This blue marble

– and yet it spins

Fin(n)ished Spanish

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SS-17Last day of class today: this girl has Fin(n)ished Spanish. We played hangman, or rather, nuestra profesor’s version where the poor guy or gal is forced down steps into an ocean full of sharks.

Two weeks have improved my Spanish speaking skills by leaps and bounds. When I arrived I was able to understand slow and clear conversation, and I knew all of A1 level grammar. Now I am better at picking up spoken Spanish, and my poor brain does not require quite as much computing before it manages to spit out a sentence. Whether that sentence is entirely correct is up to chance, but at least speed to output has improved quite much. A2 level is mainly past tenses and future tenses, and will be difficult to master at home without the constant drilling of a live small group setting. I may need to come back here to get a hold of it.

My housemate came clomping home at 5 am this morning, from pintxopote (pintxo and drink for 2.50 euros all over town). Her alarm went off at 8 am – and kept going off at regular intervals until I left for school. I quite liked the modern classical music sound of her alarm but could not understand how one can sleep through it. Then again, if one does not wake up to one’s alarm, it is probably healthier to just catch up on sleep. And she did show up for the second half of the class – well done housemate.

I spent the afternoon writing on a bench behind mount Urgull, overlooking the promenade and the sea. It is the only place in the city without a bar, since the pop-up bar opened on top of mount Urgull. This promenade is also one of the few open spaces without houses, as well, and people come here to take in the fresh sea airs and watch the waves. At least daytime. Night time is probably quite the adventure. Oh, and quite a few locals come out here to fish with line and rod. Sardines, perhaps?

I quite like the cityscape of San Sebastián. It is just the people I am out of sync with: the hours the stores are open are the hours I am either in class or busy with something else. Lunch time, when I would rather shop, they are closed for siesta (this is of course beneficial for my budget). The lack of healthy early café breakfasts is a problem, especially between yoga class and school start. The late lunches are a problem: if one must skip breakfast, why can’t one be served lunch anywhere by noon the latest? The way-too-late dinners (starting at 8 pm) are a problem because I need to be in bed by 10.30 if not sooner, and asking my body to digest food while sleeping means more fat stored where I do not want it to be stored. The elbowing tactics in pintxo bars and the lack of quiet cafés and lounges to read and write in is also a challenge.

Perhaps if I lived here and were less dependent on food services I might quite like San Sebastián’s lifestyle. After all, beach, yoga, good food (other than pintxos) and outdoors is not a bad combination.

(San Sebastián, Spain; August 2019)

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