Clueless in Paradise: What I’ve Stumbled into So Far While Living in Spain

by Dr. Debra Payne / Jun 20, 2008 / 1 comments



Fields of sunflowers as far as the eye can see. Narrow, cobblestone streets and tiny shops that offer fresh bread, beautiful clothes, handcrafted guitars, jewelry, and just about anything you could possibly want. I am a U.S. American, living in Andalucía, in the province of Seville. This place involves all my senses, to be sure. I have let its history sweep me up as I walk through this city and try to imagine myself back in medieval times. However, I am also a somewhat clueless sort. I go to museums and read about things and then forget them later. I get a sense of what’s here, but not in the way I would like. Most of my time, I just live here. I am not on vacation. Most of my time is spent dedicated on mundane things like doing laundry or going to the store, or bickering with my husband.

Recently, I was asked to be the Spain Editor for Wandering Educators. It’s a big responsibility, folks. I am capable of not seeing many stunningly beautiful things because I am worried about what I’m going to cook for dinner. However, it is also a great privilege. Being the Spain editor reminds me, to begin with, that I live in Seville, a number one tourist spot, and if that many tourists are taking pictures, then there must be something to see! Logical, don’t you think?

I’ll start my Spain editor career, then, by showing you a few pictures. This is just what I see and a little bit of what I think (and yes, I promise you I really do think sometimes). Later on, in other articles, I’ll focus in on one thing and maybe actually say something intelligent. Mainly, though, I’ll try to convey the unforgettable, unique atmosphere that is Spain. Today’s pictures start with a street in Seville and a tapas bar, and then go straight to a nearby beach and stay there. That’s because it has been really hot here lately!

Just another day in this really amazing city:
This is in the city of Seville, just outside of Plaza Alfalfa. I love the balconies, the bars, and the people who rush by on their way to somewhere else. Everyone is doing something important except for people like me, who are blocking traffic while trying to get that perfect shot.

near plaza alfalfa

Don't forget the TAPAS bars! Tapas, in English, would be “finger food” or “snacks.” It sounds better in Spanish. At around two Euros per tapa, there is no going wrong. Try them all with a cold beer or a glass of red wine. If you want a refreshing summer drink, try a tinto de verano, which is a bit of house red wine on ice, with carbonated water added to it.

tapas bars Sevilla

It gets really hot in Seville during the summer months. Fortunately, there are a lot of beaches really close to the city of Seville. In 45 minutes, you can wind up in the nearby province of Huelva, for example, in Matalascañas:

Debbie Chaparro

Bored? Then bury someone in the sand!

Debbie Chaparro

Well, that’s all I’ve got for today! See you soon. Next time, maybe we’ll go to see some ancient Roman ruins. The beach was fun, though, wasn’t it?



Debra Payne Chaparro is the Spain Editor for She lives in Spain, and is currently finishing her PhD in Higher Education, Educational Policy and Administration at the University of Minnesota.

Comments (1)

  • Dr. Jessie Voigts

    15 years 11 months ago

    debbie - it sounds so lovely. and yes, daily life does get in the way of BEING somewhere, doesn't it? great column! thanks!


    Jessie Voigts


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