Thursday, 24 November 2011

El Día de Acción de Gracias


This year, I'm going to be celebrating Thanksgiving for the first time with some American friends. I'm having dinner with them after my Spanish class and am really looking forward to it!

To get into the spirit of things, I thought I'd pause for a minute during this busy day and think about what I am actually thankful for - it's an exercise that most people don't do nearly enough and puts things nicely into perspective! Here's what I came up with:

  • I am young and have plenty of time to achieve my goals.
  • I am in good health.
  • I have an amazing family, which I can always depend on.
  • I have a fantastic group of friends who always keep in contact with me, no matter how far away I go and no matter how long I stay there.
  • I have met some incredible new people since arriving here.
  • I have had a good education.
  • I am employed.
  • I like my job.
  • There is a roof over my head, food in my belly and a cup of tea in my hand.

    And, of course...

  • I'm in Spain!!
Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Una cosa que me hizo reír


So yesterday I was walking around Haro at lunchtime and was taking a few photos, when two men stopped beside me in a car.  'Oye,' they shouted, 'sacanos una foto también!  Somos los más guapos del pueblo!'
('Hey, take a photo of us too, we're the best looking guys in the town!)

I love Spanish people.

'Los más guapos del pueblo'

Unas noticias (por fin!)


So, dear readers, it has been a while since I wrote anything because I have been sooo busy!  To give you an idea of my schedule, yesterday I left home at 9.15, worked till 5.45, waited for a lift back to Logroño, arrived at around 7 and went straight to a group language exchange till 9.  After that, I went to the pub with some people from the group, but I always class this as ´studying´ because we usually speak Spanish and I only drink mosto (a sweet grape juice that´s very nice, but actually about double the price of wine.)  I eventually got back to my flat at 11pm, started cooking dinner at quarter past and collapsed into bed at 2, after procrastinating for ages with today´s lesson plans... how very español my timetable is getting!

Now, I know you´re going to think that going to the pub can´t possibly be studying, but it´s definitely one of the best ways I know to learn a language.  It´s much more natural than any classroom setting, you get used to hearing slang words and listening to people speaking at a normal pace, you can always have a drink if you need to loosen up your tongue (!) and most importantly, you enjoy yourself.  I just don´t see why learning has to be all about grammar and books all the time!

Last week, I also got a great cultural lesson in the pub because because all of the Spanish people in our group were telling me about this drink called 'zurracapote.' According to them, it tastes like juice and has no immediate effect on you, but after about half an hour after drinking it, you find yourself completely sloshed.  The waiter of the bar overheard our conversation (Spanish people talk LOUDLY), told me that I had to try it and gave me a bottle that he had as a gift!  How nice was that?!!   

In the countryside ready to climb!
One thing that's great about the people here is that they're so enthusiastic about where they come from and want to teach you things, show you things and take you places.  For example, the first time I met my friend, Sara, she got all excited, saying:  'I have to show you LA RIOJJJAAA!!  Start by coming climbing!'  Now, I've got to say that it was very reluctantly that I agreed to this, because I'm not exactly the greatest fan of heights and my arms are like two twigs that would snap under any kind of pressure.  And the first time I tried to scale up the rock, I had all of this in mind and I had to come down after 5 minutes because my legs were shaking so much that I couldn´t support myself.  The second time was much better – I kept telling myself not to look down and not to think of anything other than climbing to the top. And I made it! Take that, fear, twiggy arms and shaky legs!!  

Anyway, I have loads more to say, but unfortunately, I need to devise some kind of plan on how to educate Spain's children before I go to sleep.  More news will be forthcoming at the end of the week!
He made it look so easy...
The views were beautiful!