Saturday, July 7, 2007


Sevilla is hot as hell. It is close to 100 degrees everyday and by 3pm it is unbearable to be outside. No wonder the Spaniards nap for so long. The students arrived yesterday and so far things have been going well.

The night before they arrived Pancho and I went out to dinner along the river where we had some Albanian guys make us the best tabouli I have ever had. We walked back checking out a couple of things and stopped to eat some ice cream. As we were enjoying our tasty desserts we crossed through a plaza and noticed this really young kid who appeared unconscious. We exchanged a look and decided to eat our ice cream and see if anything changed in his condition. It did not.

As we approached the kid, his pulse was hard to find but he was clearly breathing, reeking of alcohol and perspiring a cold sweat. We tried several times to wake him but to no avail. Pancho called the equivalent to the US 911. We quickly learned that the emergency vehicles are in no real hurry. It took about 40 minutes and two phone calls from additional passersbys for them to arrive. As we waited, a crowd began to form. Young kids trying to smack the guy, one kid even kicked him, two older women went threw his pockets and found his passport. We learned he was Russian and about 24 years old. People mumbled about not knowing any Russian so there would be no way that he could understand us anyway. They returned the passport to the front pocket of his shorts just as a girl´s parents arrived to pick her up. She called over her father who apparently is a doctor. The doctor leaves his car running in the middle of intersection and comes to do the first evaluation of this drunken character. This entire time the guy never indicated that he was conscious. The circus clowns continued to surround him (add appropriate music here.) Some left, others stopped to add their two cents.

Finally, the ambulance arrived. They approached the guy and they began to punch him in the chest. The Russian only then began to stir. They did nothing. They decided that he didn´t need to be taken to the hospital. They waited. For what? For the police to arrive which took another 25 minutes after the arrival of the paramedics. (Spain is not the place to need speedy assistance in any area of life.)

The police arrived and it was a female and male partner team. Immediately, the female cop clearly had something to prove because she went right into his face and started yelling at him tell him to stand up. "Stand up! Don´t make me tell you again. I said stand up!" The guy barely was able to sit up, let alone stand up. She takes out her baton! And makes like she is going to swing but she places it under is arm and lifts him up. The male cop helps her hold him and they toss him into the ambulance for questioning.

The "Good" Samaritans wandered back to the hotel.

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