"Sevilla, luz y reflejos" Jan Spielvogel
Location: Iglesia el Salvador - Patio de Naranjos
Dates: 6 - 20 July
While undergoing renovations the patio de naranjos of this church is a venue for music, conferences and exhibits. The best exhibit by far starts on July 6th, with a series of photographs by someone who curiously enough has my same last name! Ok, so she is my sister, but she has taken some excellent photographs around Seville and you will certainly enjoy this one. Entrance is free and you can take in a little history of the church while you're there.




Real Betis vs. Athletic Bilbao
Location:Estadio Ruiz de Lopera (Avda. Palmera)
Dates: 30 April, time tbd.

In what could perhaps be a battle between two teams close in the league table, Betis welcomes Bilbao towards the end of the season. This match could end up being very important for both or one of these teams to stay in primera. The last few times the two teams have met there were plenty of goals scored, with some suprising finishes.
More info at: www.realbetisbalompie.es


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I do have a couple of recommendations for programs, but nobody is perfect and there are other good ones out there. For semester or year abroad I recommend the UNCAR program. Ok, I know it's an ugly web page but they spend their money on their students and not their site! Run by the University of North Carolina it is by far the most economically priced and it's well run by a relative of mine! I know there is some family bias here, but they've had the same director for many years and the program is now 30 years old which is more than some of the other programs can say. The facilities are in the center and it costs much less than similar programs from other universities offering the same courses and type of housing. You can't pass this one up! For an academia I just keep hearing good things about CLIC. The same director has been there for a long time as well. Great facilities, in the center and again, I just hear good things from many people about these guys.


Bars and nightlife hotspots
Knowing where to go and when is half the battle when you're looking for a bit of nightlife in Sevilla. Of course most any night there is something going on, but the best nights for a lot of action are Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Cathedral area
Next to the cathedral is Flaherty's, and Irish pub where you can always find tourists and expats on most any night. Just up the street from Flaherty's is Calle Argote de Molina where you'll find a small group of bars with a good amount of people: Antiguedades, La Subasta and L'image.

Arenal to Plaza de Armas
Starting behind the Plaza Nueva on Calle Zaragoza with Bestiario and down the street there's Cerveceria Internacional on Calle Gamazo. Most of the action lies behind the Plaza de Toros on Calle Pastor y Landero where there are a number of bars to choose from. Make your way across the main avenue of Reyes Catolicos towards Plaza de Armas and you'll find some late night spots including Gaudi and Nu Yor among others. Finally within Plaza de Armas mall there's the Fabrica de Cerveza, Sevilla's only micro-brewery.

Triana and Calle Betis
Best on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night but always some action on any evening, this is the biggest strip of bars for late night action. Cross the Triana bridge and got to the left where you'll find

Location: Galería Haurie, c/Guzmán el Bueno, 9
Dates: October 6 - November 8

The one thing you likely know, or should know, is that it gets really, really hot in the summer. I mean it's damn hot in the summer in Sevilla, especially in August. Sevilla holds the record for the hottest city in all of Europe with a record of 50° C (122° F). That was back in 1888, but I do believe they tied or broke that in August of 2003, when the temperature in the street rose to 52° C, or 126° F! On those days the streets were literally empty during the middle of the day. If you wanted to go out you did so beofre 10am and then not until maybe 11pm at night. Friends of mine with little food in the house preferred to stay inside and be hungry rather than brave the heat.

In the winter the temperature will almost never break the freezing mark and so things are relatively mild. There are many houses which do not have heat and with marble floors being common it can seem much colder. So it's not likely you'll need that heavy winter coat, but layers do help and slippers are a must.

Rain is uncommon if non-existent in the summer months of July and August. In 2003 we went almost 4 months without any significant rainfall. In October the rainy season begins and lasts through December. In March it picks up a little and then starts a downward trend. And while I know it differs from my chart below, I swear October is often the poorest month for rain in Sevilla. If your looking for snow head to the Sierra Nevadas outside of Granada, as the last time it snowed in Sevilla is at least 50 years ago. I saw a picture from that year somewhere with snow in the Plaza de la Encarnación.





National TV

Regional TV

Cable Operators (and more channels)

Mobile Phone Service


I frequent many here in Sevilla hoping to find a few hidden in back alleys. There are a few restaurants and bars listed here that you'll find in guidebooks - they are quite good after all - but many you won't.

  • These are places where actual Spaniards eat, so don't expect a lot of English when you go.
  • Except for a few marked with "$$" these are affordable. I don't make any money with this page, so my dining out is generally on a realistic budget, not a Fodor's guide budget.
  • Every dish listed is a recommendation, and I have tried every one of them. I don't weigh 300 lbs. yet, but I'm working on it.
  • I'm not taking any advertising money (yet) so these are all fairly impartial.

Here you will find several reviews of restaurants and bars in Sevilla. This list will continue to grow.


Price: 6€
Monday-Saturday 11am-5pm
Sunday 2:30pm-6pm
tel: 954 21 49 71

Real Alcazar
Price: 5€
Tuesday-Saturday 9:30am-7pm
Sunday and holidays 9:30am-5pm
tel: 954 50 23 23

Torre del Oro
Price: 1€ (Tuesday Free)
Tuesday-Friday 10am-2pm
Saturday, Sunday Holidays 11am-2pm

Museo Archealogico
Price: 1.50€
Tuesday 3pm-8pm
Wednesday - Saturday 9am-8pm??
Sundays and Holidays 9am-2pm

Museo Artes Costumbres
Price: 1.50€
Tuesday 3pm-8pm
Wednesday - Saturday 9am-8pm
Sundays and Holidays 9am-2pm

Hospital de la Caridad
Price: 3€
Monday-Saturday 9am-1:30pm, 3:30-7:30pm
Sundays and Holidays 9am-1pm

Museo de Bellas Artes
Price: 1.50€
Tuesday 3pm-8pm
Wednesday-Saturday 9am-8pm
Sunday and Holidays 9am-2pm

Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza (Museo)
Price: 4€
Monday-Sunday 9:30-7pm

Casa de los Pilatos
Price: 5€ lower floor, 8€ complete tour
Monday-Sunday 9am-6pm

Price: 1.50€
Tuesday-Saturday 9am-5:30pm
Sundays and Holidays 10am-4pm

Reales Altarazanas
Price: FREE
Tuesday-Saturday 10am-2pm, 6pm-8pm
Sundays 10am-1pm


Daily Entries


Past days are located here

Recent Days / Past Days

Below are entries from some recent days



What happened before....

Thursday, July 10th

"A day to reflect"

Sometimes the little problems I've mentioned here seem so big when I'm writing them. They seem very small today.

My Uncle Dave passed away. He was a character - always had a joke and his sense of humor never seemed to end. That's why I like this picture of him, in true Uncle Dave form: always joking around. He was a good guy, a good father, a good brother, and we will really miss him. I'll tell you right now it's hard being here and getting this news. We want to be around for everyone but our family is living in three countries at the moment. Grief over the phone is awful, and I don't wish it on anyone.

We all loved my Uncle Dave. There were at times differences between him and others in the family, like any family if you think about it. Nobody was right or wrong. Sometimes differences are just that: differences. Everyone always loved him and everyone knows those differences didn't mean a thing - not then and not now. He was a Spielvogel, a brother , a father, a husband and an uncle, and there is nothing better in this world than to be a part of our family. There were five brothers and sisters (and there are who knows how many cousins and grandchildren). There are four brothers and sisters with us now. We will all miss him. We are incomplete without him.

