What went on before



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 Ingles. 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...

Editor: Jeff Spielvogel
© 2003 JS