I have been in Guadalajara for two weeks now and nine days of school which comes out to 26 hours of face to face instruction as I’m still the only student! It looks as though that will continue for another week. In some ways it is good in others not so good. One doesn’t learn from the mistakes of others you have to learn from your own mistakes. This past week I had two hours a day of class with a teacher and spent an hour a day with other students in a conversation class; half in english and half in spanish. I wasn’t to sure about this conversation class as what would I say? Most of the students are very young and at least half are Korean. I did get to say something and what the class does is get you to speak on your own. Sure you make a lot of mistakes and so do the other students and yet we communicate. I also got to use the computer lab and in some ways that is helpful and in other ways frustrating as the information you’re looking for you are unable to find, at least for me.
I get to school everyday early and work in the computer lab and review my homework. Yes, there is homework assigned. It isn’t a lot but it does reenforce the lessons. Some of the topics such the Cinema I have no knowledge about; they talk of European Cinema; directors and actors and I don’t know anything about who is who in this field and what is more I don’t care. To play along with the program I look up on the internet as to who is who and what awards they have won to at least look compliant with the program. Aren’t I such a nice person? I still don’t give hoot if they won Oscars or BAFs or what ever. By the way this is mostly in Spanish with some subtle help from the teacher so sometimes I’m not sure why we are talking about these people, other than it give us something to talk about in Spanish.
I have been enjoying the neighborhood I live in it is the “Old Town” of Guadalajara very close to the U. of Guadalajara. There are lots of restaurants a few bars and a real middle-class neighborhood. I went into a local bistro the other night and the theme in this place was Cats! There were ceramic cats, photos of cats and everything cat, but a live cat! The place was almost full of people, it didn’t look like it from the outside but inside there were lots of small rooms with tables and chairs and sofas and folks eating and drinking and what appeared to me to be a meeting of a book club. These people all had the same book in their hands and each one would discuss something and another would put in their bit in turn. This town is very book oriented. There are bookstores both new and old some right next to each other all over this district and it isn’t unusual to see folks carry a book or enjoying a read in a restaurant or park bench.
Today being saturday I had off from class and I went shopping (imagine that) and so did the whole city ! The streets and sidewalks were crowded with people and traffic the plazas and restaurants, stores were full of people coming and going carrying bags and stuff. I got right into it with them and found a place with my size and the stuff I bought was on sale! I got four new tops for three hundred pesos at 19×1 you figure it out it was a deal! In short I had a wonderful day shopping and having lunch out with the rest of Guadalajara and best of all using my Spanish 🙂
Next week is the start of my third week and I just know things are going to get more complicated as we head into parts of Spanish I have no idea about, oh well that’s why I’m here.