Our family is something we can all be proud of - where we came from and who we are is truly a blessing. Our grandparents came from Europe and raised five children and sent them out in the world with much love and an honest foundation on which to live life. As the children and grandchildren of these five we should be truly thankful. We have a better life because of how our grandparents raised our parents and in turn how they raised us. Uncle Dave was an important part of this family, and someone we were fortunate and blessed to have known. I am glad for the years he was in North Carolina and thus closer to our family. I am glad for the years we saw him at the reunion. There was always more than a good laugh when he was around. He was more than just a character - he was good person who cared about all of us and we all cared about him. At the reunion this August I am sure there will be much sadness, but as well a lot of joy in thinking of his life and all the memories we have of him as our uncle, our brother, our father or our friend. We send our love to everyone, especially our Aunt Pam and cousin Kurt. While we are not there in person we hope they know we are in spirit and will see them soon.

Wednesday, July 9th

"Success, Setbacks; Being Illegal, Capitalism; A Domain Name; The Fly I'm going to Kill NOW"

Funny how successes can also bring setbacks. You win or earn one thing which leads to questions that in turn lead to setbacks in something else. You know what I mean?!? Well, maybe not, so here goes a good example with the history of my week so far. We were so very happy that our contract was accepted for developing and marketing a site. Many prospects on this one, with some future work to create new parts of the web site as well as a maintenance agreement for at least the near future. So we're down to the part where I need to write the bill, but neither my friend or I have N.I.F., or Número de Identificación Fiscal, which allows us to properly invoice people, and for them to properly declare it, when doing our work. No problem, I thought, I'll just meet with the lawyer (I already had the appointment scheduled) and see if they can help. Well, I figured this one out in that I'll invoice them from the U.S. with my permanent address, but learned some interesting things in my visit to the lawyer:

  • Work here illegally. That was the advice I got and I think I'm going to follow it. Not only would they take a ton of money out of my check for social security and other taxes, by the time I finish the paperwork and get approval from the Spanish consulate to live here it would likely be this time next year. As for the old Schengen Agreement - to hell with it. They hardly ever stop anyone from coming and going, I was told, and many folks have been here illegally forever. So I'll take my chances and sweat it out every time I come and go. If they say something I at least have a lawyer I can call, which may or may not help me with immigration issues here.
  • Don't try to become an autonomo or self-employed person if you are from the U.S. Ever heard of reciprocity? Well, we treat Spaniards (and many others) like shit when they try to get a green-card in the U.S., so the Spanish say "¡toma!", i.e. we get the same treatment from them. If you're from somewhere in Latin America where they treat the Spaniards better it is much easier to get a visa this way.
  • Starting a corporation, company, (whatever you want to call it) here looks like a bunch of crap. Without getting into it here - I've got a philosophical point I want to make below - you'd be better off starting one in the U.S. and then trying to get a visa to work here for your own company, especially for tax reasons.

Socialism sometimes sucks more than you'd think. Ok, have a good laugh now you Rush Limbaugh lovers, even though you're a bunch of idiots who value political posturing more than you do the truth. Or if you're very liberal perhaps you're thinking - "this guy's just another conservative American getting ready to praise the values of his own society and selfish political philosophy!" Well, maybe you're not thinking exactly that...but I'll tell you I'm no conservative or Republican. I'm getting to my point, but a little background here first:

I spent a few days at a conference where the Spanish Tourist Department, the Andalucian Tourist Department and the Andalucia Rural Tourist Department all touted the need for small businesses (PYMES), especially hostels and hotels, to get online and use new technologies. Sounds like a great plan, and certainly crossing the technology front for some of them would prove profitable in an economy driven by tourism. They talked of public funds to get these businesses online, providing computers, training, software, etc. All this time I'm salivating like a good little capitalist dog, thinking this may help in some future projects I've lined up. But then I hear their further plans and I begin to get sick. "We're going to create a portal for tourism with a reservation system for hotels and hostels, offering a free website and e-mail to every hotel and hostel who wants it and just take a commission from each reservation." It wasn't enough to develop the electronic infrastructure and let private enterprise take over and perhaps create a few jobs. What they're saying, in other not so friendly words, "We're going to screw the private sector by cornering the market on web development and online reservation systems for hotels and hostels." Where will all the jobs go? The government. Where will all the profits go? The government. Where will the monopoly be held? The government. What choices will hotels and hostals have when they want to generate online revenue but pay less of a commission? None. Where will all the small web design, hosting and development businesses go who were hoping to work in this market. The toilet. To top it all off, all three departments are working on a separate system for hotel reservations without working together - the pinnacle of government efficiency is here!

So, back to my point, or did I already make it? The lawyer we met with had a great idea about starting a company. As my sister is a resident here and under the age of 39, if she started a company with me and a friend as her partners we would be eligible for 25,000€ - without having to pay it back! Granted it might take 3-4 years to get the money, but it would be worth the wait, no? Well, we were onto something here so we asked more questions. It seemed better and better as we talked, and the likelihood of me getting a work permit if we went this route was greater than trying to do so being self-employed. There was even a monthly payment that my sister would get if she had a child while running this company!

Seemed to good to be true, right? Well, it was. Aside from the 500-600€ we would have to pay for licenses, etc. (not to mention lawyers fees) while getting started we would have to pay about 200€ per month for Social Security, and then what it costs to keep the monthly books, about 100€ more. Doesn't matter if you're making money yet or barely scraping by to meet expenses - you have to pay at least 300€ a month just for the privilege to work. Then take out 40-50% for social security and taxes on all the income that you might make during those first months. Who cares that you want to generate jobs or help the economy grow when it is badly needed here? Who cares if you aren't making money at first? "Why, we want to start you off right here, ole' boy, with a never ending bill that will put you in debt on the very first day you start your company. We're in the business of charging you a hefty fee for the government so they can turn around and grant you 25,000€ if you fit the profile for one of their plans." What a a bunch of "maroons". Might I politely ask, why take the money from everyone for that 25,000 "grant" when you can keep that money (or let the others who paid taxes keep it) and just eliminate my social security bill every month? If you really want to start businesses here and create employment you don't do it through disincentives! If you really want me to get started then make it easier for me and everyone to get started!!!!!!!! This ends my "rah! rah! capitalist" rant.

Almost finally, I have one of my three planned domain names up and running, and while it's my 3rd choice it's the only one which works at the moment. You can get to my page by simply typing in www.exploreseville.com!!

Lastly, there's a large fly buzzing around here so I am off to kill it. Unlike him I'm sure I'll see better days than today.

Links for today:

Exploreseville.com (go ahead and click on it! You'll end up at the top of the page)


Sunday, July 6th

"Tomorrow's Presentaion; Meeting with a lawyer; Page Progress"

Finishing up tomorrow's presentation so I don't have much time - it's 3am. Things look good and I'm hoping the contract is accepted so we can start some work. If all goes well it may lead to a few other web development/marketing jobs in September.

I've lined up a meeting with a lawyer to see if I can legalize my situation here by becoming an "autonomo" and getting a self-employed work visa. I have to come prepared with all my questions - it's a free consultation - but if all goes well they can help me with filing the right papers and the tax work. Social Security will take 30-40%, which scares the hell out of me.

Finally, after hours and hours of tweaking my photo albums are almost completely updated. I plan to launch new ones specific to monuments and events very soon, but you can see the new look on some of the links in the photo page.

Links for today:

4th of July Boat Parade - S.C.

