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Posts Tagged ‘espanol’

Last Friday I had my first proper outing, Spanish style. My roommate invited me out to meet a few of her friends at a bar near Puerta del Sol, a cute little joint whose bar was positively lined with jarras of sangria ready to be slurped down by those brave enough to venture out in the snow. Yes, that’s right, I said snow! It’s snowed in Madrid, and surprisingly as far south as Málaga, several times in the past week.

The snow was fodder enough for the beginning of the conversation. I was able to follow most of what was being said but there were times when I’d fade out, exhausted from the effort, only to drift back in, now able to understand, but with no concept of the subject at hand. But this is what I gathered over the evening: conversations everywhere are exactly the same. We talked about the weather, we bitched about traffic, we discussed politics, and we laughed. The highlight of the night for me was realizing that about 80% of the time that I contributed, no one looked at me like I was talking like I was from Mars. I got nearly all my points across, even in semi-complicated topics, and was well pleased.

Next stop, a smaller bar in the area that I’d never seen on a street I didn’t remember, in an area the boyfriend and I had traipsed through millions of times but must have kept to the same few tracks. 5€ mojitos were the boast of the bar but I was much happier seeing the shiny silver bowl of maíz frito (corn nuts!) sitting out, pretty as you please.

And even more so by what turned out to be a necklace of felt poppies worn by another bar patron and made by her grandmother.

Going out at 8:30 p.m. is fabulous. You can have four hours of drankin’, snackin’ & chattin’ and still be home before the metro closes for the night. Must do it again soon.

Oh, right. Central and North Americans: apparently a sizeable population of Spain thinks that México is part of North America. What say you? Apparently there is no definitive answer to this debate.

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Well, having your loved one with you in another country is a sure-fire way to ignore everything you don’t want to think about and to spend all your time looking at neat stuff you’ve never seen before. Two and a half weeks flew by and the boyfriend went back to England last night. What do I do now? Why, get a job, of course! I have two conflicting issues in my search for work.

First, I know I understand Spanish decently, but I become absolutely flummoxed when confronted with the majority of the Madrileńos I encounter. My proficiency breaks down relatively early in a conversation and while that’s not necessarily a problem in everyday life, just an annoyance, I worry about whether employers will take the chance on sponsoring me without a better grasp of the language. So I’ve thought about taking a month-long intensive course here in Madrid. I found a place that is much cheaper than others, which is both a boon and something to be questioned, and can afford not only to spend the next three months here, but pay all my bills and still have several months’ income available afterward, should I not find work within that time.

Second, what if I don’t find work within that time? I don’t want to go back, so I’ve thought about how long to give myself here in Madrid before high-tailing it to another city and trying again. A month is the time I can come up with. I need to find work within a month, or at least I need to have exhausted all options of employment here in Madrid that I can find, before trying another city.

Do you see the rub? A month of classes would make me more marketable but I want to find work within a month. Over and over again, what I need to remind myself of is that I have done the math and I know how much money I have and what my expenses are and how long I can stay in Spain even while having enough to start over again in NYC, should it come to that, even if I don’t find work. And that number is somewhere around 5 or 6 months.

So buck up! Do what you gotta do! Find work while taking that intensive course! It gets out early enough in the day that I can still canvas the city looking for the ever-elusive euro.

It’s for real real snowing in Madrid! I need to find some gloves I like!

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