Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a very British view of life in a small village in Alicante province, my experience of Spain, of Spaniards and sometimes of the other Britons who live nearby. The tabs beneath the header photo link to other blogs written whilst I was living in other parts of Spain, to my articles written for the now defunct TIM magazine and to my most recent photo albums.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Old familiar ways

I do a Spanish class each Monday. I do it to make sure that I speak at least a little Spanish each week. Otherwise I probably wouldn't. One doesn't need much Spanish in a supermarket or a bar. In my job the expectation is that I speak English. At home Maggie's English is as good as mine and she makes sure that we watch English speaking TV.

Last week the young woman who teaches me Spanish had written a short piece about a local festival. I noticed that it was tagged as level B1. This is one of the levels of the Common European Framework for language learning. The description of level B1 says that someone at this level can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in everyday situations and can deal with most situations likely to arise in an area where the language is spoken. People who do level B1 English courses with me can, in reality, hardly string two words together.

Yesterday we went to see a film called Tarde para la ira which translates as something like Too Late for Anger which is a film that won lots of awards in the Spanish equivalent of the BAFTAs or Oscars. Without the pre film blurb and without the images on the screen I would have had no idea what was happening at all - it was far too hard for me to understand.

Today we went to the village restaurant, Restaurante Eduardo. Restaurants are easy. The language is easy but today I was lost for most of the time. Eduardo is usually a bit vague and the trick is to ask for what you want and see if he has it rather than expect him to tell you what he has. But today I had hardly any idea what he was talking about.

When I was young it would have been an experience that I would have described with the, then, very trendy adjective of surreal. Today, as I wondered what Eduardo was saying the adjective, in English, that sprang to mind after all this time here was pathetic.

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