We’re winding down our stay here in Sevilla (off to Madrid tomorrow) and we were short of few things from the grocery store so instead of taking the long hike to Corte Ingles I did a local search for “Supermercado” and found one much closer. Essentially down at the end of our street, if you go that way and keep going on a bunch of other streets for a while in the same direction.
Before heading over there though, I stopped in the tiny bodega downstairs to buy today’s New York Times. There was a guy in there talking to the proprietor about all the partying he’s been doing. I caught a lot of “dancing, German beer, rocking out, girls” and store owner was enjoying the story. I paid and went on.
Early morning Sevilla is probably much like urban early morning everywhere – few tourists, lots of people heading to work. I had a moment of interaction with the driver of a white BMW, we were traveling in parallel and he was being very kind and allowing me to step into the street in front of him. The sidewalks in this part of town, if you can call them that, vary in size between a few feet and a few inches so you’re constantly playing a game between moving forward and stepping out of the way of a speeding taxi. This guy was nice, every time my path shrunk, he stopped and waved me out. Eventually we came to a “pedestrian only” lane and I got out of his way, thanking him with a wave. However, he was forced to crawl along from there on as the distance between the curbs were just about the same size as the width of his rear tires. I watched him drive on, squeaking loudly from rubber rubbing on marble.
The grocery was exactly where I expected it to be. Found what I wanted and got in line. We were moving along just fine when a middle-aged American man with his son came in and walked up to the cashier. He tried to tell that he had left his credit card in the machine a few days ago and wanted to find out if she had it. Of course he was doing this in English, and she was just standing there staring at him. Realizing that he wasn’t getting anywhere he tried smaller words, figuring that would get through. Things like “lost,” “card,” and “here.” Tiring of this she motioned for him to step aside and yelled at someone in the back to come up and deal with him. I was very tempted to intervene and help but I didn’t like his attitude, so I thought it better that a lesson be imparted. I mean, we have things like Google Translate that allow you to write down what you want and show it to someone who can help you. There is no excuse for trying the old “talk slowly, talk loudly and add a vowel to the end of every word” approach to diplomacy in this era. He was still there when I left, at one point the cashier told him to go in back and ask but he just angrily shook his head.
On the way back I took a short detour into Calle Marmoles to see the Roman columns that stand there between some apartment buildings. Labeled now on the map as “Outdoor Roman Museum” it’s little more than a weedy wedge with three columns and a lot of trash. The first time we went, the pit in which the columns stand (the original ground level, now 14.5’ below the present) was filled with nasty green water. Today it was better, dried out and only a single Carrefour bag littering the scene.
The columns were constructed of Egyptian granite, the same material used to make the columns of the Pantheon in Rome. The bases and capitals were fashioned from local stone. Built during the reign of Hadrian in the 1stcentury AD, they were likely used in an official building or perhaps a temple. In the 6th century they were incorporated into a now long vanished church compound. In 1574 two of them were removed, restored and placed in the Alameda de Hercules, a few blocks north. These three were left behind and now offer a bit of historical entertainment should you be wandering this neighborhood.