In Taganga for a week to study Spanish with a tutor. Life there fell in to a routine staying in Villa Mary, basically a family home with a few spare rooms ($5 a night) and here is a typical day:
09:00 Wake up sweaty. Shower.
09:30 Sweat some more, scratch bites, peanut butter sandwich for breakfast.
10:00 Do some homework and go over the previous days lesson.
12:00 Pop round the corner for lunch to a house that has a couple of tables outside it. The choice, chicken or beef served with rice, chips, patacones, beans and salad with ice-tea. Filling and tasty ($3).
14:00 Start school, I say school, it was a roof-top balcony with a view out of the sea. We even did some of our conversation in hammocks.
18:00 Finish school, head hurting from too much information, buy Aguila beer ($1.50) to start relaxation time.
19:00 Back to Villa Mary to read and play with Daisy, the family's dog. Daisy has a very ugly, loveable face and stupid pink hair ties giving her pig-tails. She smells.
20:00 Dinner somewhere then read Che's biography and maybe study some more before bed.
My tutor was a nice man who'd had an interesting life. He spoke such good English because when he was in his mid twenties he left behind his wife and kids in Colombia and went to work on a cruise ship, not enjoying it much he got off in Maine, U.S.A with only $5 in his pocket and managed to stay for four years. Our conversations were a bit odd, he'd tell me things in half Spanish, half English so that I could understand them then ask my opinion. Things like what do you think about the idea of a socialist republic in Colombia or what was my opinion on him cheating on his wife once while he'd been in America. It's pretty hard with very limited Spanish to answer these questions, perhaps this is why we're taught about simple topics like pencil cases when we learn in England.
On the final day of lessons I blocked the toilet. There's a sign saying don't put paper in the loo but after 26 years* of wiping and dropping it's hard to break the habit so I slipped up a few times. Anyway, probably a bit too graphic. Thinking my Spanish was better than it is I tried to explain the problem to the friendly woman who runs the hostel, from the moving of furniture and mime display that followed what I'd actually said was 'the toilet is a roadblock'. Still a long way to go with the learning.
*This is a rough estimate, you'll have to ask my parents when I started doing this for myself.
- ▼ November (6)
- ► 2010 (46)