On Poetry and Culture Shock

Commedy of manners: "A ver si quedamos"

I´m still reclycing old posts.

I have been told that this blog is anti-American, and it was not said as insult or praise, just as fact. I don’t intend it to be. If this was a political blog it would definitely be anti-American, but I’m trying to write comedy of manners, which is a lovely, mildly satirical genre that pokes fun at things instead of setting them on fire, so you see the absurdity of everyday life. It is only for fun after all. Anyway, to show that I am not particularly anti-American I’ll tell you of Seville’s most hated absurdity (most hated by me, at least)

I know people from different cultures that think that theirs is the only one is the world to do something unpleasant. For example, many nationalities think they are the most unpunctual one. So, I don’t know if this will be characteristic of anyone else. I am talking about the inhabitants of Seville’s habit of saying “A ver si quedamos”: let’s meet some time. “Quedar” means “to meet, to go out, to make arrangements to meet in the future, to have a date”.

You know this person, someone who isn’t your friend. Maybe they used to be. You meet them by chance on the streets, or something like that, and just like anywhere else in the world you stop for a minute and catch up on how they are. And if you are in Seville, Spain, one of you will say goodbye by saying “well, we have to meet again some time soon”. No one makes a mention of when you’re free or makes sure of how you can be contacted.

When someone from Seville says they’d love to meet me again and they don’t immediately suggest a time, a place, a plan, and make sure my mobile is still the same number, I know they don’t have the least intention of calling. Everyone hates being told “let’s meet”. Everyone says it anyway. Dammmmm it, even I say it, whenever I can’t say “I’m glad to see you” with a straight face. Besides, I spend so much time away from Seville that indulging in very Seville-like vices reassures me that I still belong there.

Some people from the South with spontaneous, warm behaviour think that people from the North, who are apparently colder and more distant, are more sincere in their personal relationships. Less smiles, more real care. Seville’s art of the “oh, yes, we have to meet” hypocrisy seems to prove it. Does anyone disagree?

0 comentarios