Tomorrow, friday, will be my last day of Spanish school today went by so fast it was over in a blink of an eye. I went to a different place for breakfast this morning. Here are some photos;
Tomorrow I pack my stuff and get ready to go to Lake Chapala and more adventures 🙂
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.
About three blocks from the hotel is a church and plaza and across from the church are several restaurants I had an omelet in one on the second floor this morning. The coffee was a little unusual as it had cinnamon in it and with milk and sugar it was good with breakfast this morning.
After breakfast I went for a walk around the church plaza and got see the vendors there and there are quite a few. I have some photos of them.
This the church and being Sunday there were a lot of Masses being said and the music was nice. In the foreground there are vendors
More vendors selling different stuff some sell Indian crafts others food.
Book venders book selling in Guadalajara is popular and I see folks with real books in their hands reading.
Later in the day I made another tour of a nearby neighborhood and found a new, to me, restaurant that piqued my interest its claim to fame was roasted Cabrito. Around the corner from this restaurant was a little place where there were three small cafe’s I decided to enjoy a Latte and a crape with nuts and cream sauce it was delicious. I went back to that restaurant for dinner.
first shot of a restaurant I was curious about.
Restaurant Nuevo Leon where I had dinner it was Cabrito and it was delicious
This is were I had lates and a crepe yes those are lovers in the corner
I did some study today and I’m sure it wasn’t enough so I’ll get scolded when I get to school tomorrow, oh well 😦
I had breakfast here at the hotel and I went to the corner store and bought some laundry soap and used the hotel’s machine to do load of laundry. Of course the machine’s directions are in Spanish and I didn’t have a clue how to operate the washing machine a young man who works here came over and set the machine up for me. He also cleaned the lint out of the drier so it would be ready for my clothes. By the time my clothes were done I was ready to go for a walk and do some shopping.
About nine blocks from the hotel is a shopping area there is a whole street blocked off and at either end is a plaza. The area was crowded with shoppers and there are stores of almost every description. I saw some ladies go by with a big dish of ice-cream with chocolate sauce on it and sprinkles and all of a sudden I wanted one. The ice-cream stand was very close and I resisted the temptation to get the same size as the ladies had and settled for the smaller dish. I found a bench to sit and enjoy the dessert and watch the people go by. It is very nice that there benches conveniently located in shopping areas here it keeps the shoppers rested and gives the locals a place to watch the comings and goings.
I did a little shopping myself. I got some goodies to take back to the hotel to munch on and I bought a pretty gold scarf and some silver-colored earrings. I thought the prices were reasonable. I also had lunch; a Greek Salad and a soda. I think I’ve been neglectful of eating veggies lately and I hope the salad makes up for it. When I came across a coffee Cafe I had a Latte and it was delicious I would like another.
I ambled on back to the hotel and left a plate of chocolate chip cookies at the front desk for anyone to enjoy the two youngsters manning the desk had helped me before and the helped themselves right away. I guess it is the Grandma in me I enjoyed doing that.
I used Spanish in the shops and only once did I not know what was said and later I realized what was said and felt foolish as I know the phrase well. Sometimes my brain takes a break.
Here are a few photos; of the plaza at the end of the shopping area;
The weather has moderated just a little for a day or two, after we had rain-yes rain a rare occurrence here in Baja Mexico at least on the Sea of Cortez coast. Still it was a cold rain and my plants have suffered one is struggling to live. Today the sun was out and breakfast club with the other lizards was pleasant. I’m fortunate to have a group to socialize with and learn from as the ways of getting by in Mexico can be confusing if you’re trying to do it by yourself.
I am firming up plans to attend spanish language school, yes again, this time in Guadalajara Jalisco Mexico. This will be four weeks of intensive spanish only classes. I expect that my fellow students will be college students and professionals who are going to be very bright and committed to learning the language. I’ll have my work cut out for me to keep up. I am excited about the adventure ahead and I have high hopes this time my spanish will improve noticeably.
After the four weeks of spanish school I’m going to visit the Lake Chapala area for week or so before returning to San Felipe. I want to see how things have changed in the area and if I would fit in there. The draw for me is the climate it is supposed to be the second best climate in the world. Climate is not the only thing that would entice me to move, but after shivering my buns off this winter in San Felipe the idea has its appeal. I would sorely miss the friends and neighbors I have here so it better have a lot of charming attributes to make up for starting over, once again.
I also have to make a trip back to the old country to get a document notarized for the sale of my house last month. I’ll make a shopping trip out of it and buy some goodies for my comfort as there is a lot of winter left.
