We’ve been in Seville for nearly 3 weeks. It’s a trip we had planned before we took back our apartment in Paris. An example of a trip, Pat pointed out during our pre-lease-signing negotiations, that won’t happen once we have two homes.
And I agreed.
Yet Spain was already in the books. Fly to Paris for a night. Fly onto Seville for a month. Spend three weeks making our way back to Paris by train—Madrid, Girona, Montpellier. And finally a week in Paris before flying home.
We signed the lease and kept the trip.
When I broke a tooth just before Christmas, I emailed my dentist, determined it wasn’t an emergency, and made an appointment for early January.
My dentist, I should mention, is in Paris.
As tooth breaks go, this one was fortuitous. I pushed out our flight to Seville. The extra days in Paris gave us time to set up our apartment and settle in before setting off.
Our last day in Paris, I saw my dentist. He patched my tooth and said I needed a little root work … a crown … two more appointments. It could wait, but not too long.
I made an appointment for three weeks out. The next morning, we flew to Seville.
Sunday, I return to Paris. Monday I’ll see my dentist. Tuesday I’ll be back in Seville in time for siesta.
Now let’s talk about Seville.
By all measures, it’s is a beautiful, sunny, friendly, and vividly colorful city. The Moorish influence provides a dash of architectural panache. The historical wealth is stunningly evident and reminds me daily of how little I understand Spanish history. At times, it nearly motivates me to read about it, to learn something.
Maybe I will, but probably I won’t.
You’ve given me a hundred reasons to love you, Seville. So why don’t I?
Let me digress.
There’s a tradition with our grandson, Jack, where every night after dinner he asks a question of each person at the table. One night the question was, What’s your favorite food?. When it was my turn to answer, he said, “Grandma, we can skip you.”
My favorite food is well known by my family—butter, and all of its associates—caramel, croissants, butter cookies—and most of all, bread.
But unfortunately the bread in Spain is—borrowing a description from my friend—a tad pasty. I’m thinking of that 60s paste, the type my first grade teacher would scoop from a jug and glob onto a paper towel for each student. We’d return to our desks and paste colorful tidbits onto colorful paper. All of us except Jimmy B, who would return to his desk and eat the paste.
Jimmy B, if you’re still out there, you’d love the bread in Seville.
I realize it may be poorly perceived to write off an entire people due to low quality bread, so let me add, I don’t love the butter here either. Truth be told, the entire food scene has been disappointing, and for me, that’s a problem.
Thankfully, a dash up to Paris is just what the doctor ordered.
I’m ready to endure the pain in exchange for le pain (which loosely translates to sweet Jesus that’s some damn good bread.)
Food, it turns out, plays a disproportionate role in my happiness. The focus of my trip to Paris can be summarized as follows: croissants, baguettes, French butter, and Novocain (hot dentist sold separately).
Hot damn, I can’t wait.
During the last month, I’ve realized that we were right to take back our Paris apartment. I’m fine cutting back on the road—to dabble there, but not to dwell.
This week, Pat and I admitted to each other that while we’ve enjoyed Seville, we miss Paris. And for now, that’s the only lesson I needed to learn.
A look at Seville: