I’ve been in Spain for two weeks now. Lessons at Inlingua are stepping up a gear and I’m expected to do some significant homework! It took me a while to get back into education mode, but now the habit of being in a seminar class is becoming more familiar.
At Inlingua, the method is to really encourage students to speak; to construct simply phrases using as much available vocabulary as possible. It’s crazy how even a simple phrase can command such concentration! Of course for those who have already studied Latin at school or know another Latin language, Spanish is a little less duanting. However, on a positive note, Spanish is very straight forward, with few exceptions to most grammatical rules, and since almost all words are phonetic, it makes pronunciation and spelling considerably easier than English.
On a separate note, my other focus at the moment is cars! I am presently driving a rental car for the first few weeks, but I need to invest in a car as soon as possible. The issue I have is that the car I have needs to serve a number of purposes. Firstly it needs to be cheap! Secondly it needs to be second hand – new cars quickly get scratched and bumped here. Thirdly, it needs to be safe. The more I drive here the more I realise how dangerous it is. Taking the same route to school each morning means I often pass accidents at alarming frequency! The car also needs to be small, as parking is very difficult in Marbella. Finally, it needs to be strong enough to manage the rustic, country road to the house in Guaro.
Based on these needs, I narrowed it down to a compact 4 x 4 – either a 3 door Land Rover Freelander, RAV4, or Mitsubishi. "Segundo manos" are still very expensive here on the coast, but today I think I might have found a Freelander at a good price. As a stroke of luck, yesterday, driving out of Marbella I was behind a Freelander with "Se Vende" stuck in the back window. After calling the number and arranging a meeting, I discover the car is owned by a former colleague and friend of Rafa’s – so I am sure to be getting a car without a dodgy history! It will be perfect for weekends in the country, more than capable of driving over lemons!
The Cache Club, the concierge service for ex-pats in Andalucia, has also done some splendid research for me on cars. In fact I can’t say enough good things about the Cache Club, so I feel compelled to give the company another plug in my diary. For any one with second home on the coast or inland areas, or for anyone relocating here, I strongly recommend you join then. Visit the site at www.thecacheclub.com
Today the cities across Spain remember the 192 that died in Madrid’s terrorist attacts last year.