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Popping out to Spain

You may have noticed that I live in Spain. Most Spaniards who are studying English firmly believe that a longish stay in the UK will turn them into fluent English speakers. I'm not so sure.

At home Maggie and I speak to each other in English and we live an English sort of life. At work my job is to talk in English. At home. on TV, the majority of series, dramas and films are American and they are broadcast in their original language version as well as the dubbed Spanish versions. We watch in English.

At work I must be doing something either wrong or right as they keep upping my hours. My contract was originally just 15 hours per week but from next Monday I will be teaching 34 hours. This doesn't leave me a lot of time for those little adventures that took us out to Spain - going to the pictures, roaming the area, doing the exhibitions and what not.

Most weekends we retire to Culebrón which is great in the relaxing sense but a disaster as regards our Hispanicisation. All of our pals in the area are Brits and Pinoso isn't exactly the centre of a thriving cultural scene. We tend to stay home and we even have British TV.

It's San Anton this weekend and in Cartagena there are different cakes and different variations on the themes that we saw in Ciudad Rodrigo when we lived there. I'd have liked to have a look but Culebrón took precedence. Nonetheless I did have a couple of conversations with students this morning that sent me scuttling to a speciality food shop that sells products from Salamanca province and to a bakers. I was a while buying the Salmantino stuff and the shop owner talked to me quite a lot because I amused him. That's why we had farinato for lunch. It turned out to be poor stuff - nothing like the farinato we ate in Ciudad Rodrigo; close to horrid in fact. In the bread shop I bought some of the Rollitos de San Anton - the aniseed flavoured biscuit rings associated with the animal blessing saint. I needed eggs to go with the farinato and, unable to find the specialist egg shop, I bought those from a little supermarket where all the women in the queue knew each other. I listened in to their tittle tattle and realised that for maybe the last forty minutes or so I'd been in Spain and not some British protectorate.

Who knows, if I went out more often I might end up agreeing with those Spanish people who think that a stay in a country helps with language acquisition?


  1. know the problem; falta de "imersion linguistica y almohada" as a charming basque lass had it a few months ago as we were riding along a canal ...........
    you don't HAVE to do more hours tho', you could say no! go on retire, yer old now, its allowed!


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