Before I properly begin the post, here’s a little bit about Julia’s and I’s apartment building: it consists of only 3 units, stacked like building blocks on top of each other, wedged between 2 larger building. Julia and I live in the 3rd story apartment, close to the accessible roof where we hang our laundry and enjoy views of Sevilla’s cathedral. Now, to the post.
During the 3 weeks we’ve been living here, we had bumped into only one of our neighbors, a young guy living in the apartment below us. Julia and I supposed we would inevitably meet all of our neighbors at some point, but wondered if we should introduce ourselves sooner rather than later. That burden was lifted from us on Wednesday afternoon, when I returned home from Jérez and found a note on our doorstep in Spanish and an English translation that was later admitted to have been generated by Google Translator. The note was from Antonio and Agustín, the 2 guys from the 2nd floor, and they were letting us know that they were thinking of “making a party” that Friday, and that we were invited along with any of our friends. Julia and I were immediately ecstatic! We’ve been praying for friends here in Sevilla, since the friends we made during orientation are scattered across southern Spain.
After our initial joyous reaction, our anxieties began to bubble to the surface- would our language levels make conversation difficult? What kind of party was it going to be? Since we don’t have any friends in Sevilla, was it ok that just Julia and I showed up? Should we bring anything? And the most fretful question of all- what were we going to wear???
Here’s how the evening unfolded…
7:30pm- Julia and I decide to go out for a snack. We haven’t heard from Agustín or Antonio, despite leaving a reciprocal note on their door. Trying not to be too disappointed, we both are doubtful if the party is actually going to happen. On our way out of the building, we hear voices at the bottom of the stairs, and sure enough, it is Antonio, and a friend, Lola. They seem very excited to see us, and tell us about the party- 11:30pm, on the roof, bring something to drink, plans for going to a discoteca (club) afterwards. It’s happening!
7:45pm- Browsing the grocery store aisles, Julia and I realize we haven’t a clue what to bring to a Spanish party. Not wanting to feign knowledge of either Spanish wine or beer selections, we settle on Malibu rum, pineapple juice and Sprite- Malibu seemed an appropriate offering from the California neighbors!
8:00-10:00pm- Dinner and a nap
10:00-11:30pm- Outfit changes, energizing dance music, pep talks to chase away our anxieties…
11:45pm- Activity on the stairs! Shameless spying through our door’s peephole. Seems like quite a lot of people going to roof. Quite a lot of well-dressed, older-looking people. Anxieties are renewed and outfit changes re-considered…
11:50pm- We finally muster up the courage to go to the roof (aka Antonio and Agustín knocked on our door and ask if we are coming). Deep breaths, and then, we’re on the roof. There’s about 15 people, guys and girls, in their mid-twenties. Of course, all our anxieties are proven ridiculous as everyone is friendly, and interested in us. Furthermore, we are able to understand them, and respond in turn! Not without many many many mistakes, I am sure, but communication is happening! In Spanish! We find out that most of them are working on their PhDs at the University of Sevilla.
2:00am- Moving to the discoteca is suggested. Conversation continues. After 20 minutes, about half the group leaves for the discoteca, after trying to convince the rest of the group to come too.
2:30am- We arrive at the discoteca. Julia and I follow the group as they pass the bouncers with a list, and, then the bouncers in front of the reserved area. About 30 people are in the reserved area, passing around Champagne. Julia and I give each other wondering looks, asking What are we doing here???
4:15am- After dancing, and chatting as much as a discoteca admits, we leave with Antonio and Lola, though the rest of the group stays. Julia and I try to hide our irrepressible yawns.
4:30am- Arrive home!
So there you have it- the account of meeting our neighbors! Much less scary than I thought it would be. Many promises of getting together again were thrown around, but we’ll just have to wait and see. Friday night was a promising beginning!
Now, to my coffee:-)