Thursday, April 7, 2011

Is it crazy like the movies???


One would think that if you’re in Spain, you learn a lot of Spanish.
Not if you’re only roommate is your best friend from the States and you hang out with Americans/Brits all the time because you go to a school that Spaniards don’t go to because they don’t need to learn Spanish.
My Spanish has gotten better, but not at the level I want it to be. I feel like UNM lied to me when they said this was an “intensive language program” because this is not what I expected.
However, as slow as the classes have progressed, I still feel like I’m learning something. I know a lot more vocabulary and my writing has gotten better. Speaking is still hard. It takes my brain about five minutes to think of what I want to say, and even then I still get it wrong and then whoever I’m talking to gives me a dirty look and moves on with their life.
One of the things on my to do list here in Granada is go to an intercambio session. An intercambio is a one on one or group of people who want to practice different languages. I know of one that runs Tuesday through Thursday but it’s during a time I like to go to the gym so I always miss it. Then Lauren heard of one last night and it was convenient for me so I decided to go with her.
Back-story: My whole life it’s been really hard for me to meet/talk to new people. It really freaks me out. I’ve always been quiet and It’s one of the reasons why people think I’m a bitch when they first meet me. It’s also part of the reason I didn’t join my sorority until I was a sophomore.
Anyway, I’m determined to conquer it. The past year I feel like I’ve become more outgoing and talkative and I want to keep it up.
Lauren and I finished dinner and headed out. By the time we got to the place, it was really crowded and there was no room at the table so we huddled in the corner.
This older guy started talking to us. His name is Fran and he’s lived in Granada his whole life. It was awkward to say the least. Lauren and I kept running out of things to talk about and I felt like he was too old to relate to us.
Things got better when we started talking to another girl named Lucia. She was really nice. Then this guy who looked like Shaggy from Scooby-doo came to talk to us. His name was Alex, he’s 23 and he works for a television studio operating cameras. He was the first Spanish guy I’ve met that hasn’t given me the creeps!
His friend Pepe joined the conversation and the four of us had a really nice dialogue going on. Then Pepe asked the ever-infamous question.
Pepe: So I have a question… are the parties all wild and crazy like in the movies with the fraternities and all that?
Me: No… no *in the Mexican superman voice from family guy it’s not like that at all, it’s way more tame.
He was very disappointed. I don’t blame him though. Before coming here, I thought all Spanish men were tall, dark and handsome like my lover Enrique Iglesias. Curse the illusions of Hollywood!
We finally left about 11:30. I was really glad we finally did that. I was in much need for some Spanish practice and once I got over the initial nervousness of talking to random people it was fun! Definitely something I’ll do again.
Palabra del día: another phrase: Tengo hacer malabares which is an expression Alex taught me last night meaning I’m juggling a lot of things.

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