The good news: with only Andre and I in A2.3 our differences rapidly became clearer. I was delighted that at the break he asked to be moved to a class that was progressing more rapidly. I need the opposite and would be happy to repeat a week as I have so many gaps that appear rapidly in conversation.
I get about 3 hours one on one per day this week. Very intense plus I have homework, I find some or are given it.
In some classes one professora sometimes equates volume with comprehension, louder = better understood. And she always says everything is very easy. I always think except when you are an old foreigner! I like her as a teacher though. She is very grounded and keeps nattering on and so I get a lot of practise listening. And I have to speak. Trust me, the details she has winkled out of me over the past week …….just so we can keep changing tenses and extend the vocab we use.
My other professora is very constructive. As I talk she notes my errors and goes over them as we progress. Very useful. And yes, I have a long long long way to go. At this rate I’ll need to return later in the year rather than go to Italy! Always an option but not until later in the year, after summer and early autumn. Places like Granada are apparently very busy during the summer holidays, lots of summer camps etc.
In a little exercise today I excelled myself. Question: what instructions would you give the family before you go away. Well, I meant to say: give food to the animals! What I said was ‘eat the animals’. Oh well. Moving on …..
A few shots of the day:
More steps: typical of the areas below the Alhambra. This area is on the other side from my previous shots. Less touristy merely because it’s not as easily found.
No points for guessing that this is the Alhambra! From a different side. Plainer than I’d expected and the alcazar doesn’t stand out as much. Yes, impressive because of its age and the history it now represents but I’ve seen more spectacular old castles elsewhere in Spain.
Costs of living
Always hard to work out what it costs to live as locals do. Housing prices vary considerably, as you’d expect. And a lot of food seems cheap, eating out and fresh food. Out topic in class one day was what teachers are paid: I don’t know where they fit on the general wage ladder but the range is apparently from about 900€/month to 1450€ depending on the type of school. That is, upwards from 10,800€ per year. Cost out rent, eating, drinking etc and you won’t get rich.
One of my dilemmas has been where the rubbish goes. I knew it had to go outside, and often, but couldn’t find the green bins I’d expected. This shot suggests others have the same dilemma. I asked a teacher and it seems dumping it in a restaurant bin is ok.
A few metres outside the central tourist area the amount of dog shit is too obvious. Inside the line, very clean. Surrounding area, not so good. Very surprising. The area of picking up is considerably larger in Madrid!
My favourite cafe/restaurante, is just near school. You can drink inside or outside. The woman in the corner arrives a little before me each day. It’s a good place to have a coffee and complete revision before classes each day.
Unprepossessing from outside but nice inside and with an outside area on the other side of this shot.
Ahh, the churros and chocolate at the place near school i photographed last week are excellent. The content of churros doesn’t bear thinking about: flour, water, salt and a raising agent mixed and piped into very hot oil. Eaten hot, and with the lovely thick Spanish chocolate, it’s great. Maybe once a month or year. Tried it this morning and, made freshly, it is lovely. I am getting very keen on the chocolate.
Parents wait with their little kids outside the schools in the morning, collect them at lunchtime, and take them back after. This school opens its gates at 8.55. School finishes at 2. The amount of homework even little ones get seems ridiculous, 2 hours a night for under 10s and 3hours for an 11 year old. Doesn’t make for happy parents.
The poster below confirmed it: yes, apparently there was a bull fight on Sunday and on Monday the meat was for sale in this shop. The fight was to raise money for the Downs Syndrome organisation.
And the daily cultural lectures: last night’s was on Spanish history, the pre- Roman period to 1492; and tonight, it’s something to do with being foreign.
The lecture was actually on some of the foreign words co opted by the Spanish. Implicitly it was also on the misunderstandings possible when using a foreign word.
One intriguing word was ‘crack’. Yes, you think damage, drugs.. No. It means a financial crash! Seems as though the Italians use crack for that too but our teacher ascribed it to the english language. So, their crack is our crash!
Many meanings can be slightly different and hence challenging. Pregnant, for example, is ’embarassado’. So different and not easily understood. Some days I watch the kids over at the school and remind myself that if they could learn it I can. And I also know that many words are similar between Spanish and english, change the accent and some letters and it’s ok.
Tonight I needed a hot chocolate to sustain me. I have a heap of homework, again, allocated and self selected. I’m finding verbs difficult and need a lot more practise selecting and conjugating. And then there are the prepositions…. I understand a lot more within the school, very little on TV and a little in some papers. I have a long way to go. A long long way….