Maggie isn't taking to Cartagena. I think it's the sticky weather more than anything but our new flat isn't very comfy either. Part of that is the lack of those bits and bats we take for granted - pegs, kitchen bins, hooks etc. More than that though we're living in a city, not a provincial town nor the countryside, so there is the noise of traffic roaring past all the time and, well, 210,000 people packed into a smallish sort of space. Watching the telly is a bit of a juggling act between being able to hear it at all and risking the neighbours banging on the ceiling with a stick!. I'm sure it will all improve as we settle in and get ourselves organised. We shall see.
Yesterday some people, a couple of young English women called Kate and Jane, interviewed me about working for them in their langauge school doing a few hours each week. The contact came through one of Maggie's teaching colleagues. It would suit me down to the ground and it sounded like straightforward enough work and something that I have experience of doing but I'm not sure that one of the two took to me. We shall see.
Nearly all of the English people that Maggie works with here are married to Spanish people. Consequence: they all speak good Spanish. Maggie has decided that she needs to find herself a Spanish course. My Spanish self esteem is now so low that I now go to quite complicated lengths to avoid any conversations. So an organised class sounded good to me too. I Googled the "official" langauge school here in Cartagena and went to talk to them. 120€ for 20 hours per week intensive course, 160€ for 16 hours per month on the long haul course or private tuition at 22€ an hour. Fortunately their first concern is to judge the level of competence through a written test so that they can form appropriate groups. The test was 80 questions long with a step change in difficulty after every five questions. The receptionist said she thought I was teetering between Intermediate and Advanced, based simply on our conversation, but as I was struggling by question 7 I think not. We shall see.
Finally, we're in a new town. So far we've done a few touristy things, the open top bus, the panoramic lift, the Civil War air raid shelters, the Rodin exhibition at the Modern Art Museum and a few exploratory things like checking out the train and bus stations. So far so good and it looks like there are plenty of good places to visit or gawp at. We shall see.