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!