Monday, May 16, 2011

Thoughts on Spain

My Spanish book
I really enjoyed Spain and I hope to go back some day to visit some of the other cities such as Madrid, Seville, Mallorca, San Sebastian and many more! We adapted to the culture some what while we were there, such as eating our meals on more of a "Spanish" schedule.  We usually ate breakfast between 9-10, lunch from 1-3, and the supper from 8-9.  It was nice is Spain that things were open later than in Arnhem and there was more of a night life. 
     Both Emily and I have had a few years of Spanish so we were hoping to be able to practice some of it while there.  In Barcelona and Valencia, a lot of people speak the local dialect of Catalan which is a lot different than Spanish but they all still know Spanish as it is the official language of the country. Also, I was really timid to speak Spanish even though I usually knew how to say in Spanish what I wanted to ask, but I was really nervous for them to answer in Spanish because they speak really fast and I can't understand them.  I tried to order most of my food though in Spanish and say basic things such as hello, please, and thank you in Spanish. There is a large group of Spanish speakers currently studying here in Arnhem and Jon and Didac have let me practice with them. Mostly I just occationaly write them messages on facebook in Spanish. I have found a really good website too that has lessons on Spanish.  Each lesson consists of about a ten minute lecture and then there are flashcards and quizzes to practice.  I also found another site which is good for practicing verb conjugations which is good because that is where I struggle the most. When we were walking around in Valencia, we went in a book store and I bought a chapter book in Spanish called Aldabra-La tortuga que amaba a Shakespeare. (the turtle that loved Shakespeare).  It is only about 130 pages and I thought it looked like a middle school level book, but I had Didac look at it and he said the reading level is normal.  I guess even if I am never able to read it, it was only 1.50 euros so not a big lost but hopefully it will give me something to work towards. I think it would be really cool to be able to go live in Spain fro about 4 weeks and take a Spanish class.  I did look at some them online, just for fun, and it is kind of expensive to do.
       It was really interesting buying Souvenirs in Barcelona. When we were on the beach people would keep coming up to you to try to sell you things like massages, towels, sunglasses and food; they were really annoying.  Then even when we went in the stores they really tried to sell you thing. I think its annoying when people in the States come up to you and ask what you are looking for and tell you all about their specials.  In Barcelona, as soon as you picked up an object they would think that you wanted to buy it and would come over to you and start talking to you about it.  Also, they seemed to change the prices of items when you were talking to you.  They usually said "I will give you a good deal" and then told you the price.  

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