Last night, we had a tapas dinner in La Alameda neighborhood with our warm, charming, funny, and fascinating Sevillana friend, Margarita. Margarita teaches English and Spanish, but our rapid-fire American English at times leaves her a bit confused. In January, while trying to fill a lifetime of information into a few brief meetings, we told her about Jerry’s childhood in South Dakota. As part of Margarita’s studies, she learned about all the states of the USA and all their capitals. (She’s probably more informed than I am.) But, because we were speaking so quickly, she didn’t clearly catch the words “South Dakota.” So, she admitted last night, immediately after we left in February she began to do research on the place she thought Jerry was from. She said she became more and more frustrated because she could find absolutely no reference to this placed called “Santacoda.” After a couple of days, the light bulb went on, “Hmm,” she thought, “that sounds an awful lot like South Dakota.”
|THE JUST-COMPLETED PLAZA DE ENCARNACION, HOME TO THE PUBLIC MARKET.|
What a warm welcome we have felt in this exceptional city. We are so glad to be back here and to have decided that this will be our home in Spain. The counter-person at our favorite breakfast place, Nostalgia, (remember “dos especiales, por favor”?) recognized us and welcomed us back with a huge smile and warm greeting. Thursday night, we had dinner at our favorite restaurant, San Marco, the place we visited every Sunday when we were here in January/February, and one of the servers remembered us and even offered to treat us to after-dinner drinks.
|HISTORICAL PURISTS ARE NOT THRILLED WITH THE DESIGN. BUT I FIND IT UPLIFTING.|
Our friend Alberto, who had been visiting family far from here for 12 days and only just returned for two days before heading off again, still managed to schedule an appointment for us with a rental agent he knows. He met us for drinks before introducing us to the agent and he then raced off. He is so kind. The agent was great and showed us the one and only apartment she has available and, unbelievably, we fell in love with it. So, we may even have a home!
|CALLE CUNA; POSSIBLY OUR NEW STREET.|
I had my own Margarita Moment (Santacoda) yesterday while talking with the agent as we were leaving the apartment, which is part of the top floor of a former private palace. I told her in Spanish that we were very interested. Well, I MEANT to tell her in Spanish that we were very interested. What I in fact said was that we were very interestING. I realized my mistake and started to laugh and then corrected myself (interasado, not interesante). She laughed, too, but said she agreed, we WERE very interesting.
|WE ASKED MARGARITA TO DO THE ORDERING. EXCELLENT ENSALADILLA RUSA
AND, A FIRST FOR US, DELICIOUS SALMOREJO — ANDALUSIAN CREAMY, COLD SOUP.
Also, we told Margarita that Thursday evening when we walked by Rodilla, a very good chain cafe, the counter person remembered us and excitedly welcomed us home. Margarita said, “Ah, Rodilla. Si.” Jerry thought she was correcting our pronunciation of the name, so he repeated, Arodilla. I then had to explain… to him and to her. This is certainly going to be entertaining!
On our way to La Alameda with Margarita last night, we passed an antique and collectibles store. It was closed, but the lights were on and, from across the narrow street, I noticed what looked like the Parachute Jump sitting on a small table in the window. I excitedly crossed the street to get a closer look. Yes! It was an actual working replica of the Parachute Jump from the 1939 New York World’s Fair. The Parachute Jump visible from my mother’s apartment windows. The Parachute Jump my mother got to ride with her friend Harriet in the mid-1940s by “picking up a couple of sailors.” So, now I’m trying to keep myself from going back to the store to buy it.