Friday, March 26, 2010

Just follow your feet!

The title of this blog is a quote from one of my favorite movies, 'A Knight's Tale.' This classic from my middle school days is chalk-full of witty, memorable lines and of course, Heath Ledger (Moment of silence please...). Whenever I watched the movie, however, this quote would really frustrate me. It's the advice that Heath's father gives to him when he sends him away to be a stable-hand for a knight: 'just follow your feet' home. And I always thought it was a dumb line that didn't make any sense, or at least, until recently.

Because I have been letting my feet guide me around Sevilla and all it has to offer more and more as time goes on. In a city so foreign, every day is an opportunity for me to turn down a new corner, discover a new favorite spot, explore a new street. In the beginning, I was reluctant to stray too far from the few paths I knew, but now that I'm more comfortable with both Sevilla and my Spanish skills, I wander around like its my job.

Last Saturday, for example, Haley and I let our feet guide us around the town of Aracena, situated west of Sevilla and famous for its extraordinary labyrinth of caves. The caves are cool for sure, but its no wonder why they make Aracena famous...the city's got nothing else to be known for. (Besides several peculiar statues...see below.) At least, thats what we thought until we followed our feet into el Museo de Jamón - The Ham Museum. Although originally we did this because we had to go to the bathroom, we were soon rewarded for our choice with lovely giant photos of pigs. If we hadn't followed our feet and seen these photos, our lives would have been significantly less satisfying.

[Woman with very large child-bearing hips.]

[Haley, slightly afraid of the gigantic pig.]

Every Monday and Tuesday, Chencha makes me a ham and butter sandwich (the ham comes straight from the cured pig's leg on our kitchen counter) because I don't have enough time to come back for lunch. Usually on these days, I go back to the center to check my email and bop around on the internet before returning to class. Last Monday, however, I followed my feet to a spot on the grass outside of the university to eat my sandwich and enjoy the sunshine (FINALLY - sun!). About two bites away from finishing, a old spanish couple approached me, asking me if they were in Parque Maria Luisa. I said no, and gave them appropriate directions. This is notable for a couple of reasons:

1. They assumed I could speak Spanish. Score!
2. Parque Maria Luisa is a GIANT park. I was sitting on a patch of grass.
3. I actually know the city and the language well enough to give directions!
4. They asked me if I was from France. Bonus!
5. After I responded, "no, I'm from the US," he said in a funny british accent, "Very well, very well."

Had I not followed my feet, this lovely encounter wouldn't have happened.

And finally, today, I followed my feet into a hair salon to get rid of my pesky 'puntos abiertos' (split ends). In the very first weeks of our stay here, Chantel got a haircut at a salon near our house. To put it bluntly, it was a disaster. Fearing the same result, I decided to try a new place that looked more professional, named New Siglo XXI. I walked in, and was immediately pleased with my decision. It was a fashionably decorated salon with L'oréal signs everywhere, which screamed 'this salon is legit!' My hairdresser, named Jesús (did you expect anything else?) promptly came to my assistance, took my coat and scarf to hang up, and led me to my chair. After a brief conversation accompanied by a lot of hand motions, (haircut vocabulary is hard) Jesús took me to the shampoo station. I sat down on the leather chair and relaxed. After a couple of seconds, I hear Jesús push a button, and out comes a foot rest. One more second and the chair starts massaging me! Ohhh yeah, thank you New Siglo XXI!

Jesús and I chatted while he cut my hair, mostly about why I was here and places he had traveled. He told me that I would love both Paris and London (I'll be going to both before I leave here) and taught me some helpful vocabulary as well:

raya: hair part
onda: wave
risa: curl

All in all, I give the hair cut experience a big thumbs up!

So in the past week I have visited a ham museum, given directions to tourists, and gotten a hair cut. And as I walked out of the hair salon with my new trim and bouncy ondas, I thanked the writers of a Knight's Tale for putting in that corny line. Because here, in Sevilla, it makes sense.


Anna said...

"Why, god, did you curse me with this beautiful face?"

Anna said...

"Why, god, did you curse me with this beautiful face?"

Daniel said...

It's called a lance... helllllllllllooooooooooooooooo