Language school and life in Granada

And happiness is lunch with a classmate sitting on the edge of the concrete canal that masquerades as the main river in Granada. Need I mention the wonderful bread, chorizo and goat cheeses? 

Finally I know where to go for an excellent supermercado. Yes, El Cortes Ingles.  The most wonderful variety of foods and we both bought a blue goat cheese (blue cheese, not blue goat). Mature, crumbly and nice in fresh bread. And the chorizo – of the two types one was wonderful and the other, half the price, wasn’t. 

Walking home I looked up to see a statue of a bronze horse rider on top of a building, balancing on balls/globes and with something hanging off the horse’s tail. An unusual statue. What, or who, do you think needs to be remembered in that way?

 

 And so now, work. The other two in the class are a step ahead of me so I’m peddling hard. He is a long way and she a little. Astounding what we’ve covered to date and I must work to keep up. 😊

More on working

Another day and much more to learn. 

And I learnt two very significant things: what it feels like to be the kid who is behind in the class; and, that I’m not in class A2.1 this week as I’d thought, but A2.2 (level A2, week 2)!

I thought I was repeating the first week of A2 after months of living in an english only world.  No, being in A2.2 explains why everything is new and difficult. It’s meant to be new! And of course it’s difficult.  In a minute I’m going out to the Bib-Rambla Plaza and, while having coffee there I’ll try and sort out some of the differences between the 3 past tenses we’ve done so far. Yes, I understand but just can’t pull it together when we speak or do exercises. I can’t remember WHICH conjugation I should use in which situation. Aggghhh. Tomorrow I may organise some extra classes, starting next week, even if I have an epiphany tonight. 

I need a strategy like an uncle I had used: slow, very slow speech. Traps the audience and gives the speaker a lot of time to find words. Why was he was so slow? Possibly more because of a heavy and extended use of alcohol, not limited english language skills. Worked for him and now I need it for past tenses. What’s worse, I know there are many more past tenses to come. For me they are not as important as having enough Spanish to speak and understand effectively. I don’t need advanced Spanish language skills. Just enough to manage comfortably, both understanding and speaking. 

And time

Time is distorted for me being here. How can it simultaneously go quickly and slowly. Four school days already completed now, and time has passed quickly, yet the week seems to be quite extended forever as I need a weekend to walk and explore Granada. Sometimes in class I check the time. Surreptitiously. Then, at times, a class finishes rapidly and at other times it doesn’t.  

I like it when our professors chat with us. Because they are speaking in a class they generally constrain their level of vocabulary and their speed. They try and ensure we understand them and I enjoy listening and trying to understand. Gives me some much needed confidence that I may one day understand enough to be able to function in Spanish. 

Living in centre Granada

Living here is great. It’s a little noisy with the streets, cafes and shops below and neighbours above, besides and below.  Dogs bark at each other more than Im used to. Luckily most are small yappy things and when they lunge at each other, as they often do, it’s more optimism writ large than anything else.  And the kids are noisier. Often in groups many compete to make the most noise, to shout the loudest. Their older siblings are out much later and also shout into the wee hours. Come to think of it I’ve heard a lot of demanding little kids so I guess dogs and kids are less constrained than you might expect in such a close living area. All seems very good natured.

And I love it. Everything is close, the area is made for pedestrians as streets around here are almost all one way and there are few cars in many. Basically, parking in many streets around here is impossible. And I suspect parking stations are expensive. Look at this view of the Bib-Rambla Plaza, just near me:

  

The same types of houses as I live in are to the right, over different types of shops, mainly cafes/restaurants. Each cafe/restaurant also has seats in a covered area to the left and, you can’t see it but various modern versions of souks are off to the right, close shops up the narrow lanes selling the types of souvenirs and things you probably get in many Arab markets.

In the morning birds start chirping at 7ish. The sky lightens roughly 7 to 7.30 ish and the sun arises soon after 7.30am. Life at that hour is still very quiet, except for the street cleaners and garbage removers who mostly finish about then. Hmm, after disturbing those lucky to be still in their beds!

Gradually the area comes to life. So by the time I head to school, at 8ish, kids are being walked to theirs and others are off to work. Many bars are open. Going to a bar for a coffee start to the day is very common. 

I head to my favourite cafe/restaurant near school, have a coffee, and revise for the day ahead. School starts at 9 and the nearby kids’ school opens its gates at about 8.55. My fellow drinkers this morning included another woman who looked to be catching up on her work and a married couple. They sat opposite each other and argued repetitively for about 15minutes.  I went for a brief walk, ran into a classmate and we headed off to school. 

Afterwards we headed off to El Corte Ingles, again. Yes, more bread, cheese and chorizo. And I recharged my phone account to provide a hot spot for my iPad. 

So, Friday tomorrow and week one nearly finished. And tomorrow may just be the day I go to one of the best churro and chocolate shops in Granada, just near school. 

  

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