Friday , July 4th

"Working; Moving to a Pueblo; Missing the 4th"

A week of work has finished, with a lot of new sections partialy developed for this site. Most will launch when I have time to change the navigation. Have promising leads on some web page development and I've been putting the finishing touches on on the project plan this week to make a presentation on Monday. Juglling this with my own site here, preparing for a trip back to the U.S. and taking care of the daily necessities has been tough. Many nights of going to bed at 3-4am, and then waking up at 9am. Hope to get some rest this weekend.

G's sister and boyfriend are moving to Umbrete finally after a 3 month delay. She will be there all weekend helping to unpack and clean the house while I spend my days trapped inside working on the computer. A movie and a few drinks out tonight will be my only break, but I'm happy to have work! We're looking forward to a night or two in Umbrete once they are all set-up, hopefully before we head to the U.S. in late-July.

Finally I have been a little down as it's the first year in many that I've missed the annual 4th of July fishing trip at Murrells Inlet, SC. The Simpson bothers and I usually spend 4-5 days fishing and drinking, seeing the boat parade and visiting all the places full of characters (like Cedar Hill Boat Landing). It's hard being so far away sometimes, and as much as you can love Seville you will always find times when you really miss home. So I've been checking the weather down there everyday and hope to get a report sometime soon.

Sunday, June 29th

"Ghost town ; Online Hotel Booking"

So where did everyone go? That's what I'm wondering while walking around on a Saturday night in late June. Then someone smacks me in the back of the head and says, "¡Coño, todo er mundo está en la playa!". Everyone goes to the beach, and it will only get worse as we move into July and August. More than half the people I know are there every weekend. And if for some reason they're not at the beach you can find them by the river. The center is like a ghost town, and I'm learning the difference between summer and winter bars. It's all fine by me - the river is great when we want to see a lot of people or it's just plain hot as hell. Having the bars in the center to myself (and of course the tourists) works well on some nights, too.

Took a look at online hotel booking services for Sevilla in the hopes that someone might come visit me in the next 5-6 months. A confusing mess, really. A site with no secure server (please, someone take my credit card number), another with a total of 7 listings or a visitors nightmare when it comes to the process. Not to mention the translation - know the saying "it's all Greek to me"? Well, it's all something, but it ain't Greek, English or Spanish. My favorite, though, was looking for "hostels" on hostels.com, which is actually a pretty decent site. I put in Sevilla and what I just started laughing when the results came up:

The Hostels.com Worldwide Hostel Database

Welcome to the most complete directory of hostels in the world. Choose from thousands of hostels worldwide. Sevilla:

Sorry, no results were found.

Links for today:

Test your Spanish

Tuesday, June 24th

"Corpus missed; Updating; Internet Conferences"

Corpus has come and gone, but you can see a picture above. Although some here would kill me for saying so, Corpus Cristi is a bit like Semana Santa Light. It seems for a few months nobody wants to admit that Semana Santa has come and gone. First you have Semana Santa with the larger processions, all the people and bars filled until 6-7am. Then the Feria where you can drink and eat and try not to remember that Semana Santa is over. In May we have Cruz de Mayo, where the little ones practice in hopes of one day being part of Semana Santa. Little costaleros and trumpet players are seen everywhere, as smaller versions of the floats are dragged around the streets for a few days. Then comes Corpus Cristi in June and the teenagers (or a bit older) carry larger floats, balconies and store display windows in the center are decorated in hopes of winning a prize. In Plaza Nueva and Plaza Salvador tarps are hung and seats placed for everyone to watch the processions go by. Things are a little more festive for Corpus. Finally we have moved into summer and nobody is "practicing" for Semana Santa until next year.

I have spent the last few days addicted to travel forums as a result of my research for this site. Instead of updating my page here I tried to updated travelers who planned to come to Seville or other towns and cities in Andalucia. While I learned a lot about what people are looking for I also managed to waste an incredible amount of time, hoping to see folks thank me over and over again for such great advice. I got a few of those, as well as some severely misinformed individuals who tried to tell me a train from Madrid to Seville would take 8 hours, not 2. I just took the damn train about a month ago!! Oh, well. You can't please everyone, especially not the hell-bent "expert" travelers on these boards.

From this investigation I have now come up with a mountain of new links and content which are in waiting to be posted. Must start working today or none of it will get done!

Today I attended the First Andalusian Congress of New Technologies on Information and Communication. Whew...it was nice to see where things stand here, and the e-commerce section was an eye-opener (or was it an eye-closer). I almost fell asleep during one guest speaker's lengthy publicity speech about what his company had been doing to generate 10 million Euros over the past year. E-commerce here is a hard thing to get going here but it seems they're moving in the right direction now. New internet users here are leap-frogging dial-up access to connect with ADSL or Cable service. There are now more Spaniards with broadband access than in the US. A good sign! We need to catch up.

Links for today:

First Andalusian Congress of New Technologies on Information and Communication


Tuesday, June 17th

"Yikes; Some Nightlife"

Had a scare for 2 days where it appeared I may have lost everything on my system here. After 8 hours and a trip to MegaSevilla (these guys, located in Triana, are wonderfully helpful) we found a problem with my RAM and the slot it is in. It "became" incompatible with the first slot, and we moved it to the second slot and all was well. After so much time it was a little frustrating to have the answer make no real sense yet be so simple.

Spent Friday out in Triana and Los Remedios on the other side of the river. Once I've recovered from my crash plan to update some more here.


Thursday, June 12th

"Work and Play; Una Velá; AC and Electricity"

Sending this page through several revisions, including changes to the color scheme. Work has picked up, with the article in the paper about the new company having been released. An opportunity to translate a web site, as well as possibly mesh my page with a new hotel reservation system has got me putting in extra time, although most changes are not visible yet. A separate project - redesign for a study abroad page - is possibly in the works as well.

We will spend most of the weekend with friends and family, as well as head to the last Betis home game and pray for a loss by Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla FC, continuing the slim chances for the UEFA. We will also check out una velá, a neighborhood party of sorts, for Santa Catalina . They have blocked off a parking lot where they will have a tablao, for some some singing and dancing, as well as a covered area and a bar with many kegs of Cruzcampo. Lights have been string up around the trees and it will likely go into the early morning hours.

Yesterday there were power outages in the city, likely due to the 45° temperatures and everyone using their AC. We were happily unaffected and hope today proves to be a little cooler.

A link for today:

Article in Diario de Sevilla

Monday, June 9th

"A Productive Day"

Some days you're inspired to do a lot. Especially when you have to get up at 8am, which is early for many people in Sevilla. After eating a breakfast of tostada con jamón serrano and a cafe with Granada we head to Diario de Sevilla where I'm to meet a friend for an interview with a reporter there. He's started an internet marketing company and I'm helping get things off the ground in hopes of some real work down the line. Granada leaves me outside the building and heads to the doctor while I wait 20 minutes for my friend to show up.

We meet with the reporter for an hour while a photographer snaps 30-40 pictures of my friend and I. He does most of the talking, being from Peru and of course having much better command of Spanish. When applicable I chip in my two cents and give them a little little background info, my marketing beliefs, etc.. The interview goes well, we have another cafe afterwards and decide we've made a valuable contact and hope it pays dividends in the future. The article should be published soon. We're both working on separate projects and agree to pool resources as much as possible. And we agree that as much as we're working it's all too easy to lose track of time and get distracted in Sevilla. A quick trip down the street to meet a friend and have a beer can turn into a 3 hour event, with tapas, another beer (the next is always la penúltima, as they say here), and a lot of discussion. Granada also has 5 brothers and sisters, and their is always someone to see or something to do.

