My First Home Away From Home

After twelve years away, I returned to the first place I lived abroad, the first time I went abroad, where I studied abroad: Sevilla, España. Sevilla street My train arrived late, at nearly midnight, and as I walked through the dark streets of this city, the first of many foreign cities I would eventually call home, I found myself taking short cuts through winding and narrow paths, that I had forgot existed. I passed by many things I forgot existed: the Rayas where we would get dulce de leche ice cream and the Plaza de Duque where the Sunday markets used to be, the liquor store where we would get our botellon packages (4 cups, bag of ice, bottle of cacique and a bottle of coke- before botellon’ing was illegal in Spain). IMG_9271 IMG_9347 I found myself recalling memories and simple moments that would have been easily lost forever in that old life that feels like a lifetime ago; this street suddenly reminds me of a conversation I had with Judith, this café reminds me of a night of tapas with George, this plaza reminds me of a joke Tim told me when we once stood in that exact same place. My hostel was one block away from my old flat: San Vicente 44 San Vicente While a lot has kept its same old charm, even more has changed and modernized, like the addition of the largest wooden structure in the world, known locally as Las Setas (The Mushrooms). Las Setas My local pharmacy is now a hair salon. The Irish pub is now a wine bar. The Carboneria is closed down (maybe temporarily) for mysterious reasons. Buses from the Plaza Nueva have transformed into trams. The busy street in front of the university is now a hip café-lined pedestrian path. And I could swear they’ve changed the color of the Cathedral, which is now a light ivory color. The Residencia where I spent two months inhaling second hand smoke from the University girls watching Operacion Triunfo (Spanish American Idol) while consuming cans of Cola-Cola as if they were air, is now a hostel. Calle Betis, however, I imagine, is still taken over by American University students come Friday and Saturday nights. IMG_9304