Secrets to Socializing in Seville
Seville. The city of the social. Walking through the streets there is chatter everywhere, people in local bars having a caña and a tapa while explaining their day to their friends, people shouting their order to the overwhelmed waiters, and the occasional palmas accompanied by singing. But as you wonder these streets, especially alone, some of these places can seem awkward to enter. So how can you be social in the worlds capitol of social? Hopefully this can give you some insight.
The talking game
Seville has an amazing community of people that are travelers just like you. Tourism is the largest market in Seville with over 2 million people visiting per year. One way, especially if your Spanish is not so hot, is the infamous Intercambio. Intercambios are a great way to not only meet people from Seville, but people from all around the world. My first experience with intercambio I was sitting at a table with people from Ireland, Spain, Japan, and Russia. The point of these meetings is to exchange languages and to meet people.
Become a regular
Another way that I have found effective, especially for those that are hoping to learn a bit more Spanish, is to become a regular at one of the many small local bars. With a coffee and tostada being the normal breakfast for many Spaniards, it is very easy to pop in and order and strike up a conversation with one of the workers. And the best part is, when workers know you, they will introduce you to many of the regular patrons that you can just sit and have a coffee and a quick conversation with!
Let the apps do the work
I have had a ton of success with the app meetups. This app is a social app and the best part about it is that you can customize it to your liking. I am part of many groups such as yoga, running, literature, outdoors activities, you name it. It gives you a heads up when there is an event posted into your area of interest. I have met some of the coolest people with this app and obviously, we are interested in the same things! The thing I love about this as well is that you can meet local people and you can also meet people that have just moved here with the same goals as you, to meet people and have some fun around the town!
If you choose to be part of the online dating scene try tender or bumble. Not only are there a ton of people from Seville on both apps but also people from all over the world. You have the option to just grab coffee for the sake of good conversation or stay out and party all night.
Another effective way, depending on your level of Spanish, is to market yourself, you speak the language fluently that this country just happens to be pouring money into. And because tourism is such a big deal many people are always trying to find someone to practice with. When people find out that I am from Texas and that I can speak English they almost always say Oh! I need to practice my English! And then it is smooth sailing from there! I’ve had coffee with some of the people that work in stores, bars, tour companies, high-end restaurants, all because of a basic skill I have been perfecting all my life, talking. As mentioned Spanish is a plus, just in case your new friend gets stuck and has no way to explain this to you in English, but google translate will be your best friend.
A Good ol’ Hello
I cannot stress how effective just a simple hello can be. Especially these days with every type of social app imaginable, it can seem useless. Don’t forget you are a foreigner and probably have an interesting story or reason that you are here. That is almost always the question that follows “where are you from”? “Oh”! “why did you choose Seville”? And this can bring on a wave of conversation and I promise whoever you are talking to will be more than happy and excited to introduce you to all their friends, possibly even their family. Almost every person that I have met that is from Seville has been through this method, mainly due to the overall social demeanor of the Spanish people. Locals are the best way to learn the history and interesting things about the city. Plus, they also have all the inside scoop when it comes to the best tapas bars (which you will not want to miss!)
Seville is an amazing city. It can be intimidating at first to meet people, especially if you don’t know the language but the best thing to do and just breathe and smile; it means the same thing in every language