Not quite sure what brought on this flashback I’ve been living in for the last couple of days, but the desire to travel back to Spain has returned (as it does pretty much every year). It’s hard to believe it’s been eight years since I was there. I don’t know why or how anyone would pass up the opportunity to travel while they are in college – study abroad is such an amazing opportunity. I have so many hilarious, thoughtful and mind boggling experiences while I was there. Fun to look back on, sad they have gone by, grateful to have had them at all. I’m so glad I kept a journal the entire time we were there and that I have so many pictures to remind me of different moments, people and places.
One thing that really brings back the memories is the music. I remember going to a Sevillana dance with the flamenco music. Going into a music store off of Calle Tetuan (one of the big shopping streets in Seville) and buying several cds. Meeting at a cafe one morning before our trip to Portugal and walking to the bus where we listened to our cds all the way to Lagos. Watching Eurovision/Eurovision Junior on tv (their equivalent of American Idol…but for all of Europe – fascinating in another language). The laughs and amusement at finding out one of our professors was in a music video for David Bisbal filmed in Seville. Going to the Gypsy market and finding music. Finding a song to use for our grammar class and creating a presentation with it.
I have to thank one of my favorite people, Darlene, for the two of us finding David de Maria in the store one day. The cd we got, Barcos de Papel (Paper Ships/Paper Boats), is kind of a quiet pop sound. I could easily fall asleep to it. I found a video of him singing the song live the other day at a concert and he sounds exactly like he does on the cd (few artists do). Check it out – even if you can’t understand the language it is awesome.
And who could forget Senor Alejandro Sanz? I used his song “No Es Lo Mismo” for that project in our grammar class. And then there was this one that’s just plain catchy. It was my ringtone for a good while when I got back from Spain.
Bebe was another one. She’s a little firecracker. This is her song “Ella”. Essentially a girl power song reminding girls they don’t have to be afraid, they can laugh, they’re beautiful and speaking against abuse.
As we were able to watch tv shows (some from America that were dubbed in Spanish) and shows made in Spain and throughout Europe, it was pretty neat to see how something similar to American Idol was carried out. Eurovision basically takes videos from all over Europe from people who have an original song they have written. Each country has their own competition and then the winner’s song/video is shown all over Europe and the one with the most votes wins in the end after several rounds and live performances. The Eurovision Junior competition was what was on at the time. It was impressive to see 10-15 year olds and their original material. In 2004 the girl that won was named Maria Isabel. She was from Spain. She wrote a song called “Antes Muerta Que Sencilla”. Quite literally – “I’d Rather Be Dead Than Plain”. It’s not as morbid as it sounds. It talks about a lot of stuff little girls want – to be successful, to grow up, to be pretty, to be respected (perhaps not that eloquent or with those precise words, but…).
Finally, that professor who was in David Bisbal’s music video for “Buleria”… It’s got some sort of Romeo and Juliet theme throughout. And a good chunk of it was filmed in the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza where I attended a bullfight. Ernesto, our professor, appears in the fight scene in the bullring. When they walk in, he’s the one with short black hair on the left (from where you are sitting at your computer). Not the guy in front, but beside him. They first show up at about 2:10.
Good times, Espana.