Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Onward and Upwards

Hola a todos!

Had yet another fabulous week here in Oviedo; my first glimpse of the infamous Asturian rain, a little meet-up with some lovely new people, and the start of another week at school! Here we go...

 This weekend just gone was some national bank holiday, a teacher did tell me...possibly something to do with celebrating the Spanish discovering America? Or just celebrating Spanishness in general? Either way, since I don't work on Fridays, and the weather took a turn for the worse, I could enjoy four days of the uninterrupted #studentlife that I've become so partial to in Leeds. It gave me the perfect opportunity to unwind and begin haplessly organising as much as I possibly can for the coming weeks, in between my busy schedule of sitting in bed watching Friends and drinking tea, of course.
 However, I did manage to do a couple of productive things - honest!- one of which was get in contact with some other 'Auxiliares de conversación' from the UK. After exchanging emails with one of them, a WhatsApp group appeared and a few of us decided to meet for coffee and tapas in Oviedo on Saturday, and it was lovely! There were only four of us, but we sat for a few cups of sidra and a cafe con leche for a couple of hours before crossing the street into a tapas restaurant, and had a hearty Spanish meal (although they could not tempt me with their mussels and prawns with their heads still attached!) and a great deal of chatting, and by the end of the night we all agreed to meet again soon. It was good to meet people in the same situation as me, and I welcomed the speaking in English too! Not to mention I got to eat this sensational masterpiece of a pudding: la Tarta de la Abuela, loosely translated to Grandma's Cake, is a delicious Spanish dessert made of layers of creme caramel, chocolate and biscuity sponge. Yum.

 The second 'productive' thing I got done this weekend was to activate my Spanish bank card, however since I have absolutely no idea how to work the online banking system, and have no intention of trying on my own, I can't *really* do anything useful with it until I get paid and have to go to the bank to pay my rent. But never mind, I feel there are more important things to be had than anxiety-filled phone calls about Spanish banking, so I'll put that one on the back burner for now. 
 I did want to get at least *something* done in those four days however, so I had my first encounter with the Spanish post office! There is a large shopping/cinema complex 5 minutes down the road from my flat, called Los Prados, so armed with my carefully - if cluelessly -selected Real Oviedo FC shirt (don't worry, the recipient already knows he's getting one so I'm not giving anything away!) I walked across one evening to have a look. All I had to do was ask for an envelope, write my address on the top and the destination address on the bottom, and voilà! All done. This gave me plenty of time to discover, to my absolute delight, a pet shop that sold *actual pets* just upstairs! I don't know how long I spent oohing and aahing over them, but safe to say I've left part of my heart with the tiny, fluffy, ginger kitten that called to me through the glass...

 I expect I will be back there now that I know there's a supermarket *and* a pet shop there, and I might even brave a Spanish film at some point! 

Yet another beautiful fountain on a roundabout in Oviedo

 Because of the bank holiday, I only started back at school again today, and I have a week of observation ahead of me. This morning was very helpful, as I could simply sit at the back of the class and work out the general ability and level of the pupils, and could make notes on what they were learning and if they were having any particular difficulty with anything. For now, it seems the hardest thing will be helping them to know the difference between 'He has got' and 'They have got', and a bit of pronunciation stuff. (Because in most Spanish words you pronounce every letter, lots of the students were talking about their trips to the park with their 'free-ends', which was quite sweet!) So nothing too bad, and as it's October, I am most looking forward to talking about Halloween and all that sort of stuff. 
And even better news is that I've arranged with my teachers to go home for Christmas a few days earlier, so I won't have to travel home on Christmas Eve- Yay!

That's all again for now, see you next week when I will hopefully have spent a few days describing witches and ghosts to great extent!
Hasta luego xxx

PS. You know you all love a good cat video.


  1. I remember battling with the Bank System when I moved here, and they use (nominally) the same language!

    Keep up the posts!!


  2. Hi! Yes it has been somewhat challenging, but I'm glad you enjoy reading about it haha! :)

  3. Hi! Yes it has been somewhat challenging, but I'm glad you enjoy reading about it haha! :)