Sunday, May 2, 2010

Wake up and smell the Rebujitos!

One day, the sleepy, rain-exhausted citizens of Jerez woke up to discover that the clouds had finally dissipated. The sun was out, the town shone bright white and yellow once again. Spring had arrived! That was about a month ago.






It's actually amazing how much the sun affects daily life around here. Once it came out, people all of the sudden had a more optimistic outlook on life. The streets were buzzing, restaurants staying open several hours later than in winter, and the tourists came to town. For us foreigners here, we also all the sudden got the sense of panic that comes with the realization that our remaining time here is short. The feeling is certainly bittersweet. Above all this newfound energy and optimism, though, for Jerezan@s and foreign residents alike, talk of FeRiA began. Have you been learning your Sevillanas? What does your dress look like? Do you want to see my dress...it's really pretty isn't it? (Those Spaniards have no sense of humility...haha).

AND NOW THE TIME HAS ARRIVED. Feria officially starts tonight at dusk with the Alumbrado, the illumination of the fairgrounds. Of course, being the good partiers we are, feria actually started Thursday night in the dark with a little bit of botellon and a preview of the casetas (you gotta break in the dance floors beforehand).

These couple of weeks leading up to today have been all about finding the perfect dress, getting it altered, searching store after store for the right accessories. (Yes, we realized the prom analogy here, too). This entire year, the girls have all been considering whether to actually buy a dress or not. The first dress I looked at in the Spanish version of Dillard's was...wait for it...675 euros! No, not spending an entire month's salary on a Flamenco dress (that can only be worn for Halloween once back home). Luckily, it's really easy to be thrifty in Spain and find less expensive alternatives. So, after deciding that we weren't going to give into the dress hype, almost all of us eventually found one that fit our style (and our budgets...sort of) and couldn't resist. After all, who gets to go to prom wearing one of these...





Also, these same weeks, I personally started exploring the city more and getting exercise by jogging. I made sure, though, that my running route always passed the fairgrounds so that I could watch it's progress.
Puerta Principal






























Not much to look at now, but wait 'til you see the after pictures!

En fin, the past month our lives have consisted of Feria talk, beach, feria preparations, an afternoon cerveza on the terrace, and finally now...FERIA! Us foreigners are struggling to keep up, but such is life in Spain.


Glossary:
Rebujito- fino sherry + Sprite; typical Feria cocktail
Feria- Fair
Puerta Principal- Main Gate to the fairgrounds
Sevillanas- a variety of Flamenco dance particular to this region
En fin- in sum

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