Well it’s been another busy week. I’m still ramping up my vocabulary, learning a shitload of new words. Since I started this immersion program in early November, I’ve been trying a new system to organize my notebook: I write word lists in the back and categorize them by parts of speech. So far, this has worked wonders for my memorization. I’m pretty psyched about it: my class is full of youngsters (whipper snappers in their late teens and early 20s), but the words aren’t sinking in for a lot of them. Maybe they’re out partying every night… who knows. I’m just happy to keep up.
Man, today the teacher went off on the Taiwanese student in our class who always says “Si” but never really understands what the teacher is saying. I always see her in the school after class, but I don’t know if she’s just surfing the web or what, because she doesn’t understand AT ALL. Whenever the teacher calls on her, it’s the most uncomfortable next few minutes. Poor girl. I tried to tell her yesterday in Chinese that the teacher doesn’t want her to say “Si” if she doesn’t really understand but today, it was the same thing all over again. So the teacher asked her, “Comprendas?” which means “Do you understand?” And the girl just kept throwing out words trying to guess what the teacher wanted. I think maybe she needs private lessons, because she’s already been here at least a week longer than me, AND she says she wants to major in Spanish!!
Anyway, in other news, I went horseback riding with Inke yesterday. My teacher helped me find an equestrian center online, then Inke and I spent like 30 minutes talking to the school coordinator, asking if he could call to get more information. Finally, we mapped it all out: taxi to bus station, bus to the small town on the outskirts of Salamanca. All was great. On the bus there, we met a Chinese lady who’s studying Spanish at the University of Salamanca. She’s about my age, and is from Shanghai! Isn’t that amazing? I go to Spain and meet someone from Shanghai! Of course, she speaks a gabillion languages: English, Chinese, German, Italian, and Spanish. So jealous! So the riding started off well… but then my horse started doing this sudden run/stop thing. One time, I squealed and in turn, I think that made Inke’s horse nervous. So then her horse kept trying to buck her off! It was crazy! And Inke’s riden for like 10 years. The first few times, no big deal, but then after like 8 times, she started getting scared. Inke and Shu (the Chinese girl) switched horses but the same thing happened. Unfortunately, the leader couldn’t switch his horse with anyone because it was only for advanced riders. Long story short, we ended up having to dismount and walk the rest of the way back. We were in the middle of a tree orchard (I think a place where they grow trees for logging?). It was beautiful but then it started getting dark and cold. By the time we got back to the ranch, we’d missed the bus back to town. Eventually, the next bus came (like 30 minutes later) and we made it back to Salamanca, but my god, we were cold, dirty, and hungry. And I had planned to get my picture taken after our ride– but because of our incidents, it ended up being way too dark and by then, the mood had soured. Bummer.
Thankfully, I made it back to my family’s house in time for paella. Delicious. I ate so much last night– and in record time. Tonight is spaghetti. I also spotted a Dominos down the street from school today… could be a dangerous discovery! I’m craving food from home big time!