Well caffeinated, I meet Granada and we head to El Corte Inglés to buy groceries. After 2 hours in the grocery we take a break for a cerveza then head back to El Corte Inglés to buy a new pair of glasses and a few other things. We have lunch and head back home. Since then I've been cleaning the house (it was greatly needed), balancing checkbooks and have sent about 5 emails. I work a little on the page and decide I need to include a page on the Betis-Sevilla rivalry. As for now my plan is to stay inside, keep cool and do a lot of nothing.

A link for today:

Diario de Sevilla

Sunday, June 8th

"Research or Diversion"

On Saturday afternoon we slept until 9:30pm and thus made it out late. We went to El Refugio for dinner, then stopped at a new Italian "Ristorante" down the street which had just opened. Real Italians in the kitchen but the seating in the bar area was awful - large barrels with no place to stick your feet and hard, wooden seats. We ordered a few tapas to see how it was - one was ok, but the bruschetta was pretty bad - tomatos and dried basil and oregano on a bad peice of toast. The platos coming out of the kitchen, however, look pretty good.

Afterwards we decided to stick close to home and experience some la marcha (nightlife) around the Alfalfa. Frist headed to Sopa de Ganso where we were welcomed with super-cold AC and expensive beer (2€ each) After one beer we headed down the street to La Rebotica, a hole in the wall offering some 50 shots named after people, concepts or disgusting stuff. Retro '80's tunes were on the video jukebox and soon a group of American, English and Spanish folks came plowing in. They, along with a a fellow who asked and successfully received cigarettes from anyone who entered, were our entertainment there. Beer is a little pricey as normal in a bar de copas, but the shots cost on 1,20€. No wonder the Americans liked this place. These are older bars, and not too fashionable anymore, but we had a good time.

After 45 minutes here we headed to El Mundo, a strange little club down a back street or two from the Alfalfa. Although it was 1:30am the place was dead. During the summer everyone heads to the river or to bars with outside seating. El Mundo is dark and there are no windows, so we practically had the place to ourselves. After one drink we decided to head back home. On the way two people on a moto stopped us to ask where El Carbonería was located. We sent them halfway around the center to get there and being slaves to suggestion we decided to check it out for ourselves. We took the shorter route and made it there in 5-10 minutes, laughing as we thought of the poor directions given to the folks on the moto.

El Carbonería is a bar full of tourists along with a few Spanish possibly looking to meet foreigners. Inside there was music, flamenco guitar, singer and a dancer. As always here you struggle to hear the music a little while every 2-3 minutes a small group of the crowd tries to hush ("shhhhhhh!") the rest of the drunken patrons. It was hot as hell here, and the wait at the bar for a drink was 5-10 minutes. After finally getting our drinks we headed out back to the patio where it was much cooler. 20 minutes later with our drinks low we decided to finally head home.

We hit Bustos Tavera, our street, and were lured into El Perro Andaluz for one last drink. They need AC here badly. While the bar is a lot of fun and we are regulars it is extremely hot here. I can't even think what the place will be like in late-July or August, but I think they'll lose customers if they don't do something soon. At 3:30am we finally make it back to our place where there is much needed cold air and a bed.

I've decided I need to add a little section on nightlife, and while I certainly won't cover everything I'll try to list some of my favorite (and not favorite) spots. I also will start listing the live music at El Perro Andaluz.

Saturday, June 7th

"Umbrete; Real estate; More page work"

Last night we spent the evening in Umbrete, a pueblo about 14 km outside of Sevilla. Both a sister and a brother of my girlfriend are buying houses there, as the price in Sevilla for apartments has risen sharply with the Euro over the last few years. Had I the money in 1996 I would have purchased an apartment in Sevilla. The dollar was strong against the peseta and prices had just started to rise. A few years before the switch to the Euro (2001) people were scrambling to find ways to get their "undeclared" (i.e.: black market) pesetas into real estate. The result was a very difficult buyers market and rising prices. Over the last 3-4 years property values have increased almost 60% here. If you want to live in the center or even the city for that matter you are often looking at $200,000-300,000 for an apartment, and in general not a very big one. The good (and sometimes bad if you ware walking around) is that many of the buildings in the center are being rehabilitated. Sevilla should look even better in the next 2-3 years, but as many say Sevilla está siempre de obras - they are always working on something here.

Back to Umbrete. It was nice to get out of the heat in the city - I think there is a difference of 3-4° C between the pueblos and the center. With the small streets the air tends not to circulate and the heat from the day radiates off the pavement and buildings well into the night. Umbrete, a town of some 5,000, is what they would call in the U.S. a bedroom community. Most who live there work in Sevilla and make the 10-15 minute commute into town.

We made a quick tour of the center and got a good feel for what life was like in a pueblo. We saw more than a few houses where people set up seats outside their front door to watch others pass by. In passing one house with the door open we saw a couch with three of the largest women I've seen here. They were all knitting and watching television while the younger people in the family stood outside. The people in pueblos like to eat, I was told. We also saw a few teenagers trying to break into an abandoned house next to a plaza. One stood watch for cars while the others tried to pry open a window, although they didn't seem to stop what they were doing when we passed by. We then passed a small, dirty bar with an entrance like a garage where I was informed they made some of the best arroz (rice) around.

We ditched the car and enjoyed walking in a place where the air was actually moving. Unlike the U.S., pueblos the size of Umbrete do have a fair amount of bars and restaurants. Getting a table outside of one proved to be a bit of a problem on a Friday night, as most folks seemed to camp out once they had one. After a tapa in a small bar we finally made our way to a restaurant with a free table around 11:30 and ate very well. Walking back to the car around 1am we noticed it was almost too quiet. By the time we got back to Sevilla with la marcha in full swing the contrast was even greater. Pueblo life has it's advantages and disadvantages, but I think I learned I am more of a city person when it comes to Spain. If you dropped me into a house in the mountains here with plenty of land around me, I may just change my mind, though.

Last but not least I have been making significant progress on this page. I'm trying as hard as I can to keep the personal feel, but slip into tourist speak in some of the sections. Right now I have too many "Coming Soons" in these sections, something I hate to see on a web site. I will be trying to correct that over the next few days, as well as revise my photos albums some. Some links for today:

Fútbol: The Depression hits when teams drop to 2nd Division

Los Ultras - Supporterssur.com

Wednesday, June 4th

"The heat"

Here we are in the first few days of June and already the heat is bothering me. While it is only 34° today we spent too much of the afternoon in the sun. Our plans moving forward are to be out by 9am and back here by 12:30 to avoid the hottest part of the day. Can you say siesta? This is how the siesta came about way back when, especially without air conditioning. It was simply too hot to be out in the streets during the afternoon, so why not eat in the shade and then sleep it off. I never had trouble embracing the idea of the siesta - who wouldn't want to sleep after a big meal at lunch? I am now understanding the heat part of the equation and have even more reason to stay inside during the afternoon.

Stores are also beginning their summer hours and closing a bit earlier - around 1:30 - and staying open a little later. Thank god we have air conditioning here...

Monday, June 2nd

"Exchange Rate; Jobs; Our Patio; Victory!"

