I have had a desire to learn Spanish ever since I first came to Spain when I was 10. I thought I was pretty good at the language, but arriving here sure proved me wrong! I felt discouraged for the first few weeks, but soon decided to accept it as a challenge, not a defeat. I am now taking 5 Spanish classes per week, have a group of Spanish speaking friends, attend Flamenco, Salsa and Bachetta classes and play soccer with Spaniards and Spanish teachers, and go to a Spanish church. I still have a lot of trouble understanding everything, but if i ask people to speak more slowly it isn’t too bad, and with all that practice I am improving pretty fast!
But Language is just a tiny part of the Spanish experience. The lifestyle is totally different to home, and although i love it, it took a little while to get used to. Lunch isn’t until 2:30, then siesta is from 3:00 til 5:30, dinner is at 10:00 and an early night is 12:00 or 1:00! And I have heard that it is even later in summer, as the sun doesn’t set till about 10:30. This pattern was very confusing for the first few weeks, because when i say that siesta is from 3:00-5:30. that means that everyone takes a nap, even the shop keepers. So all the shops close for the afternoon then open up for the night. It doesn’t take too long to get into the swing of things though.
I mentioned that I am doing flamenco, salsa and bachetta lessons. Dancing is a big part of the Spanish life. Flamenco is not as popular, being more traditional and exclusive, but it is challenging and a lot of fun! Salsa is the main dance of Spain. It is what is danced in all the clubs. Night clubs are very different here too. They don’t come with the same connotations as at home, they are simply a place to dance with friends. sure people drink and hook up at nightclubs, but that is not the primary reason that you go clubbing. It is to dance! Sport is not popular for girls, but I enjoy training with the soccer team at the uni twice per week.
The city of Sevilla, where I am living, is one of the most beautiful cities I have seen, and I have seen quite a few! There are so many old buildings, churches and tiny, cobbled streets with tapas bars and miniature pot-plant-filled balconies. It amazes me constantly that the buildings here are many times older than our country! Many of the buildings are from B.C.! Almost every street that I walk down has something that I want to take a photo of.
I could not have chosen a better country than Spain, or a better town than Sevilla to study in, and I don’t regret it at all. I am looking forward to making more Spanish friends, improving my language skills and living it up in general!
un saludo, y hasta la próxima vez!