The Future Looks Bright
*A few photos from Sevilla
It never ceases to amaze me the interesting and unique people you meet whilst travelling. When I am at home I very rarely come across the strange, the interesting or the down right nutty. Maybe its because at home I’m too busy with the life bubble of friends, family and work that I have already created to notice or to chance across these kinds of people. Or maybe it’s because in my far off New Zealand, we are just a different breed from the rest.
I have been in Sevilla for three weeks now, living in small town Gines, about seven kilometres from Sevilla centre. When I say small town, I mean small town. I once saw an oxen and cart parked outside one of the local tapas bars, just pulled up and parked right in front with his oxen to have a beer and some tapas. Those sorts of things you only ever see in small towns! I have been teaching English here for a couple that runs a language school from their home. I was initially really excited to start using my CELTA qualification and get this teacher role started, although I am enjoying it for the most part, what I didn’t count on was teaching a group of rowdy, disinterested and rebellious pre-teens. Well all I can say is I have a lot of respect for school teachers who deal with classes of 30 of the little monsters, I only have eight and I am barely holding on to my sanity.
When I am not squishing myself in to the role of English Language Teacher I have my spare time to roam and discover Sevilla. I have been opting to do this by meeting up with different travellers from all over the world for language exchange so I can attempt to become somewhat proficient at speaking Spanish. Last week I was joined by an American friend to practice my not so good and her marginally better Spanish conversation, we agreed to meet at Café de la Prensa on the Triana side of Sevilla which over looks the elegant Guadalquivir river, well-used by rowers and kayakers alike. The café has a great tapas menu; I can recommend the pollo rellena, stuffed chicken breast in a tasty Andalucían sauce.
When we arrived we were disappointed to see that all of the tables were already taken and we were contemplating rethinking our dining choice. I scanned the tables and I noticed an old slightly eccentric looking man sitting by himself at a table for four. He wore a dusty white suit, what appeared to be a cowboy’s bolo tie and he had donned a purple hat for the still sunny Sevilllian late afternoon. He sat alone with his cane outstretched and as I caught his eye he got up and motioned us over to his table. He looked as though he was maybe in his late sixties and grumbled to us (in Spanish) something about there never being any tables for one anymore. He motioned for us to take the table and he proceeded to ask for his check. Well that was very nice of him I thought, we were both hungry and eager to get in to the tapas selection ahead of us.
What we didn’t count on was that the quirky man in the purple hat was keen to stay for a chat, well all the better for us I guess as it was a good opportunity to practise Spanish. I didn’t follow much of the conversation as I am still struggling to hear Spanish via the very unique Andalucían accent, my friend however is much better than I am and continued to contribute to the conversation. At one point he did turn to me to tell me that I was a very intelligent woman. Well, I wont argue with that one Spanish cowboy! I graciously laughed and said my “gracias”.
He then said to both of us, well we thought he said to both of us “soy psicólogo”
“I am a psychologist”. Oh perfect I thought and proceeded to tell him all about my psychology studies and that I want to study sport psychology in the future. From there the conversation didn’t really continue how I had expected. He began describing us both in detail, what kind of people we were, our ethnic ancestry, our personality characteristics. At first I thought maybe because he is a psychologist he’s interested in personality traits etc. and that’s where he was going but then he said to me (in strong Spanish and intensity in his eyes) “ you are going to be very rich one day”. Well, ok (I laughed nervously) I wondered if I had translated correctly, he also told me that I will work for the rest of my life. Well I should hope that after working for the rest of my life I would be very rich, I’d be a bit disappointed (and exhausted) if I wasn’t!
When he finally got up to leave so we could order something to eat he left with some final, and I’m sure very wise and life changing words. But unfortunately neither of us could really understand him. He continued to talk of our futures as we left, about my friend’s impulsive nature and my quiet nature and then he hobbled off with his Spanish cowboy image and his elegant walking stick. I mentioned to my friend that he had been an interesting psychologist; I couldn’t quite work out if he was psychoanalysing us or predicting our future. She turned to me and said “ Oh no that’s not what he meant, he must’ve said “soy psíquico!” the Spanish translation for “psychic”, easily confused with “psychologist”! Oh now I got it, we just had our futures read by a real purple hat wearing Spanish cowboy psychic and we didn’t even know it! Well I’m not sure if he was just one of the nutty strangers I spoke of earlier or maybe he was the real deal …… I will never know, and now I wish I could understand more Spanish! But hey the future looks bright apparently, lots of money and lots of work to come, vamos a ver. ¡viva the odd and curious!