Relationship test

“Look. There’s another.” Cool-guy pointed, tourist fashion.

I laughed.

“That’s about four fighting couples per block.” He said, aghast.

“That’s Seville’s job. To mess with relationships.”

“So. That’s why you wanted to show me around Seville? He asked. “To test our relationship?”

“Seville’s layout encourages arguing. The streets are all twisty-turny. And each block is named after another politician. It’s a beautiful place to get lost, but not so fun if you need to find your way back. Even taxi drivers carry maps. Believe me. Everyone gets lost.”

We watched as an older couple tried to communicate their next step. She pointed in one direction, while he argued and shook the map. Neither was ready to listen to the other.

“Tell you what.” Cool-guy said. “We’re going to be different. We’re not going to get lost.”

“Are you good with a map?”

He studied the map for a moment then dropped it into a trash can.

I was horrified. “I sure hope you memorized that.”

“Nope.”

“Darn it. I really liked our hotel. Do you remember the name?”

“Yes.” He laughed. Tell you what. Let’s go for a nice two hour walk, then we’ll come back and clean up for dinner.”

“Without a map?”

“Yes.” He laughed.

“You remember the taxi driver needed a map to get us here.”

“Holly. Are you ready for your daily taste of adventure?”

“Yes.”

“Which way should we go?”

“Um. Left.”

“OhmyGod.” He said, after the first few steps. “Look at this door.”

I smiled.

He took a photo of the arguing couple in the doorway, then took a nice photo without them there.

We stumbled into the Cathedral and got some amazing photos.

“See.” Cool-guy said. “Who needs a map? The good stuff always finds us.”

I laughed.

“Now. Which way?”

“Right.”

I went into a flamenco shoe shop and tried on some shoes, just for fun. They were pretty uncomfortable and the bottoms were hard and the little strap on the top made me feel like a school girl. Um. No. Just looking. Thanks.

The little café with all the motorcycles parked next to it was the perfect place for us to try some tapas. We shared some smoked salmon and marinated calamari. Thank God there were long pieces of material that hung between the rooftops to block the sun. The blocks really shaded the café and gave us some relief from the scorching sun.

We started walking again, pausing to admire the buildings. The architecture was old with iron work outlining everything. An orange building with oval windows. A narrow red building with ornate iron work. A yellow bread shop with iron work over the many rectangular windows.

There was a loud raucous coming from up the street. People were flocking to the curb to see what it was. I know. In a foreign country you should always run the other way when there’s a public disturbance. Yeah. No. We joined the crowd.

A line of forty teens were roller blading through the busy streets of Seville while they chanted something in Spanish. They resembled a caterpillar as each teen’s arms were linked to the waist of the teen in front of him. How could they stay in synch, and roll together without falling?

Cars stopped and let them wind their way along the streets: Roll right. Roll left. The yelling and cat calling of the kids seemed random at first. Then we saw who they were teasing.

Two police cars were following with lights flashing. The kids had no intention of stopping or even slowing down. The police turned on their sirens and yelled over the car’s loudspeakers. A final battle cry let out as the teens broke into smaller, synchronized snakes and began to scatter. The police followed some stragglers who gave a final victory chant and escaped into an alley. Was that the end? Had the police broken them up?

We walked down to the river. There were boats floating by. We waved to the captain of one. There were some elderly ladies fanning themselves on a bench.

“DOES YOUR FAN WORK?” I asked.

“YES. OF COURSE. YOU NEED ONE.”

“MAYBE I DO.” I smiled.

They turned to Cool-guy. “BUY HER A FAN. ALL LADIES CARRY FANS IN SEVILLE.”

“What?”

“They want you to buy me a fan.”

“I’m going to steal one of theirs. They could never catch me. Tell them that.” He challenged.

I turned to them. “HE SAYS I AM NOT AS BEAUTIFUL AS YOU AND DO NOT DESERVE A FAN.”

“WHAT?” The eldest said.

” THAT’S TERRIBLE.” The middle insisted.

“OOOOHHH. HERE TAKE MINE.” The eldest offered, genuinely.

I laughed and laughed. “NO. THANK YOU. LET HIM PAY! I’LL SEE THAT HE DOES, I PROMISE.”

“MAKE HIM BUY YOU A WOODEN ONE. NO PLASTIC FANS, OK?”

“OF COURSE NOT. THANKS FOR THE TIP!”

“What did they say?”

“They think less of you cause you’ve never bought me a fan.”

He stood in shock. He turned to the ladies.

“I…” He pointed to himself. He pointed to the fans. He pointed to me.

The ladies applauded. He bowed.

We walked across the bridge.

There was a loud disturbance up the street. The teens on roller blades whizzed past us again. They had formed another long line. They drew quite a crowd and we all cheered as they did their caterpillar dance on wheels. The police were following but didn’t appear to be getting any closer.

We turned right and wandered down the cobblestone street. “Look at this.” Cool-guy said. “That’s the biggest, freshest fish I’ve ever seen in a restaurant. Let’s eat dinner here.”

“Ok.”

“Our hotel is just three blocks that way.” He waved his hand.

“Which way?”

He pointed.

“You know that for sure?”

“Do you WANT to start a fight about it?” He asked, clenching his jaw.

“No. But. How could you possibly know where we are? We’ve been everywhere.”

“We’ve made a big circle.”

“We’ve done nothing but zigzag the whole time. We’ve turned left and right and doubled back and skipped forward. We’ve done nothing of a circle.”

“Come hither, ever lost one. Let me guide you.” He laughed. “I’ve passed your relationship test by not getting us lost. But. I never said I would fix your lack of directional abilities. Cause. That? That would be impossible.”

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