Salamanca Diaries: Ups and down(er)s in Sevilla, Spain with my American Ex

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Remezcla blogger Juliana Nalerio sends you lists n things from Valladolid, Spain while drinking too much caña, going to class, writing a thesis on latin life stateside, and just trying to make sense of it all.

I believe that enough time has passed for me to talk about it. To write about it.

My ex from the States came to visit me for a picturesque week in Sevilla. Because X had been working as a drug dealer for the past 2 years he has enough money to do a crazy thing like this. Let me… explain. I want to be fair to X. He has helped me. Es buena gente. He is just absolutely friggin’ lost.

When we met three years ago he was the nerdy ivy league type. We’re both Jewish and we bonded over some sephardi (Spanish Jewish) past possibilities. It was cool. We were in Israel, we were making out in a kibbutz, we were speaking Spanish and when the trip ended he headed to Buenos Aires to study (I had been the summer before) and I went to Washington DC for an internship with a “green” social marketing company.

We were the perfect couple. Except I rushed to say “I love you,” and he said “you a crazy bitch, you a crazy, crazy bitch” (thank you Nicki Minaj). He wanted to hook up with some hot argentines. Who can blame him? Whatevs, las Uruguayas son mas wapas, de todas formas.

Three years later he is in love and I’m all like, no, dunno.

He comes to visit after much ado. I go to meet him in the airport in Sevilla. As soon as he gets off the plane and walks through the arrival gates in that dramatic moment of re-encounter, I can sense something–everything–is wrong. He is so calm. Too calm. Walking heavy like a stone in all black, designer swag. vale.

We hop on a bus and head into the city. I’m like when is the last time you were in Spain. Barcelona. The fam. Yes. When we get to the Sevilla bus station it is a beautiful day, I am crazy about walking and make us walk through the whole downtown to the lovely hotel with the patio andaluz that I am going to come to hate in some days: 8 days and 7 nights together. What were we thinking…

Anyway, for lunch we have some bocadillos while he realizes how bad his Spanish has become. Later that night, after he sleeps for several hours–the first of many sleepy sessions brought on by his secret consumption of downers to keep down the nerves–we go out for a walk in my favorite Spanish city, the capital of Andalucía…and I am thinking maybe this can work. Then he tries to kiss me.

So in the next days we discover that we have completely different travel styles. I want to go on bikes through the city to el alcázar y the Plaza de España and get up in the morning to go jogging along the river.

I want to eat el pescaito frito en the gitano barrio where the local peeps go. X want to find the most expensive, international, irrelevant cuisine restaurant in Sevilla to spend his hard earned money there. He wants to sleep all afternoon. The bike hurts his cojones so much he can’t stand it. He gets lost underneath the rain on the bike. I go back to look for him and can’t find him. He shows up 20 minutes later in a taxi at the hotel…without the bike. Where the f is the rental bike??

I want to sunbathe on the roof patio and go in the pool. He sleeps for 7  hours. From 3pm-10pm. At first I try to be accommodating, and say he is enjoying the siesta, wow, great. But this is an abuse of the siesta.

We do it all. When we go to the expensive restaurant I try to get him to try the locally produced manzanilla and the jerez. He hates them both and asks for a coke and bottle of white wine. When we leave the restaurant we pass an ERASMUS bar and I want to go dancing, no chance in hell–his stomach hurts. Why?? Because of the pills, me imagino. Time to lay down.

We have to go back to the hotel. Back to the hotel. Back to the hotel. Gracias a dios the hotel accidentally gave us a room with two beds, and not a cama de matrimonio. No le aguantaba sus pasos. Que no.

So after we visit the Turkish baths, and he is nodding off in the bath of water tibia, really nodding off, I think I should leave him to drown. Lo odio, un poco. He has to get off da downers. Uppers could be better. Best yet, rehab. I told him not to bring the stuff with him. I told him this.

After all the special things we shared: the tapas en Los Coloniales, La giralda, el alcázar, the museum of bullfighting where I saw la vaca (madre) del toro que mató a Manolote.………, Sevilla in the aftermath of El Juli and his perfect bullfight (though a few weeks later El Juli will get a cuerno in his thigh)…

…the cab rides, la maestranza, the meeting with Juan Carlos (the son of a bar owner in the Triana Market who becomes a friend because he has an American girlfriend and is currently looking for business admin work in the USA so he can be with her,… in case if you have any leads, RE readers), the cold beds, the drugged out non-conversations, … … ..

I decide I have to go home. Go home to Valladolid. We still have three days left of this marvelous vacation. Puff. I didn’t think anyone could make me want to leave Sevilla. My favorite city in Spain. My friends are in Iran and Barcelona. I will be alone at home.  Alone without X. With my gym and my constant search for Blackieee. Mejor.

(To be continued)


More by Juli:

Salamanca Diaries 3: Porto, Portugal, losing 3000 dollar watches and sheet

Salamanca Diaries 4: Madrid, Strikes, Illegal Status and Hipsters

Salamanca Diaries 5: Music Videos to Make You Rethink Spanish Rap + ¡Don’t Date El Rapero!

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