When Kata came to Sevilla a few weeks ago, I inquired as to whereabouts she lived. She wrote on my Facebook wall, loud and proud, “I lived in the Disneyland of Santa Cruz.”
To me, Santa Cruz is more old-world movie set than the happiest place on Earth. Last night, Marta took me into the center so I could run some errands. Navidad is in full-swing here, and the Christmas lights have been up for weeks. Smoke from chestnut vendors curled around shoppers with their hands stuffed in their jackets and I got bags banged against me with every step.
I took a shortcut towards the bus depot through Santa Cruz. The smell of bocadillos from Las Columnas leaked out onto the rain-soaked streets. Three old ladies took me by surprise on Calle de Lope Rueda, forcing me into a menacing green door. Mist filled the street and Plaza de las Cruces, where two kids my age kissed just out of the shadow of the street light.
I lived for three years in the slightly-less Disneylandish Triana. Less tourists, more places for cheap beer. I found a great apartment right on Calle Mateos Gago in the shadow of the Giralda minaret, but am glad I decided not to live here. Would have ruined shortcuts like these.