ttmadrid and little else

September 9, 2010

As of tomorrow we will have been in Spain for one week. Our course at ttmadrid is a time vacuum. We go to the school from 9:30 am until 6:30 pm and have hours of  homework. We have time for dinner and a short walk around the neighborhood before bed. I’m not going to say I love the ttmadrid program because of the time commitment  but they are teaching us a recipe on how to teach English as a foreign language- which is of course the point. Sean and I need to get through this month and then we will be able to travel, flamenco dance, practice/learn Spanish, and live the Madrid life we hoped for.  ttmadrid has given us a way to live here for a year and for that I am grateful.

My Spanish practice has been isolated to supermarket and cafe conversation, as in ordering and paying at the register. Sean has been a bit more aggressive. He stops people in the street to elicit exchanges (disculpe, donde esta calle del general yague?); in the supermarket (que significa? pointing to a mysterious sign near wine which meant 50% off). Although people look frightened as he approaches them face-on, they usually are very kind and appreciate his eagerness for the learning the language.

There have been a few strange things we have discovered about Spain. The standard size of paper is NOT 8×11. It is more like 8X13 which is very awkward since our folders and such are from America. We bought binders today and noticed they are only two or four rings… We had to buy a special hole puncher. Many apartments don’t have ovens, they just have the stovetop. We didn’t realize this until after we bought frozen pizza. Milk isn’t refrigerated until after you open it- it is called UHT or something like that. People don’t go to cafes to hang out but they will ofter eat breakfast at a bar. Also, it is common to drink wine and beer at lunch during the work week. More details to come… after I do my homework. -bl


3 Responses to “ttmadrid and little else”

  1. Lindsay said

    I really love this thing! What a beautiful journal/letter-writing system. I don’t care what the critics of the internet say about the public and private image blending together because this is wonderful.

  2. Sonia said

    OMG!!!!!! The paper!! The milk!! When I read this entry, I distinctly remember taking my host-Mom with me to find me some ‘normal’-sized paper…which didn’t happen….and I still have my 8×13 notebooks from which time to time I ‘ll tear out a page. Weird. The milk took a little getting used to as well….consider it comes in a box that sits on a shelf and not necessarily in the fridge. At least it’s not as bad as in Canada where they need scissors to cut open their milk bag! 😉

    I’m wondering if you guys have experienced the vending machine full of beer/liquor yet? They had a vending machine filed with all sorts of spirited beverages & served a full bar menu in the cafeteria/canteen at the university! Scotch for a midday study break, anyone?!

    Everyone consistently asks about you & how you are doing. I consistently forward them on to this blog.:) Miss you guys! Glad you’re experiencing so many interesting things….will only get more interesting when all the traveling starts! 🙂 Abrazos y besos a vosotros!

  3. Ivan said

    Hi guys!
    Enjoying the posts and they’ve brought me some memories of my time in Spain. The 11 a.m. coffee breaks and the booze lunches (madmenesque) and the late night outings.
    The tomato sauce recipie:
    Boil fresh tomatos until skin can be peeled off. Put into blender with sauteed onions, garlic, salt and oregano (a pinch).
    Once blended, simmer on stovetop and add mushrooms or whatever. The world is your oyster! I sometime roast on the stovetop asparagus/bell peppers and add them into the blender.

    Let me know how it turns out.

    Miss you guys!

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