In Practice, Production on May 20, 2012 at 3:36 pm
So, Valentin has attacked me in my sleep. He has pounced at my face and clawed me above my left eye. There’s a deep red gash that is very long and that I kept having to explain to the kids at school.
“Mi gato.”, I would shrug. “Yo estaba dormiendo anoche y……yo no sé….algo asustó a mi gato o….algo…ah…lo ha asustado?…yo no sé…una mosca…eh…cualquier…”
Such a pleasure for these people, to listen to my assault on their language. To stand by and watch as I single-handedly ruin it. They do quite well, generally, it has to be said, under the circumstances, in terms of remaining polite.
Please, please stop, their faces beg. We don’t want to know your stories, or about the things that have happened to you, if it means listening to this.
But I needed them to know. Apart from the fact that I didn’t want the gash on my forehead to be quietly attributed to some sort of alcoholic mishap, it had been a first for me, being attacked in my bed. It’s as though a rite of passage has been successfully navigated. In a way I feel as though I’ve shared an experience with the James Bonds and Chuck Norrises of this world. More
In Practice on October 12, 2011 at 10:36 am
Lessons have begun again. We’ve been joined by Stefan, a German who has been here for eleven years, and someone else is due next week. In a fortnight or so there’ll be five of us we’re told by Luis, the teacher. Two hours is a pretty punishing length of time to sit still and attempt to acquire language, but none of us can make it on any other day but Friday. We feel fairly smug studying alongside someone who’s been here so long, so we must guard against that I suppose.
We like Luis – he likes food and wine, the Arab history of Spain and getting out into the open country, so we feel compatible. Also, he’s from Madrid, so when he speaks we understand it, as opposed to the consonant-free andaluz of the average Tarifeño. Well, K understands him. I do my best. Picking up between forty and sixty percent and guessing at the rest seems to be working for me so far. Given my distractable nature it’s more or less what I’ve been doing with English all my life, so no big change.
He’s invited us along the next time he and his “little group” go walking in the mountains. I will pester him about it too, until he honours the invitation. We need to find ourselves more frequently in the company of Spaniards. Especially K; unlike her I spend my days in Spain and not in glorious British isolation on the Rock but, to be honest, when it comes to reaching my goal of good conversational Spanish “Teacher! Alejandro stuck his pen in my arm!” doesn’t really help. Read the rest of this entry »
In Practice, Production on December 13, 2010 at 10:43 am
Blood. Spain. Me.
Where’s this going?
I don’t know.
Hot blooded. That’s what they say of the Spanish. Or Mexicans come to think of it. Or Italians. Basically anyone south of Brighton. It’s an awful cliché of course. A stereotype; it conjures images of fraught love trysts, fighting in the streets, bull rings, criminality and…well, blood.
This week I have had to jump through another couple of (relatively painless) bureaucratic hoops because I need to go to a doctor in the extracción department and give a sample of mine. If I’m to continue on my current medication then my blood is going to have to behave itself. More