First day back at Don Quijote school, Madrid

Monday 11 May 2015, 7.30am

And still, except for traffic, nothing is happening. Chairs below are all still stacked, ready for the new day. Hopefully it will begin at 8am. The birds were up chirping by 6.30am and it was light then. The change in the time for first light, from when I was arrived a month ago, is astounding. More than an hour’s difference.

The temperature today should be high 30s. Wow. Higher everyday. The air in Granada was dry and it is here too at present. My washing took no time to dry. I could have used the washing/drying machine but the dry cycle apparently takes hours. The warm air took less than 30minutes. So, what to do!

New class

A new week. A new class of other foreigners: Americans, Chinese, Portuguese, Italian, Russian and me, the sole Australian. Yes, a broad mix again including an opera singer, medico, a searcher for a rich man from other than her country, a tourism student, an economist and another retiree.  As per usual, as in my limited experience most are graduates or soon to be grads adding another language to their armamentaria.

I like being back at Madrid Don Quijote. My teachers are new, to me anyhow. The first teacher this morning was so good. The second spoke so quickly I was at full attention for most of the 105 minutes. Yes, good for me in one way but hard to take in new stuff while focussed totally on understanding. I probably got 80%, made easier by my knowing the topic. She was only with us for today. Thankfully, as I’m not quite at her level. The first teacher stretches my knowledge by using a larger range of tenses and vocabulary. That’s good. I enjoyed it, knowing it was good practise. So, hopefully tomorrow’s other teacher is good.

Yes, a new tense today. Oh no, far from all I need to learn to manage effectively.  But this one, present subjunctive, clearly lifts the complexity of what it’s possible to say. My level is still very simple but each day I learn a little more. I’m most definitely planning on returning and on extending my knowledge of Spanish. 

After work I plagued the local bookshop owner. She has coffee. I bought one and we chatted. She was good to talk to and I’d like to drop in regularly. She was concerned that she didn’t interrupt whatever I was doing. On contraire, she did me a favour tolerating my awful spanglish.

Speaking with her raised issues of what’s grammatically correct and what people say. I said I was going back to my place. She told me how to say it more easily 😊. And I left her with half the large artisan bread I’d bought. She very kindly didn’t charge me for coffee. If I’d known she was going to do that I’d have paid first. I don’t want to intrude on her time and so can’t go back daily but I did enjoy it.

The Spanish book I’m currently reading is a simple one, for adolescent learners. So, ask me about gangs and gang membership or selling dope and I may have the relevant words. Not really up my alley but this book is quite easy for me to read with my trusty electronic dictionary ‘beside’ me. The other Spanish books I have are a little more complex as they use more tenses but probably offer more relevant vocabulary. Until now there has been little joy for me in reading them as they’ve been a little too hard. Give me another week or so and who knows……

9.18pm and it’s still very light and bright. The following photos were taken about 10.30pm last night, Sunday night. You can see how lively this place is, even on a Sunday. No shopping but bars and restaurants are open for long hours on Sunday.

The photo below is of the non-trendy cafe down to my right. See how busy it is. 10.30pm Sunday!   
Dog walkers meet, their dogs meet every hour of the day and night. The two bigger ones were enjoying chasing a ball. Everyone around here lives in a small or smallish apartment and so lives their life out here, in this space. So do their dogs and kids.


And the trendy place was also busy, as you can see below. This one also has many seats inside. Yes, busy. I don’t know how often people eat out. Many were having toast and tomato where I had breakfast but I don’t think most are paid enough to eat multiple meals out daily. I’ll find out. 


Madrid this week

Another fiesta this Friday! Don’t know why, yet, but think it’s the name day of the patron saint of Madrid. I’m sure I’ll find out in class this week. 

I’d like to go to Toledo for a day and that may be the best opportunity as no school on Friday. 
Who knows! 

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