Monday, September 28, 2009

Sevilla: Broken Train & is that Antonio?

Oh boy...

My train to Sevilla broke down yesterday. We were left in the middle of some forgotten city in a small neglected train station where the heat and humidity stuck to you like a warm damp cloth and the flies gravitated annoyingly to your face like a magnet and no amount of swatting provided any relief. All creating one heck of an environment that could only lead to some very irate and frustrated passengers.

Shouts could be heard in rapid fire spanish, spewing from the conductor who looked very much like a fearful cornered animal and passengers who were red faced emphasizing their words with furious hand gestures.

I found a small unoccupied space against the wall where shade provided only a small reprieve to the direct sun-scorching heat but it was enough that people were fighting for a piece of it. I politely asked those around me if anyone spoke English to give me some details of what was happening and when the next train would be arriving but unfortunately I could find no one until Zack, a fellow traveler from New York made his way towards me, noticing my distress and gave me the run down. I was confused. The ¨broken¨train didn´t look broken as we watched it zoom off and leave us all behind. Zack tells me, ¨They say that the train will come back and they will try to fix it here. But they can´t tell us any sort of time frame¨. I thanked him and was relieved to have someone who could explain and walk me through what was going on.

Needing to stretch my legs, I walked around and and spotted a well dressed man in a business suit who turned to face me as he pulled his sunglasses down. I gawked and nearly tripped over my luggage in surprise at the uncanny resemblance he had to Antonio Sabbatto Jr. Upon closer inspection, (okay, truth be told, I was ogling) he was leaner with a sharper aristocratic nose but without a doubt could´ve played Antonio´s stunt double. Hearing him speak spanish helped to confirm as well that it was definitely NOT Antonio who was a born and bred Italian. He confronted the conductor, who hurriedly tried to avoid him while several older women fawned all over him. It was a funny sight to see and I recall laughing quietly despite the situation we were all in.

Hours into our wait in the blistering heat and still no word on the arrival of a new train. The young University boys who sat directly across from me on the train came around to my side of the wall. I remember when we all first boarded and I pulled out my book to pass the ¨short¨3 hour train ride to Sevilla when I noted something peculiar. Several attractive young University boys were around me and though I felt lucky to be surrounded by what appeared to be a team of Futbol players (thinking, Man, I should´ve dressed better today), I nearly pealed into a bout giggles when I heard them speaking.

They were loud and boisterous like all boys are but I found something very odd in their speech. At first I thought it was only the young man directly in front of me who seemed to have a terrible lisp. I remember thinking, ¨What a shame. I don´t know if any girl could ignore a lisp as terrible as that¨. But others began to chime into the discussion and I thought, ¨Wow, how can they all have a lisp that bad?¨I delved my face into my book but kept my ears perked. I noted how all the words that contained a ¨c¨, ¨s¨or ¨z¨where pronounced as ¨th¨. Words like Barcelona or Gracias were Barthelona and Grathiath.

In my curiousity, I brought this up to Zack who laughed as he explained to me that spanish was pronounced differently here. He told me how he´d learned spanish at an early age both EspaƱa and Mexican spanish that was more gutteral and how he spoke a strange mix of both. I couldn´t tell much of a difference until he´d pointed it out me.

Hours later we managed to grumpily get back on the same ¨still uncertain if it was truly ever fixed¨train and I was still a bit shocked at the unexpected heat when I stepped out onto the station in Sevilla. After a somewhat stressful experience taking the bus and getting off on the right stop, I dragged my tired self into my Hostel and was happy to find two very sweet female German twins in my dorm room bunking with me. We all had dinner together and while I watched them cook a warm meal of pasta, tomatoes and cucumbers, I cut up an apple and made a salami sandwich. They pitied my dinner but I didn´t mind, seeing as how it was an upgrade from McDonald´s. We had quite a bit of fun together in the evening. They also gave me a parting gift before they left to Barcelona. So sweet of them...

They gave me their cold.

It´s not a small, containable cold either.

Oh, no.

My head pounds, my body is sore, my nose runs, I´m sneezing all the time, and I´m occassionally coughing to alleviate the awful soreness in my throat.

I felt the start of the cold last night and had taken some Tylenol, thinking a good night´s rest was all I needed. I was probably just tired from the stress the day had brought on. I woke up in the morning to find myself in complete misery.

I tried to go out for a bit this morning but only managed to escape my room for an hour and a half before I trudged back home where I could comfortably blow my nose and rest my fatigued body.

Sevilla is a city that everyone who I´ve spoken to that has visited has told me how much I would love the city, how it was charming, beautiful and romantic. Zack spoke highly of it and told me it was quite safe to visit and tour at midnight. Which I plan on doing. Here is the heart of Flamenco dances and a bullfighting arena that rivals no other in Spain.

But instead of wandering around the city...I´m stuck in my bed. I still have one full day tomorrow and the rest of this evening to take advantage of. I´ll still explore, even if I have to drag my tired body, like I do my luggage, out of my sickbed.

I´ll post some pictures in a bit when the wifi gets fixed in the hostel. It always seems to be a problem here in Spain.

But for now, thanks for reading!

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