Thursday, July 19, 2007


I don't delude myself that anyone is paying really close attention, but anyone who might be tracking such matters will recognize that tomorrow ends my planned 12 weeks of classes here in Madrid. Given that my beginning level in Granada was B1 (beginning intermediate) and that I have been in level C2 (the highest level) for several weeks now, feeling less and less like an impostor, I think it is safe to say that I've learned quite a bit during my time in Madrid.

Not to mention that I've had a blast doing so, while managing to see a fair bit of the city as well. There are, of course, things I didn't manage to do (that trip to Toledo, for instance, or going to the opera, or visiting the Palacio Real), but this is all to the good as it surely means I will come back again. It's a terrific city, with a distinctly different atmosphere than that in Andalucía or Barcelona, and I think spending the best part of 3 months here was an excellent idea. It's nice to be around long enough to have one's regular breakfast spot (Faborit, on the Calle Alcala), a few lunch places where they get to know you as a regular (a shout out to the folks at "Root" on the Calle Virgen de los Peligros, who were always nothing less than amable and would help me with vocabulary questions whenever they had a spare minute).

What next? Well, it turns out that when I made my original plans, I wasn't paying close enough attention to the fact that 3 months equals 13 weeks, not 12. So my time in Salamanca is not slated to start until a week from Monday, leaving me next week free of classes. So I decided earlier in the month, with the very gracious cooperation of my housesitters in San Francisco, to use the week to fly back to San Francisco and catch up on things there for a bit. Accordingly, I fly out tomorrow (Madrid - Filadelfia - San Francisco), arriving Friday evening local time, and will fly back to Madrid, leaving Sunday July 29th, arriving back in Madrid on the morning of Monday July 30th. From where I will take a bus to Salamanca later that day.

There, because I am nothing if not goal-oriented, I will spend 4 weeks taking the preparatory class for an exam called the DELE (Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera), and take the exam itself on August 24th. After which there is no further plan, except that if I don't get to Ireland some time reasonably soon, a whole bunch of folks there are going to be justifiably annoyed, so I imagine that is where I will end up in late August and early September.

And now, you will have to excuse me. I need to start packing. The brand-new maleta, purchased just this afternoon at El Corte Inglés, should come in very useful.

Anyone in the Bay Area reading this is heartily invited to give me a ring (my number is in the San Francisco directory) to catch up, either in phone or in person, next week. Or send me an e-mail. After four months away, I'm dying to catch up with everyone. Assuming people can tear themselves away from the final Harry Potter tome.

So I won't be blogging a whole lot next week. Because I hope to be seeing many of you in person.



Miss Welby said...

ciao, nice blog! how about exchanging links? :)

david santos said...

Thanks for you work and have a good day

FullQuieting said...

Travel safe, David!