Monday, 31 March 2014


How good to be back in in Sevilla, the prettiest city I know. How good so say "I know", knowing the lay of the land and river, even roughly. I guess it shows. This morning on my ramble a man stopped me to ask, in Spanish, if _______ was this way or that way. Before I could sputter out my no habla, another man gave the lost man the answer. The lost man thanked us both. I count him as a happy customer.
I'm surprised at what seem like momentous changes in Sevilla. An entire wall of scaffolding covers the north wall of the cathedral, which used to be the first thing I saw turning left out of my hotel a month ago. Nearby, an entire plaza has been refitted with bleachers--for the forthcoming April festival, no doubt--displacing the well-established horse-drawn carriage home base. And the newspaper stand in Plaza Nueva where I bought my International New York Times every day has been replaced by a generic kiosk selling postcards.
What chance do we humans have amid such transience. I wonder if the horses, blinkered or not, are upset in some horsey way about their new surroundings.
So go the musings during my walk to/from the Flamenco Dance Museum. The narrative offered there about flamenco is all about transience--dance influences from the far east, the Euro Roma culture, and the Afro-Caribbeans taking form in west Andalusia as flamenco, and flamenco, in turn, adapting through street, club and theatre out into the world.
Change it is. Sevilla was shirt-off, rowboat hot last time. But heavy rain took over last night, two days after I'd mailed my high-tech rain jacket home. I'm living by cheap umbrella now.
As for the tapas culture I found so bewildering when I got here a month ago, pass the paella and queso manchego and never mind.
All of this is preamble for tonight: back to La Caja Negra for my last hit of flamenco.

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