One of the difficulties in living here with our current economy is the ever changing exchange rate. In the last few months my rent has varied from $440-489, the bed we bought on a 3 month plan is now $100 more expensive then when we purchased it. I of course am complaining about this on the day it has dropped (in my favor), but it is one of the issues you must keep an eye on when living off a U.S. bank account in Europe. My current fear is that our government and a certain president likely see the falling dollar as an advantage - the lower the dollar the cheaper it is to import American goods which (supposedly) will help the economy. Of course a solution to this would be to find a job, something I am working on today

I do have a lead on some possible work here and will have a meeting this week. I hopefully will be helping a cyber cafe here in translating their page to English as well as on a future, and larger, tourist related project. As with many opportunities here this is in the "talking stage". That means it doesn't mean a damn thing until the topic of actual pay comes up.

We finally bought a table for our patio. It only set us back about 69€ plus the cab fare to get it to our place. We thought of carrying it until we realized it weighed over 100 lbs. and thus would likely take 2 hours to walk it back to our apartment. Our hope is to use the patio space a little more during the summer although we'll have to see how the temperature affects our plans. The patio is now complete except for a plant or two more and some chairs, which we could not afford to buy, to go along with the table.


We finally watched a Betis away game where they won, beating Alavés 0-1. Not that it was an impressive victory considering Alavés is scheduled for demotion to the 2nd division. That gives us just enough hope for the UEFA, although the chances are slim for the European competition next year. And while you'd think playing in the European tournaments would be something a team owner would want, Lopera (Betis' owner) has indicated he doesn't care because it costs money to play outside of Spain. So with an attitude like that we'll see what happens in the last two games.

Thursday, May 29th

"Día de San Fernando; Beatles Country-Rock; Spam"

Tomorrow is a día de fiesta here in celebration of Fernando III. Arab occupation in Sevilla began the year 712, and it took over 500 years for someone to take it back. After a 15 month seige on the city, Fernando III finally conquered Sevilla on December 22nd, 1248. So we will have the day off thanks to Fernando III, and tomorrow they will open his tomb in the Cathedral for all to see his body. So, again, we will have the day off...

Another part of our celebration tomorrow will be to see "El Paso", a local band here, in El Perro Andaluz. They play country-rock versions of the Beatles, hopefully in spanish to make it more interesting. El Perro Andaluz was sold during my trip to the U.S., and there is now live music there 4-5 times a week. The new owners seem a little more interested in serving drinks and attending to the folks in the bar than the previous ones, who must have seen the writing on the wall and decided to stop serving most of their patrons. The new owners also plan to expand next door making the bar even bigger. They are also friends with the owners of La Huerta, a great tapas place just down the street, who also happen to be friends with the president of our apartment complex. As long as business goes well it should be one big happy family here in Santa Catalina.

Finally, did I mention how much I love spam? I'm not sure if anyone reads this crap, and when my connection slows to a snail's pace I think of these idiots. What they've "promised" me today:

Personal Assistant "There are 4 lenders who want to contact you ASAP."
Culinary Schools "There's incredible food in your future"
Accounts Payable "$860 E-Transfer to your account - Instructions Enclosed"
Notice of Distribution "Your Shipment Status"
Cashier 34768 "860 Dollars Remains Unclaimed- Instructions Enclosed"
Ann Marie "Get extra cash without perfect Credit. Once in a life time opportunity"
Card Search "You'll love this - a free credit card search..."
Auto Loan Approvals "60 second Auto Loan App. All Credit Types Accepted."
Unlimited nights & weekends with "F R E_E Camera Phone offer expires 5/31"
Dirt Cheap Inks "Save up to 85% off ink + free freight offer"
Issuance Supervisor "Re: Your Platinum Credit Card ($7,500.00)"
Find Love TODAY! "You Have a Secret Admirer - Find out who!"

Tuesday, May 27th

"Exploring Sevilla; Page work"

Spent today exploring the other side of our neighborhood which reminded me why I love Sevilla so much. Wandered down Calle Feria and found a great (and cheap) place to eat, as well as another cool bar to visit from time to time. There is a bar, store, or plaza around every corner here and it will take many years to get to know just a small fraction of them.

It is now 3am and I think I have completed maybe 20% of what I wanted to get done to transition this to a Sevilla only page. I will be updating the daily entries less frequently over the next week to get this done.

Saturday, May 24th

"Back in Sevilla"

Arrived back in Sevilla on Tuesday after a short trip to the US, and needed a few days to get back into the swing of things here. My flight from London was filled with Celtic fans arriving here for the UEFA Championship game. By the time we left Gatwick around 11:30am many had already put away more than a few beers, and I was rewarded with versions of every Celtic football song during the flight.

We were sad to see them go. Being a Betis fan it was wonderful to see the streets filled with green and white, and aside from the few fans passed out in the street they were a very friendly bunch. One bar here went through 300 kegs of beer in just under 2 days...

My plans are to make some serious changes to this page in the next few days.

Saturday, May 3rd


Spent a day in Cádiz, a small city on the beach an hour south of here. It was hot but a perfect day to be by the water and I will soon add some pictures from the trip. I am off traveling for the next two weeks. I will be away from Granada which has got me down a bit at the moment. All will be better when I get back, and I am looking forward to seeing many friends during my trip as well. Sevilla is now my home and it is hard to think of being away from it for very long. I can't help but wonder what will happen in Plaza de los Terceros, who will be buying what at the market in Encarnación, what animals will be on display in the Sunday market in Alfalfa, how good the boquerones will be in Blanco Cerrillo...the list goes on.

El Perro Andaluz

So this page will be updated very sparingly over the next 2 weeks. You can read previous days here.



Thursday, May, 1st

"Agua de Sevilla"

Quite a potent drink, it can be found by the pitcher or 1/2 pitcher in many bars, especially close to the river:

  • zumo de piña (pineapple juice)
  • champagne
  • whisky
  • ron (rum)
  • Licor 43 (???)
  • Cointreau
  • nata (whipped cream: on top and then stirred in)
  • azucar Moreno (brown sugar)
  • hielo (ice)

Monday, April 28th

"Parque María Luisa"

Yesterday afternoon we went to Parque María Luisa to rent one of those 4 person bikes. They look like little cars, complete with the headlights and two steering wheels. The steering wheel on the right does nothing but spin round and round, however. With four people it can be fun - we passed many of the horse and buggy folks, and were able to get up to some good speeds. In about 35 minutes we made our way through the entire park, at least where we were permitted to ride. Main highlights were the Plaza de España and Plaza de América, as well as a stop for a granizada de limón. Towards the end we were running late and had to cut through on a dirt path (against the rules) to make it back in time to return the bike. Rental is by the 1/2 hour here, and you can choose between 2-person and 4-person bikes. There are two rental stations within the park on most days. Prices for 1/2 hour:

  • 6€ for 2-person
  • 8€ for 4 person
El Perro Andaluz

A few other things you can do in the park:

  • coffee, beer, drinks, and tapas at many of the bars around the park gates
  • play with the pigeons in Plaza America
  • see Prehistoric, Roman and Arabic art the Archaeological Museum in Plaza de América
  • see an exhibit in the Pabellón Mudéjar

Later we took a few photos of the Plaza de España at night.

Links for today:

How to make a Granizada de Limón



Sunday, April 27th

"Bar Fights; Betis; Roast Chicken"

In the last few days we were witnessed some interesting behavior around Sevilla. On the street yesterday we saw a man and woman pointing at each other and screaming. A few other women stood by, yelling policia. As often happens here, everyone else stopped to watch the scene. After a minute more of screaming the man walked off with the woman following. The women standing around continued to shout for the police for another 5 minutes, but they were out of site by the time they arrived.

