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September 7, 2010

The interior of the CIEE Study Center

That’s it. I’m in Sevilla. And have been here for more than 24 hours. I can successfully walk from the Hotel Bécquer where my fellow Teaching Development Program (TDP)-ers and the Liberal Arts kids and I have been staying since we all arrived yesterday to the CIEE Study Center (aka El Palacio, as it used to be a palace), but not really anywhere else. To the river, down the block? And that’s really about it.

The hotel is pretty nice. The beds are pretty hard. And the food is… okay. But it is pretty great in general.

Yesterday we hardly left the hotel and just orientated, but today I feel like we walked all over – to El Palacio two or three times, to various restaurants, to the river and across it and back to the hotel, to a flamenco performance. It’s way more walking than I am used to, but it can’t really be bad for me.

A statue by the river, very near to our hotel

Flamenco was absolutely amazing. The first song – with just the guitarra and cantante – I almost fell asleep, it being after nine and in the semi-darkness and me being me. But once the flamenca came and started doing her thing, and then her male counterpart, and then them together, there was no closing of the eyes. It was absolutely invigorating and beautiful.

I have this sense that there is such an amazing pride surrounding Spanish culture – like flamenco – that the US doesn’t really have. I feel like everything that embodies “American culture” is satirized by Americans in some way – and inherently some of its value is lost. of course, I do this all of the time; I refer to pop stars and sitcoms and apple pie and even red, white, and blue ironically.

I don’t feel like a Spaniard or really anyone can do that with flamenco. The guitarra is beautiful and amazing, and the dancing is neither masculine or feminine. The faces appear almost anguished. There is a power in the movement and the sound and the feeling that can’t be made fun of.

Maybe I am totally wrong and Spanish – I really should say Sevillano – culture really does have this ironical, satirical aspect. But I haven’t seen it yet. And I am a little envious of that cultural pride.

  • Tomorrow – excitement of excitements! – I move in with my host Señora and her dog near all the other TDP students. I am so ready to unpack my things semi-permanently and have a home and a room and friends nearby. I really, really am looking forward to it and hope, hope, hope that everything goes well.

Anyway! Pictures! More soon, and hopefully less disjointed.

Those stairs lead to a bridge. There's a bar in the yellow building, rio a la derecha.

On the other side of the river, by a different bridge, on Charlotte's guidebook?

Annette, Amy, Sarah, and Charlotte by the river

Doorknobs near our hotel.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 8, 2010 6:24 pm

    Awesome! Glad to see you arrived in good form. I hope you post prolifically so I can creep and live vicariously through you.

    Also great (door) knobs!

  2. DIANNE SHERMAN permalink
    September 10, 2010 10:41 pm

    Hi Sofie, Loved your pics……..every one of them was sharing what you are seeing and doing in Sevilla!! Enjoy and we love hearing from you! GS

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