Is it Week 5 already? It’s been a short week and a long day.
Tuesday was a public holiday and the school threw in Monday so the students and staff can have a real mid-term break. That’s 4 days to fly to Barcelona, Paris, London, Lisbon, anywhere or drive to the many quaint cities and villages around Valladolid.
I visited Avila an ancient town and a UNESCO site (yes another one – Spain has the third largest number of UNESCO sites in the world, after Italy and China).
Avila is about 90 minutes’ drive from Valladolid and another 1 hour from Avila is the Gredos, a mountain range with pine forests, cattle grazing pastures and horse trails. It was wonderful.
The weather was amazing for an end-October weekend. It was a long hot summer no doubt and the leaves are just beginning to turn and fall. Grape picking is still going on at the vineyards. A wee late so this year’s wine will be not be the best. No se.
Come Wednesday we went back to normal – more grammar and vocabulary. We learn how to use the words “Me Gusta” and to write about all the things we like. Me gusta leer; No me gusta fumar; Me gustan las peliculas romantica; etc. (I like to read; I don’t like smoking; I like romantic movies)
Spent the next 2 days after class preparing for an examination on Friday and suddenly realized what we’ve been taught. Must admit not being very conscientious in the past weeks and was simply attending classes without appreciating the lessons. It’s like eating without tasting.
It isn’t difficult or easy but during the revision I figured the rationale and approach of language classes. Of course I still read and speak in the present tense and am a long way from being fluent. But at least I’m beginning to make simple sentences and write short paragraphs.
That’s important because this morning’s exam was about using all the building blocks we’ve learnt and string them into something sensible for the native speaker. In other words, we are beginning to speak their language.
What a breakthrough! This is the best birthday present I’ve given to myself – a new language and a new door to a new world. Hooray!
As I get closer to another big figure, it’s only proper to indulge in serious adult stuff, don’t you think? So tonight I’m going for a show at the bull ring – The Hole cabaret at Plaza de Toros. And then some heavy drinking and binging in Plaza Mayor, and probably have a grand hangover tomorrow.
Or maybe I should stick to a more mature agenda, have an early night and watch the sunrise…