Last night we were in the Tex-Mex bar to watch the Betis game when a well-dressed (and drunk) fellow wandered up to the bar. The waiter quickly made his way to the door and told him he was not welcome here. The drunk fellow began shouting and the bartender (possibly the owner) came out to push him into the street. Soon 5-10 people from the bar were outside holding the drunk fellow back while he stumbled in circles, shouting and trying make his way to the bartender. One fellow who was next to us watching the game was able to move him away from the door and we had a few minutes of silence. I stepped outside once things calmed down and he started shouting again, throwing his helmet towards the bar. He jumped on his moto, grabbed his helmet and begin revving up the engine, trying to plow his way through some tables and a postcard stand. A fellow tried to convince him not to drive, and at least succeeded in having him turn around to leave in the other direction. I jumped back inside and out of his way as he raced past a few tourists and down the street towards the cathedral.

Later we found ourselves in El Perro Andaluz for a drink and witnessed an older woman and a younger man shouting at each other. She kept her finger about 2 inches from his face the whole time, while he glared at her from behind his beer, responding with many obscenities. After 5 minutes she left screaming, only to return 20 minutes later and scream some more. A bit later they were hugging and ordering more drinks.

El Perro Andaluz

I finally saw a Betis game where they deserved to lose 1-3 at Athletic Bilbao. Betis played horribly, with 3 goals scored against them in a 20 minutes stretch when they decided not to play defense. They now stand in 8th place, and it's looking more and more likely that they'll miss the UEFA unless they start playing better.

Today we ordered pollo asado (a roast chicken) - a favorite of mine here. There are plenty of shops to choose from, even a place or two that will deliver one to your house. Prices are anywhere from 5-6€. I used Louisiana hot sauce and drank Nestea with mine, taking me back to the good ole South for a few minutes. The secret here: ask for as much sauce as you can get - it drips down into a bucket below the 20 or so roasting chickens, and makes it even more delicious.

Links for today:

Spanish fútbol page in English

Roast Chicken 101
the basics




Check out past days posted on the archive page.



Editor: Jeff Spielvogel
© 2003 JS



Daily Entries



Recent Days / Past Days

Below are entries from the earlier days. enjoy...


What happened before....

Saturday, April 26th

"El Cine; The Weather; This Page"

Went to see Dreamcatcher last night. Don't bother - aside from a few scenes of interest the ending is pretty bad. Another example of a trailer making a movie look better than it is. In terms of seeing a movie here, a few interesting notes: like in many theatres in the US you can buy your tickets online. Unlike many, at least where I'm from, you can reserve your seats. We got two great seats by reserving online 3 hours in advance, and then picking them up at a little ATM type machine instead of waiting in line. Another great feature of the theatre we went to are the candy stores next to them. About 150 bins with every candy you can think of. You just take what you want, put it in a bag and they weigh it at the end. A fairly large bag costs about 4 €. Nice to go to a theatre and not get ripped off when buying candy. Other things to expect:

  • reduced prices on Wednesday and Thursday all day and all night
  • midnight sessions (sesión golfa) for all movies, not just a few.

As for the weaher, I am quickly leanring that internet forecasts here are useless. Even if you get the forecast from the same television station they won't be the same. For example - Canal Sur TV said it would rain today, but online it says it wouldn't. We woke up to rain this morning.

Finally, this page will soon - very soon - go through some changes. I am going to split up the Sevilla, personal, and political parts. My daily dribble (writings) will still appear on the Sevilla part. So if you see some weird things please know I am working to separate everything over the next week.

Links for today:

La Cartelera (Cine)

Thursday, April 24th

"How to Serve and Drink a Cold Cruzcampo"

El Perro Andaluz

Every six-pack of Cruzcampo comes with instructions on how to serve one correctly:

  1. Temperatura óptima de consumo de 3 a 4° C.
  2. Enjuaga el vaso con agua fría antes de servirla.
  3. Inclina el vaso 45° mientras la sirves.
  4. Pon el vaso vertical hasta tener de 1,5 a 2 cm de espuma
  5. Un resultado perfecto.


Even better is the (unedited) translation provided by babelfish:

  1. Optimal temperature of consumption of 3 to 4° C.
  2. It rinses the glass with cold water before serving it.
  3. 45° inclines the glass while you serve it.
  4. Pon the vertical glass until having of 1.5 to 2 cm of foam
  5. A perfect result.

Links for today:

Babelfish (on altavista)

Wednesday, April 23rd

"The Agency"
Always nice to have a good travel agent. Went to Los Remedios today, about a 45 minute walk to the agency. Los Remedios is a newer (relatively) section of Sevilla. Streets are all in a grid, with newer buidlings, richer people, but lacking in some of the charm of the old center of the city. I was presented with a few options to travel back to the states so I could renew my visa, one involving a 3 hour stop in Paris where I would have to pick up my bags and catch a bus to the another airport there, unload and catch a new flight. The problem would be the return trip, in which I would have to do all of this and go through customs in Paris. As luck would have it this was the only option available to me, so I made a reservation. Later that day the travel agent calls and has found a better flight, although it requires that I catch the AVE to Madrid at 10pm, catch a cab to the airport and stay there until 7am. After that the flights take me directly to my destination, and the return leg takes me right back to Sevilla. Not wanting to spend anytime in Paris, especially two airports, I decide this is the best option.

Links for today:

Paris Airport Shuttle

Tuesday, April 22nd

"Rain, again; Chili!"
It rained most of the day today, but we managed to get to the market in Plaza Encarnación. Bought vegetables, fruit, and ground beef to make hamburgers in the next day or so. Went to a supermercado - El Jamón ("The Ham Supermarket"), although they sell everything, not just ham. Bought a few things, but could not find some essentials - cheese, doritos, salsa and chili. Made our way to El Corte Inglés, but still no luck finding chili. Finally found a recipe in Mama Dip's book.

Links for today:

Monday, April 21st

"La Cama"

Above is a picture of where our bed should be tonight...flowers have been placed in memory of our old beds. We have no bed to sleep in tonight as our new bed did not arrive as planned. Although told it would be here after 3pm, they tried to deliver it at 2:15pm today. When we arrived at 2:30 we found the little light on our phone blinking, with the number of the delivery men on the display. We called back; they were upset we weren't here at 2:15; we were upset they didn't arrive after 3pm; their cell phone happened to "stop working" after they learn we are upset....30 minutes later they finally answer the phone; the truck is "broken" now, so it will be impossible for them to deliver it today. I am learning here that if there's a deliver stay the whole day, not part of it. We will sleep on the couch.

We celebrate by going out tonight and happen to break the salt shaker, spilling salt across the bar when we arrive. The waitress tells us we are in for bad luck...hahaha...so we toss salt over each shoulder. First thought that crosses my mind....

...unlike Harry Dunn and Lloyd Christmas there is no Sea Bass...it works: on the way back I buy a litre of cold, cold Cruzcampo. The old man at the corner store takes out a bottle with frost on it, tells me it's my lucky day as they found this one at the bottom of the fridge and it's the coldest bottle of the bunch. They sold over 3,000 litres this week and this was the last one from their delivery, he said. "Been there for over a week". He is right...

