. So it was good that we had not tried our luck looking.
We got to sleep after 5:00 AM. Freddie and I had booked our massages at noon, so we had a little less than 5 hours of sleep. It is a good thing that we took a long siesta before going to the Feria. That is the only way to do it.
We only saw a little bit of the Feria and hope to go again tonight.
Friday we leave Angel’s at noon and return on the 1st. However Angel doesn’t really know if the next renters will make it. That will depend on the state of the air travel that has been stopped due to the Icelandic volcano.
We had our massages. While waiting for a taxi we saw lots of women and children in their Feria dresses. I guess there weren’t a lot the very first night, but now Sevilla has a mixed epoch look. We hear that there are many horses and carriages at the Feria during the day. 
And now the sun is out and it is suddenly hot.
Just before they lit the lights on the arch.
The lit arch
Freddie enjoying the Feria.
Freddie still taking photos about 4:30 AM


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