Spain - Sevilla

by Kimp 4. July 2012 04:23

Photo Blog

Spain is very near the top of my favorite countries list. The weather is beautiful, the prices are inexpensive, the people are religious and relaxed, and the women are very sensuous. It was very hot and sunny, but my body adjusted to the heat fairly quickly. Staying up late, getting up late and taking that 2:00 P.M. siesta, just seems like a natural thing to do in Spain. Sangria cooled me off pretty quickly as well.
The Spanish cuisine is nice. Most bars and restaurants serve Tapas. A Tapa is an appetizer portion of a normal meal or side dish. We can also, usually get half or full portions if we want, but most people just order the Tapa size, and get a few different varieties. When we order a beer, the first Tapa is free, but the bar/restaurant provides whichever one they want to give away. Sometimes it is one of the cheaper ones, but not always. Some people go on Tapa runs. That's where we go to one bar, order a beer, eat the free Tapa, then walk to the next closest  bar and repeat. Most Spanish people are fairly light eaters. It's so hot that our body wants to use most of its energy keeping cool, and it does not want to waste energy digesting food.
Southern Spain was once ruled by Moorish Muslim rulers. They were defeated by the Christians in the 14th century but their influence on architecture, clothing and music hung around. The chants in Flamenco music are very close to Muslim chants, both rhythmically and melodically. The long black Flamenco dresses are close to Muslim attire. The energy and drama that the Flamenco dancers display, is close to the energy and drama when a Muslim women prays. They sometimes use the Zill's (Finger Symbols), that have their origin in Muslim belly dancers. Add the Spanish classical guitar, Flamenco rhythm, and a few brightly colored Spanish dresses, and it makes for a great evening of entertainment.
The Flamingo cab experience:
That's when we got into a cab, in which the driver was about a 60 years old, with a nice tan, a very laid back attitude, and the look of a lot of experience on his face.
The sun had just set, it was starting to cool off, the cab windows are rolled down, he is listening to a Flamingo station with the volume a little louder then normal, and it felt really nice and comfortable. He saunters up to a red light very slowly, and stops. The red light is exceptionally long, we are about the only car at that intersection as a few people walked by.
Instead of getting all tense because the light was a long red one, and we are the only car around, the driver, puts this one arm out of the window and down along the car door, as he puts his other arm on the dash, resting it on his wrist. He starts lightly tapping a Flamingo rhythm with this fingers on the dash, dips is head down and toward the open window, closes his eyes and starts singing very lightly with the music on the radio. His voice is a little rough and raspy around the edges, but it's so authentic and genuine that is just sounds awesome. The light turns green, but he still sits there for a short while, singing, then slowly pulls away. That was precious.
Spanish women have the two extremes down pretty well. Either the long full length summer dresses or the short shorts (we used to call hot pants when I was a kid) was pretty much all that I saw. Even the short shorts outfits, were very tastefully done. They definitely dress to compete with each other. The analogy would be, like in the 50's when guys would spend a lot of time working on their car's, and shinning them up, then go out and cruise the boulevard. These women spend a lot of time on their look, then go out and cruise the boulevard on foot. I only saw about 2 men for every 8 women. My guess is, that's is due to the high unemployment rate. Either the men are working late to make ends meet, or they left Spain to find work.
Spain's unemployment rate is 24.6 percent overall and about 50 percent for people under 30. That's about what the unemployment rate was during the height of the Great Depression in the US. Most people live with their parents until they are around 30, because the can't find permanent work. 
Sevilla (pronounced: See - Veeee - a) was once the most important trading port in Spain. The rulers had lots of money and they sponsored Christopher Columbus's expedition to America, because they wanted to expand their trade industry. That ended up hurting them, because Portugal was much closer to America, so most of the trade business left Spain and moved to Portugal.
Sevilla has the oldest bull ring in Spain and also the toughest spectators. Sporting a beautiful river, lots of history, lots of religious symbols,  awesome tropical landscaping, and I savored it all while I was there.



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