Friday, September 10, 2010

The Communication.

Things continue to go well here in Sevilla.  The weather has finally given us some relief.  The high for the past few days has been between 85º and 95º.  And combined with the fact that I’ve been siesta-ing during the hottest part of the day, it’s been quite nice.

That still hasn’t kept me from working up a prodigious sweat whenever I walk somewhere.  I swear, if I even think about being outside in the sun, I can feel my forehead start to glisten.  I complain, but it’s not nearly as bad as when it was 110º, claro.  Aside from the whole “teaching English” thing, my primary job has been drinking an absurd amount of water every day.

There are many benefits, however, to living somewhere really hot, dry and sunny.  At night, the weather is beautiful and you don’t have to worry about being rained on if you’re sitting outside.  Also, when you wash your clothes and hang then up to dry, you can go and take them down later the same day and they’re perfectly dry.  It’s almost miraculous.  At first I didn’t understand where our clothes were being hung up, because I never saw them in the apartment.  I found out only a bit too late one day.

Carmen, my host mother, was talking to me the other day and was talking to me about our clothes.  We have very little problem communicating anymore.  I don’t always get every word, but the gist more or less comes through.  This was not the case in this instance.  Our conversation went more or less like this:

Carmen: Hola, Peter.

Me: Hola, Carmen.  ¿How are you?

Carmen: I’m good.  I cmmwr to ask you if slkjflkj your lwkjelk in the alkjsdlkj or if I can sdlkjjl weqwe mrmw.  What do you want to do?

In this type of situation, you generally have three options: Sí, no, or repeat.

Me: I’m sorry, one more time, please?

Carmen: (Smiling) Wlmrlw.  Movour lskjqwz (subjunctive) cmogwu your clothes cwiipsxwen or smroo oic up wmmer vbngwm2?

At this point, your only real option is to say “sí” or “no” and hope that it strikes some distant correlation to the question.

Adding a little emotion to feign confidence, I shrugged, shook my head, and said, “No.”


It wasn’t really a big deal.  She just said, “No?  Ok then.”  And then left.  I sat staring at the empty doorway for a few seconds, trying to reflect over the half-conversation I just had.  Eventually I was able to recall the words, “do you want,” “show,” “up,” “clothes,” and, “dry.”  Which of course means, “Do you want me to show you where I hang up the clothes to dry after I wash them?”  Sorry to sound like such a douche, Carmen.

I later realized that, not only would it be a good idea to know where our clothes hang out, but the roof of the building is also a great place to get una buena vista of Sevilla.  Plus, it’s nice to be able to help out around the apartment.  A single, working mother has plenty of things to do besides cook my meals, wash dishes, and do laundry.  Obviamente.

That’s it.  Just something I wanted to share.

Here are some other pictures from Sevilla.  Loving it.

Bridge near my house at sunset. 

View of Triana (my neighborhood) and the bullfighting stadium from the Giralda (Cathedral). 

Rick Steves' Tour, clearly.

Katie and Amy K in the Barrio Santa Cruz (Judería).

Random Cathedral shots.

Until the next time,


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