No entiendo! Spanish Course in Sevilla
Last week I enrolled myself into two weeks of Spanish language school and Flamenco dance lessons. I have to say I absolutely hated the first 3 days of language classes. From the moment I stepped into the college everything was spoken in Spanish. I kind of knew that the classes would be taught in Spanish however I assumed the beginners class would be pretty basic, not so! After registering my name I was asked to go to a certain room where five or six people were sitting down completing a form. I sat down and started reading the form but I couldn’t make head or tail of it. I wrote in my name where it seemed obvious to do so and tried translating the rest of the form with my electronic translator. After a few minutes I realised this form was actually a language test to assess my skills so that I could be placed in the most appropriate class. I put my translator away and proceded to put question marks next to most of the questions on the form. Next I worked out that I needed to take my form to another room where my language skills would be further assessed via a conversation in Spanish, bah! The conversation went something like this . . . .
Señora Español: ¿Cómo estás?
Me: muy bien, ¿y tú?
Señora Español: bien, something in Spanish. Something in Spanish. Something in Spanish
Me: No entiendo (I’d reached my limit already!)
. . . . and then I was ushered off to the so-called beginners Spanish class. When I arrived there were already 5 students in the classroom and a teacher who was chatting away to them in Spanish. This is the beginner’s class? I asked myself. It felt like every 100 words or so I would hear something I recognised such as; mañana (tomorrow), muy bien (very good), tambien (also/as well), etc. The concentration required was intense. That day my class was only 2 ½ hours long but by the time it was finished I was absolutely exhausted and just wanted to go home and have a siesta. When I woke up the next morning I didn’t want to go back to class, it was just so hard and quite stressful. I know that sounds crazy . . . being stressed in Spain . . . while doing something many people dream of – learning another language. But that’s just how it was for the first few days. I guess it was a total culture shock and I’m sooo not used to not knowing what’s going on around me . . . my work colleges will attest to that :). The Flamenco dance classes however have been quite enjoyable. I go on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. These classes are also in Spanish but it’s not such a problem because I can just follow along with the instructor.
During the week I’ve been staying in the center of Seville with a Spanish family so on Friday afternoon Jon came and picked me up and we went back to our village of Sanlucar. My father in-law Cyril flew in from London on Thursday and will be staying with us for 2 weeks. On Saturday morning Jon, Cyril, cousin Salvador and I drove to the coastal town of Nerja for the weekend to visit cousin Anna-Maria, Aunty Anna and Uncle Eusabio. The weather in Nerja was delightful (not as hot as Seville). Quaint little tapas bars and a strong sense of community characterise the town. Everyone knows everyone in Nerja and they just pull up a seat and join you for the night. When our tapas bar closed at 1am our group (which had grown from 4 to 11 people) decided to continue on at another bar called Triana. At Triana there was live flamenco music and a really diverse age group, which was great to see. The bar was full of men and women clapping and singing out the lyrics to each song with intense emotion and boasting their best flamenco dance moves. The vibe of this place is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Even Jon surprised me with his enthusiasm for the music and willingness to get up on the dance floor. At 3am some of us (aka: me) ran out of steam so we headed back to our cousins house for the night.
This week I’m staying in the central Seville again for a second week of Spanish lessons. I hope to explore every corner of Seville city on foot and with some luck work out how to hire one of the city bicycles.
Bueno, have a question about our live in Spain? Just ask!
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Hasta luego x