So, I used to live in Spain. But every time I tell people, they never believe me! Or, even better, they say “I bet you don’t remember it because you were so little.” I was five, and I had a brain and a memory, so I remember basically everything about it! When you’re immersed into a culture that is not what you naturally know, no matter what age, you remember it because it’s an impact! I have such found and detailed memories of living there, and it was so beautiful.
My family was stationed to live in Spain when my dad was active duty in the Air Force. We lived on Morón Air Force Base, 35 miles southeast of Seville. We were also close to Madrid, and went their often with our neighbors to shop and explore. My school was right around the corner from my house, literally, the base was so small. There were both American and Spanish families living on the base.
My favorite memory from Spain is when my mom took my sister and I downtown with our neighbor and her 2 daughters, who were the same age as us, and let us pick out Sellvianna dresses (pronounced sev-i-anah). These were traditional Spanish dresses that women and girls wore to a festival they had once a year to celebrate Spain and its culture. They also held the traditional Sellvianna dance, and a sweet older woman taught me how to do it on the dance floor. She knew I was American, but was very kind and showed me her moves.
Another vivid memory I have is the day we got our kitten. We bought her off the streets of Madrid downtown for 10 euros. My sister named her Cuddles, and we had her for 13 years. Spanish cats have attitudes, FYI, but we loved her!
In our school, we had a Spanish teacher who was 100%, born and raised there. She knew English very well, but she was clearly the most authentic Spanish teacher I would ever have in my life. She had the best candy for prizes. One kind was an edible paper that looked like Spanish money, it was so good!
Outside of our school we had these smaller trees, all in a line. They grew this sweet fruit, small and orange with some fuzzy skin on the outside. To this day my sister and I are still trying to figure out what they were (not cumquats).