Cádiz: Roaming And Learning

My cunning plan to continue to use my mobile phone and 3G/4G data during my two months in Spain – see the details at length here – is not working quite as well as I thought it might. To avoid the £3 per day charge from Vodafone UK, I have a cheap second phone at the ready to keep in contact via my British number. It doesn’t seem possible however to buy a SIM card bigger than 2GB (15€ with Orange) and I can’t add more data once that’s used up. What’s more, a nano SIM seems not to be available. One lady in a back street shop offered (for 2€) to ‘cut’ (with a puncher) the micro card down to size!! Is that normal? I’m wondering whether I should just keep using my UK allowance and keep paying the £3 per day.

Anyway, today was my first day at the Spanish school. They are all very friendly and there’s a mixed bunch of other students. I was given a short test but I could only answer about a third of the questions. The results did, however, give the school sufficient faith in my abilities to put me with two other students who have been studying for a while already. The three hours of lessons we had today focussed upon the different uses if the two verbs ‘to be’ – ser and estar – which does seem excessively complicated but that’s language learning for you. It was hard work keeping up with everything that I was being said (no English was spoken) but I was pleased that I was able to understand about 70% of what I was hearing and I did make more than my own fair share of contributions! In terms of comprehension, I did what I tell my own students of French and ignored what I couldn’t quite grasp. It’s never the important stuff… Progress was made! To help me catch up I was then given a one-to-one lesson for just under an hour with the teacher. We concentrated or regular and irregular forms in the present tense. I think some of it has stuck!

Working independently later at the apartment was more of a challenge but with a good dose of educated guesswork I finished the exercises that were set. My major other success of the day is to have finally bought some food and I’m now looking forward to heading home and eating a slap up meal. Bon appetit! (Or whatever it is in Spanish…). Here’s a nice picture that I took on the way home. I sense these beautiful sunsets may feature again on this blog. Just to counter that image, I’ve also included a snap of my timetable and my completed homework. Any corrections please to be by Tuesday morning 9am. Muchos gracias!


Categories: Cycling

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4 replies »

  1. Take a look at EuropaSIM for Europe wide coverage, but data only. There is, I think, a 10gb per month fair usage cap. This might be less hassle once you start travelling.

  2. I’m just a little envious. I’ve been “self teaching” myself Spanish for over a year now using an app and website called Duolingo. I’m doing okay but suffering motivational issues!! I can at least understand the Spanish bits they insert into the programs my kids watch like Dora the Explorer and Handy Manny. But to immerse yourself in the language must surely be the best way to learn.

    Keep up the good work!

  3. A1. Juan y Pedro SON…
    A3 ESTAMOS siempre…
    A7. ESTA claro?
    A8 La berbena ES en….
    A9. ESTAMOS en Agosto o…
    B2. Segovia no ESTA…
    B3. Tu padre y yo SOMOS…
    B4. Estos libros no SON tan…(plural)
    B9. Susana ES abierta…
    C2 DONDE ESTA Maria?…en un
    C3 a que dia ESTAMOS?…a 23
    C4 Maria ES abogada (afirmacion)….No, ella es medico
    C5 Donde ESTAN las llaves (female)…ahí
    C6. ES buena la pelicula?….que va
    C10. De donde ERES?…de un

    quite good, SER y ESTAR are difficult, dont get depressed.

What do you think?