By Anna Alexander
Anna Alexandra writes in “Let’s Stay Abroad in Sevilla” a trove of practical tips for a successful stay in a lovely town of hidden treasures. Many of her travel tips can be applied to other regions of Spain.
Her clever footnote tips are handy for those unfamiliar with the language, culture or the area. The enthusiastic descriptions of the numerous eateries make planning a trip there very enticing. A short list of more elegant restaurants and lodgings “for when mom and dad come” is certainly a thoughtful and necessary point in a student’s guide. The language clarifications and foods are also well documented in most cases.
However, students staying longer than three months won’t find a section about visas and renewals for long term stay. It is a pity this important procedure is lacking in an otherwise complete guide to living abroad.
The author has made an ambitious attempt to clarify some cultural and local oddities from her personal point of view, which other residents of Spain could certainly contest. However, given her evident limited personal experience, these minor misinterpretations can be pardoned. She writes: “barmen and taxi drivers and hotel workers do not expect tips, but you should in nice restaurants”…when actually tips are very welcome and customary everywhere. Refrigerators are locked in boarding houses not because “the kitchen is the Spanish woman’s domain” but because in a boarding house for students specific meals might be included, but American-style “all you can eat, anytime” situation is not the rule.
This quick, easy to read guide can give a future visitor an overall view of what is awaiting in sunny Spain and most likely make adaptation a bit easier and more fun.
Contributors include Linda Casanova, an American resident of Spain for 30 years, is an interpreter and former exchange student from Salamanca. She has traveled extensively through Spain and gives seminars on adaptation to the Spanish culture for business transferees and student groups.