Sitting here in the study, listening to Spanish music, with a mountain of French revision to one side, Chinese on the other, English tea hidden somewhere behind my laptop, and with good intentions to study Italian and continue speaking Valencian this week, my head is perhaps slightly too full of different languages. I’m finding that the less I need to speak English (in the school it’s almost impossible to talk in English with the students as the oldest are only 11, so I usually have to resort to pigeon “inglis” or Castillian/Valencian), the more it’s being relegated to the back of the queue. This is the part of the year abroad that nobody tells you about! The fact that, unless I’m tutoring (more on that later), I refuse steadfastly to speak English, is proving to be incredible for my Spanish, but it might provide a fair few awkward moments at Christmas…
A few weeks ago I had an interview in an Academia de lenguas which had recently opened and was offered the job (contract and all!). However, the fact that it had recently opened means that I am going to have to wait for a while until they actually have students, which has coincided with a few different tutoring jobs cropping up, so I’m now probably going to reject the job and “be my own boss” meaning I will get 100% of the fee and not pay half to the academia. Tutoring so far has been fun, especially because one of the people I tutor already has an amazing level of English, especially for a 13 year old, meaning that the things we cover are a lot more complex and mean I have to think harder than in the school (I’m….wearing….blue… jeans… tirando pa negro (going on black) being changed for complex role plays and difficult grammar points).
Thursday after work Laura and I went to the cinema to watch Animales fantasticas y donde encontrarlos. I was sort of worried that being dubbed into Spanish would mean that it would lose some of the magia or that they would change the names of the animals but in the end it wasn’t a problem and was very much worth going to see. Also, England needs to sort its cinema game out, here it’s incredibly cheap!
Friday was Black Friday, which oddly doesn’t get translated hear to “viernes negro” and is just referred to as black “freeday”. I didn’t realise how big it was here, but I got into the spirit of things splashing out on three jumpers, gloves, a scarf and two new pairs of shoes. Winter is definitely coming, and this has been underlined by the fact that since Saturday it pretty much hasn’t stopped raining… (Note to self: Spanish pavements aren’t built with rain in mind and can be extremely slippery!) To cheer ourselves up, Pablo and I bought tickets to go and see the second leg of the Copa del Rey (King’s cup, Spain’s version of the FA Cup) on the 21st of December, València vs Leganes. You’ve got to love the magic of the cup tournaments, and even more so when we managed to bag two of the best seats in Mestalla for just 15€ each! Plus, it’s probably the only match that we are safe to go and watch as Leganes are one of only three teams that our beloved Valencia have managed to beat this year in the league… PETER VETE YA!
Finally, one thing that no one ever tells you about Spain is just how noisy it is… I’ve just spent five minutes listening to everything that I can hear from the study and here is the list:
- Traffic from the highway at the end of the street.
- Tram (every 5 minutes or so)
- 5 different televisions coming from various neighbours (The neighbour’s TV is also a little bit behind ours, so I hear everything twice if we are watching the same channel).
- The high heels of the woman who lives in the flat above us
- The scrape of her dog’s claws and the occasional bark.
- The arguing of the neighbours
- An occasional conversation in the street (Spanish people talk very loudly)
- Rain. 😦
It is therefore a very loud environment compared to what I have grown up in (and my mum has always complained that I’m loud!), but it is an environment that I have quickly gotten used to and that I even enjoy. It is very hard to feel alone in Spain, because you always hear almost everything that the neighbours are doing!
So now it’s time to try and combat this noise and try to study. Wish me luck!
Days until Falles: 105