No links for today

Sunday, April 20th

"Semana Santa Recovery"
...they are seasonal visitors thank god. I was unable to update the page for most of last week - busy with Semana Santa activities. It rained the first 3 days, so on Wednesday every Sevillano plus each and every tourist decided it was finally safe to leave their homes. Thus Wednesday, while fun, was also a nightmare for making your way around the city. It was on this day as well that I swore I would be elsewhere next year during this week. The first day was a little like hell rather than a day of holy week. After another day I got my second wind, and became more and more used to fighting through the people. We quickly learned the advantages of arriving an hour and a half in advance, canned beer and a small cooler. Thus after Wednesday we saw a lot of Christ and the Virgin Mary floating around the city. Thursday night (or Friday morning) we watched several pasos, returning at 5:30am to eat dinner/breakfast. I took way too many pictures - what you see in the photo album is a small sampling of what I came back with. The joys of a digital camera...

Spent much of the day today playing with dreamweaver, and plan to do some major changes to the site in the next few days. Will try to keep the site clean, and not full of tricks and clever coding that drives people crazy. Although I am tempted to make everyone wait while my Flash animation loads...

Links for today:

USresolve.com - racism, xenophobia and paranoia wrapped in the flag and patriotism.

Thanks George!

Tuesday, April 15th

"Breaking News; The People Upstairs"
You know a smart man when you see him...George Bush just realized there is a need to place emphasis on the economy. Thanks George - where the hell were you 2 years ago. Continuing the typical enlightened thought process of most republicans, "Bush is sending 25 Cabinet officials and deputies across the country to promote his economic recovery plan, which relies heavily on tax cuts." A note to you morons running the country - tax cuts are not an economic recovery plan. Generally a plan has more than one leg to stand on. I'm really looking forward to another year of Reganomics.

We now have neighbors upstairs, and are hoping they are here for Semana Santa. We've had a morning of furniture moving and what seems like dancing above us. We are praying they are seasonal visitors...

Links for today:

Yo Vic!

Sunday, April 13th

"Rain, Semana Santa and the Betis game (Que cara)"
Tried to see some of Semana Santa today but the rain began around 2pm, just when we left. Every paso was canceled for today, and every bar was full of people trying to keep dry. After 30 minutes of walking we found ourselves in Casa Diego on one of the main avenues here. Had a beer a few sandwiches while we waited for the rain to stop and then headed back home. On the way bought a pollo asado (roast chicken) at the Palacio de Patatas (Palace of Potatoes, where of course el rey de patatas lives).

Betis was playing Celta, who happens to be 4 points ahead of us in the league table. Promised to be a good game, and I headed to an Irish Pub down the street instead of the Tex-Mex bar where we generally watch the Betis away games. After 20 minutes I finally found a table, and a few minutes later Angel showed up for the game. Although they had a sign saying the game would be televised there (Pay Per View event) they informed us at 6pm - when the game was supposed to start - that they decided not to purchase it today. After a few unfriendly exchanges with the bartender/owner (aka: asshole) we ran to the Tex-Mex bar to watch the game. Result: 1-0, Betis lost. Funny that we scored more goals than Celta, both of which were taken back although both were clearly goals.

Ended the night with the second half of "Braveheart".

No links for today.

Friday, April 11th

"Spanish Bureaucracy"
had an opportunity to learn a little about the police (no, I wasn't in jail) and hospital (no, I wasn't hurt) today during the morning and evening. I'm trying to figure out a way to stay here, at least legally. Arrived at the police station, where you must go when trying to get any type of visa here. Arrived at 9:15, just 15 minutes after they opened to get my number and wait in line. 15 minutes appears to have been 15 minutes too late - all numbers were taken by 9am, so we inquired next door at the information booth. Seems beginning in April they extended office hours here. They used to close at 2:30, but now they close at 5pm. We were informed that not many people know this yet, so if we return around 2:30 there will be no line - we won't even need a number! Upon leaving I notice a sign which says after 2pm they will not see you if you don't have a number...which is correct? Who knows. As in the U.S., if you are trying to stay in this country be prepared to wait, to be told the wrong thing...the list goes on and on. You must have patience. So with Semana Santa coming tomorrow I decided I will wait until the following week to go back and see what can be done.

Next stop the hospital around 8pm to accompany a friend who is not feeling well. Socialized medicine is great - you don't pay anything except hours in your life. First we were told only one person can accompany our friend and we're given one pass. Knowing the way things go here we decide to try and both enter so our friend is not waiting alone. We are stopped at the door and of course told only one person can enter. So I wait while my sister goes in to find out what's happening. Meanwhile I see various people pass without permission from the guard, some of whom have no pass or only one pass. Every once in a while he gives the ok to 2 or more people to enter, while others he doesn't even question as they walk by. I stand by looking at him, wondering what the hell is going on. Seems this is a "partial rule" - some people (ie: most Spanish people) can enter without permission.

5 minutes later my sister appears, gives me the pass and I start to enter to wait with our friend. My sister wisely asks the guard if she can enter for 1 minute to show me where our friend is, and we get the ok. Upon meeting our friend, I notice that almost everyone is here with 2 or more people, and some have as many as 4-5 people with them. Again, so much for the "rule" of one person. From then on we decide that only one person will leave at a time to call home for our friend, so they can take the pass and get back in. Much later our friend's sister (a spaniard) enters and gets in without a pass (or a problem).

After a few tests and an X-ray we are in the waiting room for 2 1/2 hours with no contact from anyone. You simply wait for them to call your name on a loudspeaker and then proceed to a room where you finally see a doctor. We learn the results, and get a list of prescriptions, but they will not take out the I.V. my friend has stuck in her arm. Instead we are told to go to the nurse's station to get this removed, and that we won't have to wait in line. So we head down the hall where we are informed we will have to wait in line, and chased out of a room by a nurse. 15 minutes later, after having one person who just arrived push there way in front of us in line, we are able to get the I.V. removed in 30 seconds. So much for efficiency. Upon returning to our neighborhood we must locate the all-night pharmacy - a half-mile away - to get the drugs needed for treatment.

The good of all this: the visit doesn't cost a penny. The bad: you pay in hours lost in your life, and having to fight through other people, the "rules", the lines and general disorganization of the hospital all while you feel like crap or are worried about the person you are there with isn't much fun.

Links for today:

"I'll tell you where: someplace warm, a place where the beer flows like wine, where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano." Lloyd Christmas 


Wednesday April 9th

"Que verguenza - no me gusta..."
A note to students living or traveling in Sevilla. Try and take your head out of your arse and look around once in a while (that goes for many, but not all of you). Saw the NCAA Championship (tape delayed by one day) in the "Tex-Mex" Bar, which was full of American students. I'd like to offer a few tips to those of you there and walking around the streets of Sevilla. Now I'm not saying you should hide the fact that you're American - although some of you should since I have nothing but thoughts of shame when I realize you come from the same country or state as I do - but at least look around and realize where you are, and perhaps follow one or two of the customs. Yes, I am showing my age a bit - but from time to time you all scare me. But if you want to enjoy things here and fit in just a bit, give these a try:

  • Take off your baseball cap - or for that matter leave it at home. Whether it's worn the correct way or the wrong way you still look like an idiot (backwards makes you even more of an ass). People do not go out for the night wearing one - tape a sign on your back that you're a dumb-ass and I think you'll be treated better.
  • "I was sooo drunk last night..." - nobody cares how drunk you were, are, or are going to be. This is not a topic of conversation, but rather a reflection of your intelligence (ie.: low) when you babble loudly in a bar about how much you had to drink. Spanairds, Americans, etc. are not impressed ("Wow, that kid over there had 5 shots of tequila! I need to write that down somewhere"). Sure, drinking can be fun, but there are things to do here in Sevilla. Lift those eyes above the rim of that glass and look around. And for that matter...
  • Don't order a pitcher of beer - drink one at a time - really, TRY IT. They don't run out of beer here, and if you hadn't noticed beer tastes better when it's cold. There are plenty of places to drink beer, so you don't have to camp out in one place for the whole night either. That leads me to...
  • Avoid Flaherty's Pub - sure, it's an Irish pub, it's just like the one's back home and maybe every once in a while you want a pint of Guinness, but every weekend??!?. A quick view of their guestbook led me to these wonderfully insightful comments from a typical guest:

Name: Marisa
Email: niprings@hotmail.com
Country: Boston Massahusetts USA
Date: 18/04/01
Time: 14:44:58

I was in Seville in March 2001, went to Flaherty's almost every night, met hot guys and drank lots of Tinto de Viranos, HAD A BLAST!!!!!

