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Posts Tagged ‘language’

A friend I met here, D, and I went to Lisbon this weekend. It was three days/four nights of happy exuberance. We cracked ourselves up, laughing so hard we cried, saw various, wonderful things, ate wonderful food, spoke in Espantugese and played “spot the drug dealer” on Rua do Sao Augusto. It’s not hard. They’re in their 50s or older, shifty, wear sports coats and make eye contact and beelines at the tourists. No, thank you.

More later, when I’ve downloaded pictures and reconstructed events.

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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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When I first arrived in Madrid, I couldn’t tell whether it was my level of Spanish that was lacking or if the Castellano lisp was flying over my head. I determined to learn the lisp so Madrileños wouldn’t say, “Ey?” and I wouldn’t return the same to them. I’ve been trying hard, possibly too hard: sometimes I end up having a real lisp, putting that softness on ess sounds as well. One could definitely say that I have a horrific transatlantic accent (that line is stolen from a book, guess which one and win a prize TBD) and it needs to be fixed, pronto.

I had planned to go to a language school yesterday to talk to them about their intensive classes, which I can take for four weeks (20 hours per week) at a price of 580€, cheaper by about 130€ than others, which is both great and possibly worrying. It is my hope to try a class before committing, to that end I called the school on Saturday but they weren’t open. Because I’ve taken this kind of class before, I’ll basically know what to look for even though of course, all teachers are different. So I guess I have to wait another week to start classes, that’s fine, I’ll look for work this week and try to sit in on a class during the week sometime.

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We have water!

I took a shower! But it turns out that I did somehow break the hair dryer and I need to go buy another one. Except that my hair is wet. Still, I have a free Spanish class to be at in less than two hours. Grar. I was thinking about trying to find the owner of a restaurant within walking distance whose owner is known to an acquaintance of mine. It’s the best reference I have for now, so I’ll try it.

Turns out I will most likely have to leave the country for a short period of time, assuming I can even find a company that will sponsor me. Hope has not been extinguished, I have options. First and foremost the boyfriend needs to get here and we need to go all around this city and enjoy it and see if I want to stay here. If I don’t end up falling in love it’s pretty much a moot point anyway.

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La Prohibida – Flash

It’s taken me ages listening to this but I’m using it to figure out el acento Castellano.  Pfft, who knows when I’m getting this stuff right or not.  At present I have a possibly horrifying mish mash of accents, from Catalan to Mexican, Cuban and Dominican.

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