Today began a little earlier. I honestly don’t know how the Spanish manage it – they don’t go to sleep until one in the morning, and then wake up at six. I was told there’s a siesta in the early afternoon, but I haven’t seen any evidence of it.
Anyway, breakfast was, once again, pancakes. I think she cooked them for me again because I actually ate them yesterday. I’m also convinced that she’s trying to feed my like an American, particularly since I got a hamburger for dinner last night. I’m reasonably certain that I’ve now convinced her that Australians eat fruit or cereal for breakfast, so hopefully that’s what I’ll be getting in future.
My class has changed a bit today. They took out the Romanian (?) girl and the sort-of-German girl, put them in a higher-level class, and replaced them with one of the boys from my group, who will be moved back down to another class for tomorrow. So there will be three of us: Maria (the Danish girl), myself, and the fifteen-year-old French boy, Gabriel, who I’ve now found out has been living in Pennsylvania, USA for most of his life.
For the first lesson at school (grammar), my class has a different teacher. He’s much easier to understand. I think perhaps it’s because he’s from Andorra, so he’s probably taking more care with how he speaks than the other girl. Anyway, the grammar teacher is called Ángel, and the conversation teacher is called Cristina.
In the second lesson, we talked about movies and books. After unsuccessfully trying to explain “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” to the teacher for about twenty minutes, Jackson (the other Australian in my class today) chose “Happy Feet”, thinking that it would be easy to explain. It turns out that “The penguin likes dancing, the penguin is captured, the penguin dances for the people, the penguin returns to Antarctica, the (male) penguin dances with the (female) penguin” sounds pretty silly in any language, but especially in Spanish. Our teacher seemed to think it was a love story once we mentioned la pinguina (the female penguin).
This afternoon, most of the school went out on a tour around Salamanca. Unfortunately, I took the camera but left the SD card in the computer, so I don’t have any pictures. There were about four cathedrals (catedrales, not iglesias. They were all huge. Three were Baroque-era, but one was from the 2nd century AD!), a palace, a school/university, and an aristocrat’s home turned public library. There was a lot of very impressive stone carving.
After the tour, I stayed in the Plaza Mayor with the other Australians and one random German who’s in the same class as los chicos (the boys). I got home at about nine o’clock… Which is considered very early by Spanish standards. It’s still very light then – it’s still quite light as I write this at about twenty to eleven.
Over cena, my host mother and I watched the Spanish version of “Chaser” – “ElInterMedia”. It made a nice change from the news, which is on over breakfast and lunch (lunch is at about three. My host mother eats cena at six, but since that’s incredibly early by Spanish standards, most Spaniards not eating until nine or ten, and I have excursions every evening from five, she feeds me when I get home). My host mother says it’s slow news season, so pretty much the only thing on at the moment is bull-baiting.
Also, I bought a pair of crocs/clogs for €3.90. There is a lot of walking to do here, since the centre of Salamanca is a pedestrian-only zone. I live about one block from the pedestrian-only zone, la Plaza Mayor is at the centre, and the school is also well inside the pedestrian-only area.
It was a little cooler today, particularly in the morning, and there was a bit of a breeze. It turns out that living in Australia gives me a bit of an advantage over all the northern Europeans at the school!