I have a confession to make, after years of fighting it, it would seem I am a Guiri. For those of you who are not currently, or have never resided in the Iberian Peninsula, the concept of Guiri is a hard one to pin down. Basically, if you are of Anglo Saxon origin, or come from a country in northern Europe or the US, you are a Guiri.
I´ve been led to believe it´s a term of endearment, like ‘Ah, bless the Guiris with their strange desire to eat before 10pm and to wear shorts with sandals at a scandalously chilly 23 C’. But it’s got to be said, more often than not it feels like an outright insult, which is no surprise as its lexical orgins , according to my best friend Wikipedia, stem back to a term used by the 19th Century Basques to describe their enemies. But seeing as I’m living here in Seville rather than passing through, I’ve decided to embrace the Guiri within and make it my own.
Us Guiris, particularly those living in Spain, have rather specific tastes when it comes to drinking establishments. Give us quirky, bohemian, arty farty and slightly shabby over swanky and day-glo any day. And when we find somewhere that ticks those boxes, we are like moths to the flame, we just can’t stay away.
So on a random night out with an Argentinian musician, when quite frankly I rather wished I was tucked up with my Kindle, I found myself in La Bicicleteria. I’d probably passed this place a thousand times, on its inconspicuous corner of Calle Feria. I’d always wanted to go in, but it looked just too quirky and leftfield even for me. But anyway, here I was, finally inside its walls, which heaved under the weight of a plethora of random decorations from Buddhas to woks, to lamps made from tatty flamenco dresses. And I was quite literally in Guiri heaven.
Ok so there were some Sevillanos in there, but mostly there was a steady flow of foreign folk like me, who on entering, had a knowing twinkle in their eye that said they’d finally come home.
I was only there for an hour or so quite literally on a school night, and things were pretty low key but I hear this place can get pretty messy, with a mysterious room upstairs used for ‘special occasions’.
The music for me was the best I’ve heard in Seville, that is to say, someone was actually thinking about what they were playing rather than having random rubbish in the background. In fact I’m having flashbacks right now of a latin version of Duran Duran’s ‘Girls on Film’ that got me reminiscing about my teenage crush on Simon Le Bon, although now I’m much more of a John Taylor kind of girl. They also have live music from time to time, with stuff like Argentine tango and Brazilian Bossa Nova in the mix.
So yeah, once again, leaving the Alameda has proved to be a great success. I thoroughly recommend it!
La Bicicleteria, Calle Feria 36