I guess you could say I was kind of consumed with fear during my time in Jerez. I did things anyway, but I also didn't do things. Below is an excerpt (with some side notes) written during my first week alone there. For those who are new to this blog, I had been in Jerez a couple of weeks before for the Festival. After a brief trip to Portugal, I headed back. I arrived on Friday the 25th and began my search for classes.
Prior to leaving for Spain I knew who I wanted to take from and had names of studios and phone numbers; I even had an idea of when some of the classes were offered. Sí! I had done my research, I promise, as best as I could from Portland, Oregon...I had to for the RACC grant. And during the festival I got an idea of where the studios were located. But I had yet to figure out the class times. Could I have done more to determine this earlier in the month? Perhaps. But figuring out where and when things happen in that town is not as easy as one might think…
I may be one of the few people here in Portland happy to see the rain..It is just so green and beautiful and even more so after having been gone for three months! It truly is wonderful to be home, not that I don't miss Jerez. I miss many things of course: Like getting to speak Spanish all of the time,
And hearing flamenco in so many places,
And drinking fresh squeezed zumo de naranja,
Ooooooooh, and taking advantage of the long siesta each day. - During which time it can be quite difficult to get much done by the way, and I don't just mean because almost all stores are closed. There is this energy that seems to overtake the city. It is odd, like it suddenly becomes Sunday for three to four hours. Often I would come home intending to be "productive," but it was as if the collective rest of the city would allow me to do nothing more than relax...
March 6 Sunday There is a different energy this week compared to last week. Is it due to the rain? - actually closer to the way I remember spring weather in Spain - Or perhaps it is that some of the excitement has worn off? Or is it that I am taking classes by myself this week, without any of my compañeras from home. I was only signed up for one festival course, so I decided to take a tangos workshop from Tatiana Ruíz, the daughter of Chiqui de Jerez. The girl ought to be a sergeant in the US Army, though I suppose she talks too much for that. In any case, she worked us hard today and clearly took great pleasure in doing so. My brain quickly went into overload as I tried to execute the steps at a seemingly impossible pace while at the same time struggling to understand how in the world Tatiana moved her body as she did. Later that afternoon I headed to my bata de cola class with Alicia Márquez. It moved slowly, so I was able to get things, but still, how ever do I get this awkward train to cooperate and do what Alicia's does?! As I walked down the halls of the bodega after class, I poked my head in the various rooms and fantasized that it was my home.