¡Vale, vale, venga!

October 1, 2007

“¡Vale, vale, venga!” is what all the locals say.  Take any combination of those words and throw them in the middle of a sentence and you are a true Sevillana.  Before I got here, I was duly warned about the thick accent of the Sevillan people.  My old Spanish professor will insist that it is NOT a lisp, but actually just a manner of pronunciation.  When I first got here, I felt like I was back in intro spanish.  I couldn’t understand anybody and was getting frustrated.  The longer I am here, however, the more I like it.  The “lisp” allows me to talk faster because I don’t have to slow down to pronounce the “s”.  And to me, some words sound so pretty with a little “th,th” tossed in.  Andaluthia, Thevilla, vamoth, como ethta, et thetera.  🙂

 I feel like in the past two weeks my spanish has improved dramatically.  I am understanding so much more of what I read and hear and I feel like a little vocabulary has grown on me.   My biggest teacher is the newspaper.  Thank goodness for free handouts.  Every morning on my way to school newsboys hand me two newspapers: ADN, and 20 minutos.  Usually before class I’ll grab a cup of coffee and sit down and read at least one of them and circle about 10 words I don’t know and try to work on memorizing them and applying them throughout the day.  Some days are better than others, but it’s a good way to practice reading the language and in the meantime I learn more about the culture and current events.

 My tutor-her name is Marta-took me out to La Feria de las Naciones last Friday.  It was in a park close to la Plaza de España and it was really neat.  People had set up tents with the theme of different nations.  And yes, to my glorious surprise, Mexico had set up one.  And they had Mexican food.  And I nearly died with elation.  However, Marta and I visited the Cuba tent and got some mojito and sat down to chitchat.  We landed on the theme of our generation of students and I was telling her my frustrations with all the apathy of our generation, and to my surprise, she told me it was the same with Spanish students.  Apparently people in their twenties are not concerned with politics, religion, or taking a stand against things that infringe on their rights.  It shocked me to hear this because I see protests here in Spain nearly every day.  But now I am realizing that it is actually the older generations that are protesting.  Right now there is a group of labor workers that are protesting by the Cathedral because the government just put hundreds of them out of jobs.  I wish I could expand more on that topic, but that is all I really understood from what Marta told me.  Anyway, Marta is probably the first girl from Spain that I have really gotten to know, and she is helping me to understand what is going on currently with the news and with her life.  Exciting, really.

 I guess that’s all for now.  My dad is coming to visit me this week, so I need to go work on his “itenerario”.  Quite interesting, sí, yo sé.


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