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World March Blog
16 November 2009

The Malagan Posy

Seville smells of lemon blossom, a penetrating perfume that climbs up the walls of the Alcazar and pursues you through the corridors, up the orange tree lined steps; Malaga and Jasmine.  After a comfortable journey on the AVE and the usual warm welcome surrounded by flags and hugs, we were taken to Mercy Square, where the jubilant crowd were waiting for us and announcing our arrival by megaphone.  From afar I saw that someone was holding a posy and I remembered the one my father used to buy for me when arriving from Madrid; then I would change the flowers every day and at dusk I would put it in my hair.  My Malagan summers smelled of Jasmine.  I was filled with an enormous desire to smell it, but there was such a crowd that there was no possibility to elbow your way through.  From there we Marched, escorted as always by a police vehicle followed by a minibus and a folk group playing and dancing endless verdiales. Throughout the entire journey a lame man was skipping and dancing on his crutches and several of us were also dancing and waving flags.  Halfway through Larios street I instinctively looked right towards the exact point where my father and I, after returning home from shopping laden with succulent murex, we would sit at a table to eat cassata, a monumental ice-cream full of dried fruit and cream which had nothing to do with Sicilian cassata, as I would discover many years later with great disappointment.  Then I looked up to the balconies also remembering the many times that I had seen the Easter parades, all those terrifying legionnaires going past, with their chins up and a light step, accompanying the Christ of Mena.  They sang with booming voices “I am the fiancé of Death”, nothing compared to the music that so joyfully lead our cortege.  In Constitution Square a brightly-lit platform awaited us from where we presented ourselves to the people keen to applaud us.  Then some children joined us, many of whom were knee-high to a grasshopper, and they sang a song that said something like “children are pestering for peace”, banging on pots and pans, with mums singing along enthusiastically and fun-loving marchers who were up for a party.

“Would you take out some money for me?  I can’t see very well,” a man with thick glasses blurted out.

“I can’t see the numbers very well.  Would you mind accompanying me to the cash machine?”  So I followed him like a robot unable to believe what he’d just asked me.

“Do you understand it?”

“Well, a bit…”

“So, go on!”

“How much?”

“50 euros”

“Current account or credit card?”

“No, no, I have a savings account, you know?”

“So savings.  Enter your pin number.”

“But I already told you I can’t see the numbers…”

“Good Lord!”

“But aren’t you one of those peace people who spoke?”

“Yes…”

“So therefore I trust you, go on, enter: 27…”

Astonished I read out step by step everything that appeared on the screen., like someone serving in McDonalds, “would you like fries with that? Large or medium coke?”

“Do you want the receipt on the screen or printed?”

“No, no,” waving his hand, “I want the money.”

“But the receipt to check the amount you wanted?”

“Oh, ok, on paper, sure.”

“There you are.  Take the card and the money.”

And he went away, happy as Larry, while I stood there in shock.

The reactions that our very presence arouses are amazing.  I would never have thought that anyone could ask me something because I am a peace marcher and therefore I must be trustworthy…

I was so amazed, that I walked through the Square randomly, and suddenly, I saw again the posy; a young girl was carrying it in her hands in front of me.  I bent down closing my eyes in delight, ready to breath the perfume, but my nose hit something hard.  It was porcelain, to my disappointment.

It’s bad enough that I can’t remember what day of the week it is, but to forget that we are almost in winter and there is no jasmine is even worse!

13 comments to The Malagan Posy

  • Angelo F.

    Basta poco, a farci percepire che cosa potrebbe essere il mondo, la vita, se riuscissimo a deporre per qualche tempo i vestiti dell’inganno, della supposizione, del sospetto verso tutti (che ci fa tanto intelligenti e astuti, dicono…). Ci viene concesso in pochi, selezionati momenti, ma è come respirare aria d’alta montagna…
    E affascinante, avvincente, è questo progressivo cambiamento di atmosfere, di contesti, di ambienti, reso ancora più attraente dal mutare delle lingue, delle voci… è veramente come un attraversamento delle diverse umanità che compongono questo nostro mondo, scoprendole tanto diverse tra di loro e, in profondità, bisognose della stessa solidarietà con tutti.
    Grazie.

  • Monica Glebocki

    Se si potesse vivere un questo modo disarmato e disarmante…….siamo tutti diversi ma anche uguali.

  • Lia Desotgiu

    Bellissimo.

  • Daniela Cabrera

    Gracias Liliana! Muy emocionante poder leer tu experiencia de la Marcha… Un abrazo, a todos tus compañeros y compañeras también,
    Daniela TPP

  • Matias

    Hola Liliana,
    Muy divertida anécdota!!
    Es así, el trabajo de ser embajador de la Paz es arduo…
    Saludos,
    Matías

  • Petra Frost

    Cara Liliana, grazie per questo bellissimo racconto pieno di profumo di gelsomino.

  • Alessandra

    Grande Liliana,

    l’impresa è bellissima e i tuoi racconti sono appassionanti e pieni di sentimento. Quanta strada abbiamo ancora da fare, purtroppo..

    Alessandra (TPP saltuaria)

  • Maria

    Que gusto leerte.
    Abrazos

  • Roberto

    Grande Liliana, sei davvero un grandissimo esempio. Spero che presto mi possa raccontare di persona tutta questa fantastica esperienza, così potrei capire molte cose per cercare di essere migliore, come il mondo che state cercando di svegliare con questa marcia.

  • Carmen Mata

    Hola, Liliana.
    No sabía que veníais a Málaga. Si no, habría ido a veros y habría intentado saludarte en persona.
    Me ha encantado tu crónica de la biznaga.
    Mando un fuerte abrazo para todos los que componéis la Marcha y mucho ánimo. Estas iniciativas son importantes. Mucho.
    Ah, los de la lista ittraductores también te echamos mucho de menos. ¡Vuelve pronto!

  • Ho a che fare con numeri che scorrono e indicano statistiche su cui qualcuno poi imbastisce teorie.
    E’ stato bello tuffarsi in questa parentesi d’umanità verace.
    Grazie

  • Maria

    Hola Liliana.
    Es interesante ver que seguís adelante con total normalidad.

  • Liliana tu descripción es bastante sentida.Esos aromas a jazmín y a naranjos en flor de tu Sevilla han llegado hasta mí. Gracias por compartir con los que no estamos allá toda esa aventura y esperanza de un mundo liberador y anclado en un bello remanso de paz y concordia.Pues mira, que hasta de ángel serviste, que belleza. Abrazos