I have been back for a while and for a while I had a glow from studying spanish. The trip back was longer than I expected it to be, as I took the northern toll road from Ensenada to Mexicali through the Guadalupe Valley. The Guadalupe valley is the wine and cheese region of the Baja peninsula so lots of vineyards and cheese making. I stopped to get coffee at one place and sample their wine. The wine was excellent and so was the coffee. However the wine was too expensive for my taste. I found out later that the prices are inflated because of the tourist traffic.
Upon arrival at my house I didn’t see a huge difference in how the extension to the house looked before and after the two weeks. I take it that there is a competing project for my contractor’s attention and things will go slower for a while. One good note, I hope, is that the water company came by and fitted a water meter to my pipe to the main line in front of my house. I talked with my contractor and he has plans on how to make the connection with the least labor and fuss. We have been told not to use the water yet as the lines need to be purged and that won’t happen till everyone has a meter and at ten meters being installed per day things are still a long ways off before we get city water. We will get the water, not as soon as we all would like, but we will get it.
On another note; after being home a while and thinking about my experiences in Ensenada I’m less inclined to feel satisfied about the whole event. The living with a Mexican family part was a total disaster; no family and not enough food, not enough hot water or water for showers and sharing the shower with buckets wasn’t pleasing either. The classes themselves did get me using spanish more than my self-study. However it was not an intensive spanish experience that I was expecting I didn’t speak spanish all day. The instruction was in english which was fine for a beginning student, but I’m passed that stage and wanted more, even though I would have struggled a lot more. Value for the money-wise I’m disappointed. The same teachers made a big deal about coming to San Felipe to teach for two weeks and said over and over they wanted me to be in their class. We exchange telephone numbers and they had my email and said several times they would send me an email about the classes in San Felipe. None of that happened I guess I was forgotten, why I don’t know. Maybe I’m too much trouble to deal with or they were just being nice.
I think that my being sick while in Ensenada also colored how I felt about the experience; for several days I was concerned about my health and that took away energy from my studies.
So as far as spanish goes I will struggle on learning what I can where I can until I can communicate in spanish with Mexicans without screwing it all up! I can get my point across in simple situations, but I want a lot more than that I want to understand and be understood at a functional level. I will always make mistakes and mispronounce some words I just don’t want it to impede communication.
drip (Photo credit: basheem)
Digitales Blutdruckmessgerät / Digital Blood Pressure Monitor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This afternoon/evening I was sitting here browsing the internet and making pithy comments on Facebook when suddenly I didn’t feel well. I was a bit nauseous my feet tingled and I was weak. I had to rush to the bathroom and after I still felt ill. I laid down and took one of my nitroglycerin tablets and waited I felt a little better so I got up and walked around I didn’t improve so I went to a neighbor’s house and asked them to take me to the clinic because I didn’t trust myself to drive.
I had a visit with the Dr. at the clinic and he gave me an exam and after he checked all my medications and noted I had diarrhea for two weeks he ordered an EKG. The EKG was the same as always a left branch blockage but otherwise normal. The doctor ordered an IV drip because my blood pressure was up and I had been taking a diuretic as well has having diarrhea so the chances are I was dehydrated. Once the nurse got the IV started, which with my dehydration didn’t make it easy to get the needle into my veins, my blood pressure came down from 140/80 to 123/68. I was released with orders to drink two ounces of electrolyte every four hours and come back for a blood test in the morning.
I feel much better and my mind is at ease knowing that I did the right thing going to see the doctor when I did instead of trying to wait the symptoms out. All the treatment and exam came to 2015 pesos or $155. I can imagine what an emergency room visit would have cost in the States. What ever it costs I needed some medical care to avoid some serious problems and I got it.
The other part that pleased me is I conducted my business with the nurse totally in spanish! I started right off speaking spanish and we kept right on with it through out the whole event. I understood the directions and I made myself understood to her. I feel kind of proud of myself, after all the classes, books, tapes, tutoring I feel tonight I am making some progress. I still have a whole lot to learn and I may never be bilingual but I can, or will be able to communicate. :-)) This a real boost to my desire to learn the language and is not bad for the ego as well. I did talk to the doctor in english as my knowledge of medical terms in spanish is non-exsistant. I think I can fix that there are some books on spanish for EMTs that would help 🙂
Image via Wikipedia
I think I am driving myself crazy ! I am trying to teach myself Spanish and I am having difficulties. I don’t seem to be able to recall the meaning of certain words easily, actually is very difficult and frustrating. This shouldn’t be a big deal to learn these words or phrases, but to me it is. I wonder if it is a mental block or something ? Maybe I am going about learning these words the wrong way. They are simple words and phrases; parece que = it seems like, cualquiera de = either, tampoco= neither. How have other students remembered these simple words ? Maybe I am trying to hard ? Ya, right 😦
I wish I had a brain that would be more pliable and remember stuff more easily, it sure would make life a lot easier.