I arrived in Seville in a cool February a few years ago, after winning an Erasmus scholarship. I had already visited this splendid city as a tourist and the idea of living there for a few months thrilled me madly!
But one of the doubts that bothered me most (assuming that something could bother me in the face of all this beauty) was the idea of being able to do it with the single monthly figure that the European community offered me.
After finding a room that already covered 50% of my monthly expenses, I realized that with the other half I would have to bear everything else and that, I wrongly assumed, it would not be that difficult considering I was alone in an unfamiliar city, that I would have to work and that I still lived in a relatively cheap area
My first error of assessment
But nothing went as I imagined…
I was teaching Italian in a language school in Dos Hermanas, the most populated town in the district of Seville and its surroundings.
Aside from all that I’m not going to tell, I remember that on the first day, several people at school and away, asked me if I had someone to go out with.
“No, I just arrived and I only know you and my roommates” was my reply.
Thus it was the beginning of endless visits to taperie in Seville and Dos Hermanas, local parties, endless nights and weekends spent out.
If not to sleep a few times, eat and shower every day my room was hardly needed…. At one point my roommates became strangers.
“…and now? now how
will you tell us about how to survive in Andalusia on little money?”
Seville is full of pubs, taverns, places to eat and drink. A beer but also a tapa cost very little and, unless you want to gorge yourself (I hope the translation is right), you will not spend too much to spend the evening in company. We talk, drink, walk and listen to music and, above all, over time we discover new places.
I spent whole Sundays to listening to jazz or attending events I would never have attended anywhere else, just because the idea of spending a few hours under the heat with a glass of Tinto de Verano relaxed me in that place.
Or I liked people who frequented a certain place and the idea that it was also cheap put it first for that day.
Sevilla and all the Andalusian cities and towns have many traditional events such as the Feria. For an honest price you eat and drink (very well) for days and days, meeting people and dancing until you are exhausted.
Schools close and people leave work early. If you know a lot of people you have the honor of being invited and, if you are a girl, you are often given a traditional dress to attend the occasion (many have one that no longer fits a member of the family and lend it to those who does not have it).
Getting around cheap
And if you want to go to the beach, know that from the end of March onwards in Andalusia you risk already getting a good burn (and an Italian who grew up at the sea tells you this).
I found passes to Tarifa, cheap buses to Cadiz and, once, even a Seat ibiza full of people who smoked illegal stuff (I think) that took me for free to the port of Algeciras, where I took a ship to Morocco and spent an absurd weekend at super cheap costs (for us Europeans).
In short …
without having to live indoors or even having to desecrate the family vault, you can very well get by for a few months by being careful to attend good company and eat decently.
I don’t know how the world changed after the covid but the Andalusians were wonderful people before and, I don’t think they changed with the pandemic! Then, to paraphrase Clint Eastwood in one of his famous “Gunny” films, the basic rule always applies: “improvise, adapt and reach the goal”