Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Language brain meltdown

My 3 days of Spanish classes are over. What did I learn? I learnt that it´s a long while since I tried to learn something!

Ana, the teacher, was great, very sweet, patient and extremely clear. There were only 2 of us in the class which meant it was very intensive (and intense!)

A lot of what we covered I kind of already knew, but only in a theoretical way that meant I could recognise it if I saw it written down, but wasn´t able to construct it from scratch.

Now I need to practice, practice, practice! I´ve been picking up every free Spanish paper I can find, and yesterday I bought El Pais. It took me a good couple of hours to read, and I was looking a lot of stuff up in the dictionary. But slowly, slowly it´s sinking in. I´m off to an intercambio tonight - same one I went to last Wednesday, but this week I´m determined to speak at least some Spanish!

I did manage to speak a little bit on Monday evening. I met up with Behram, another Vaughan dropout (!), in a great little bar near Sol. Within 10 minutes, a fellow student from his Spanish school had arrived, along with his mother. They were German so we spoke a mishmash of English, Spanish and German for a bit. Then Behram decided to talk to (I should really say chat up) the 2 girls sitting by us who were speaking Spanish but clearly weren´t natives. They turned out to be a German and a Polish girl, both somewhat the worse for several sangrias! Very friendly though, and for a couple of hours the 6 of us chatted in a bizarre combination of Spanish, English, German, Italian (the German guy´s mum spoke Italian, as does Behram) and some French! I think by the end of it we´d created a whole new language.

At midnight, Behram and I decided we needed pizza - obviously! Off we went to a tiny sidestreet with a little bar that did pizzas to share. Very tasty it was too. However, the evening - or should I say the morning - went a little downhill. First of all, an Indian guy had a pop at Behram basically for "not being Indian enough" or words to that effect. It clearly really got to him and as we were about to leave, he spotted a tiny mouse under the next table. Being the soppy, animal-friendly thing I am, and after a few too many beers, I went to pick it up. Far too easy. It was way too docile and I soon discovered that was because it had clearly been bitten just above one of its back legs. It was very weak and simply sat in my hand. I probably should have done the decent thing and put it out of its misery, but I simply couldn´t do it. I kept it with me, tucked it in my fleece pocket and got a cab home (at 4am after Behram and I had rather loudly sung a duet in the street!). Once in the house, I made it a little nest from a tupperware box, some kitchen roll and cotton wool. I put a tiny bottletop of water in the box, along with some bits of bread. I have to say that by this time it had rallied a little, was moving around and briefly looked interested in the food. Feeling quite optimistic, I went to brush my teeth, then went to check on it. Unfortunately, it was now an ex-mouse. Deceased. Ceased to be. Still, I like to think that I made its last few hours a little more bearable! I am such a sucker for anything small and furry (stop making up your own jokes).

Anyway, Easter weekend is nearly upon us. I have no plans! I move to my new place next Tuesday so I need to start sorting stuff out. But for now, I am free of any obligations and responsibilities. Better get on with practicing Spanish and STILL looking for a job!

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