Really - this is a real entry in their guest book...do I need to add anything to this comment? Ok, maybe that they misspelled "verano", but I am sure she was "sooo drunk" when she wrote this that she couldn't spell. And who the hell visits Spain so they can be in an Irish pub every night? Does she even know they speak Spanish here?

  • Flip-flops are not shoes - ok, I know at the beach or in the States this may be acceptable, but here people tend to put real shoes on their feet, at least before the summer. Leave them at home and buy a pair here when you get to the beach.
  • T-shirts - yes, Spaniards wear t-shirts, too. Some of them in English I'll admit make no sense, and look like they were written somewhere in Japan: "USA School Fun", "Master Jump", "Style Fashion Girl", etc. But please leave you're clever little frat and sorority drink-a-thon shirts back home. I especially want to say this to the cool fellow wearing the "Laundry 101" shirt, hiking boots, shorts and a backwards baseball cap - you win the prize!
  • Start a fight in a bar - . If someone wants to get by you, or perhaps watch the game (you know who you are out there) and asks if they can pass or if you can move a bit, this is not a signal that they want to fight you. People do use words here, and might even express themselves angrily without their fists. They have likely been drinking less than you and just maybe thinking a little more than you as well. That's ok - you'll have plenty of time to go back home and start fights there, and you get to beat up people who might really deserve it.

Many more will come to mind I'm sure. Look, I was a student here once and did my share of stupid things, too. I did manage to learn from them and hope you can learn a thing or two from what I've listed above. Have a good time, you're American and that's just great. But from time to time try to realize that you're in another country and try to conform to a few things. We don't all need to be card-carrying, flag-waving Americans all the time. Sit back and enjoy the fact that you're in a different place, and don't ask why they do it this way or that way all the time.

Links for today:



Friday April 4th

"Day and Night"
Woke up, paid rent at the bank and came back to work on the page. See the new links section - not much there yet. Ate paella with J&A and then came back to the apt again. Although it's a nice day I plan to spend the rest of it (until tonight) here. The Betis-Valencia game is tomorrow night at 9:00, so we will go out tonight and try to find something to do. Will consult El Giraldillo if nothing comes up.

The Final Four is this weekend - will see if I can find a place to catch some of the games.

Friday April 4th Pt II:

2:56 am - Spent the night eating and then an hour or two at El Perro Andaluz. Menu for today:

  • Mejillones (Mussels) @ El Rincon Gallego
  • Empanda Gallega (Tuna empanada) @ El Rincon Gallego
  • Pulpo (Octopus) @ El Rincon Gallego
  • Boquerones en Adobo (Fish...the food of the Gods) @ Blanco Cerrillo
  • Pavia (Fish of some sort...) @ Blanco Cerrillo


El Perro Andaluz

The bartenders at El Perro Andaluz are getting used to my face...a great place to pass an hour or two or three. Not to mention just 100 feet from home.

Theme songs for tonight courtesy of Tom Petty: "Good to be King" and "To Find a Friend"...the latter of which I am feeling now. Miss my friends. Having a great time here, but could never forget the people I know and where I'm from.

Links for today:

Dukebasketballreport.com Live TV from around the world

Panoramic View of Guadalquivir River


Thursday April 3rd

Spent last night trying to configure our new DVD-VHS player we bought at El Corte Inglés. After 3 hours, hooking it up to 2 tv's and my computer we finally got it to work. Granada went to sleep out of frustration and exhaustion (and the fact that we did nothing different - it just finally worked). I meanwhile went to the corner bar, El Perro Andaluz, around 12:30 to drink a beer and read a magazine. Aside from a friend of the bartender and a 70-year-old fellow who was very out of place there was nobody there. Returned at 1:30, ate two slice of cheese for dinner and that was it.

So today I am starving, and we are planning to eat earlier. Will head to Blanco Cerrillo for the weekly media racion of boquerones en adobo, and then hopefully to Bar Barrato II (not really the name but it is cheap) for arroz (rice).

Semana Santa (Holy Week) is only 10 days away, so we are planning to stock up on food since it's impossible to squeeze into a bar. While it will be good to see, Sevilla is so crowded that many people leave. As this will be my first time here for the whole week, and we live right next to a church where there is a paso we decided to stay.

Links for today:

Slipups.com The Smoking Gun


Saturday, March 29th

"Movies and plants"
Spent the morning buying plants, recovering from the night before and getting ready to eat with Granada's family. Watched "From Hell" with the family - boring Jack the Ripper movie - and then headed back to our place so everyone could see what it looked like. Went to J&A's apt and then ended up ordering pizza and watching Jurassic Park III, another winner of a movie.

Links for today:

Fark.com tweakxp.com sol.com - Sevilla OnLine

Message to folks at sol.com - just wanted to link to you...btw: Netscape allows me to copy your graphic.


Friday March 28th

"TV, basketball, and bars"
Finally had the issues with ftp access worked out so I am posting the page and updating it for the first time in a while. Today we receive our television which has been in the shop for 5 weeks. If you're ever in Seville and need someone to work on your TV, whatever you do don't call these folks: Asistencia Tecnica Geseco S.L. After being told on a Wednesday that their technician would be sick until the following Tuesday (during a holiday weekend...hmmm) we then waited another 2 weeks for them to order the parts and another 2 weeks for them to fix the television. After we made 30 phone calls they finally decided it was ready for this weekend!

I am in mourning today, as Duke lost to Kansas in the NCAA's 69-65. We played a good game, and with a young team we should get some revenge should they play us next year. As for Betis, we've gone 5 games without winning, but hope to change that this weekend against Valencia, although we'll be without Denilson and Assunçao.

Went out later tonight - La Moneda - expensive, but good tapas. Someone started to joke about the Pentagon and how it was full of ass-holes. Waiter, noticing that I was American - and with my new military haircut - started to back away and decided not to laugh. The last few days with my haircut have been fun - most people are scared I am from the military base. Have noticed many strange stares, but all in all pretty good - people tend to leave me alone! Later, went to Sierra Mayor, and then to El Perro Andaluz for a few beers and one shot of tequila. This place starts up around 2 or 3am, just when we were leaving. No Thin Lizzy tonight, but plenty of U2 (blah) and some other classics. Other nights we've listened to Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam, etc. A nice throw back...

Links for today:

Jarabe De PaloReal Betis Balompie No a la guerra!  No a la guerra!



Friday, March 14th

I am creating this page today, we'll see if it get's uploaded. So what will I be doing today? Eating lunch somewhere, shopping for a few household items and hopefully taking a few pictures of Sevilla to add to this website. Possibly will clean the apartment, but maybe not... Later tonight plan to go out, maybe drink a few CruzCampos and see what happens. Do not plan to work!

I will be missing the ACC tournament, except for maybe following the Duke game online at 3:30 am...ahh the joys of a 6 hour time change...