Friday, April 15
Serving as the ambassador of sorts for the family, Laura arrived in Sevilla on Thursday, April 14. She had been traveling for 18 hours; she was relieved to see me as I suddenly appeared at the Sevilla airport earlier than expected. Before our departure to London two days later, I would lead Laura through a local color tour of Sevilla. Compared to many English-speaking tourists, Laura truly got the insider treatment.
To counter the effect of jet lag, I had to keep her awake a few more hours. We passed the time by meeting up with some of my closest Spanish friends: Valeriano and Ángeles (and her friend, Loli). They are all taking the same English class together. Ángeles and Loli are both older whereas Valeriano is my age. We have met several times now to practice conversation. They need the most help with pronunciation (as do I, to some extent). Most memorably, that night we practiced the "sh" sound (which they have trouble with) and gathered some grins from the surrounding tables. They took care to include Laura and were excited to be understood by someone who does not speak a word of Spanish. I was flattered by what they told Laura about me. They agreed they did not have to talk slowly to me in Spanish, rather I understand them at their normal speed. They also complemented my accent and level of vocabulary. Since Ángeles and Valeriano have interacted with some of my peers, they cannot say the same of them. It was a nice confidence boost for me. We ordered a swath of tapas for Laura's introduction to the taste of Sevilla. By the end, Laura was fading; Valeriano advised that she get a good night sleep "to feel like a new person." "Muy bien dicho" (very well said), I said, complementing his English.
The next day the sightseeing trek began with the Plaza de España, not far from my apartment. We had started our day passing through the business school and enjoying the typical Spanish breakfast of jamón, toast, and olive oil in the cafeteria. We continued through the historic campus and the Jewish Ghetto to arrive at our first main sight, the