Saturday, November 19, 2011

Yall take out your English books...

  All the English taught in Spain is British English, which I'm learning is very different from what is spoken in the States.  The materials for my students are made from Oxford University, so all the listening activities have very strong accents. Poor kids. Whenever I read the activities and then we listen to it on the CD, words are not pronounced the same. I'm finding myself trying to adjust the things I say so it'll match their books. I'll probably come home with some really strange sayings. Here are a few examples:
  British version = American version
-"Have you got any...?"= "Do you have any...?"
-"Can I go to the toliet?" = "Can I go to the bathroom?"
-The only answer to the question, "How are you?" is "I'm fine, thanks." Never "Good", or "Well", or "Great", or anything else. Only "fine".
-rubber = eraser
-bin = trashcan
-lift = elevator
-patio = playground
-pavement = sidewalk
-lorry = truck
-timetables = schedule
-trousers = pants
-biscuits = cookies
-spellings: favourite and colour
   Even though I don't think I have much of an accent, I am from the South and it's harder for the students to understand my instructions than their professors who were taught British Spanish. Plus, I have to try really really really hard not to use 'yall'. :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Puente de Octubre

   Spaniards have several breaks throughout the year called "Puentes" (bridges). This one was the Puente de Octubre because we had the last days of October off. My friends, Caitlin, Angela, Amanda and I went to Northern Spain for the long weekend and we lucked out! Not only did we have a great trip, the weather was nice! We flew out of Madrid at 6am Friday morning and arrived to the sleepy town of Santander. This was a much needed break from the craziness of Madrid. We walked along the water and to the vacation house of the Spanish royalty. Along the way, we saw a mini-zoo with penguins and seals! That evening was cool and Caitlin and I tried our first roasted chestnuts. Our German roommate Angela couldn't believe we hadn't had them before! They're in our Christmas songs!
Santander: Dreaming we lived here...
Penguins in Spain? Who knew?
  Chestnuts roasting on an open fire....in Santander.

  The following morning we took a 1 hour bus ride to Bilbao. I won't write too much about Bilbao because we spent most of our time wandering lost. We did make it to the Guggenheim, so check on the list for being cultured! (although modern art is really not my thing.) Here are a few shots...
 Conquering Europe, one city at a time: Bilbao.
 G-Heim. Holler.
Huge artsy spider in front of the museum.

  Our final destination was San Sebasti├ín. We loved this city! Famous for its surfing, we hiked to the top of Monte Urgull to get some incredible views of the beaches. That night we went out for "pinchos", the small servings of meat or fish on top of bread slices. Each one costs about a euro and so you go from bar to bar, trying one or two at each place. I like to call this "pincho hopping." Check it out:
 San Sebasti├ín
 Views from the top of Mont Urgull.

 Pinchos galore!