I have officially spent two weeks in Salamanca, and so far it’s been great! Adjusting to the time differences has been somewhat of a struggle, but having a “goal time” to go to bed helps me go to sleep at a reasonable time. I might not always meet this goal, but as the days go by it gets easier. Another time difference I am adjusting to are the meal times. My day usually starts off with breakfast at 8 am, then “almuerzo” (lunch) at around 3 pm and finally dinner at around 9 pm. While there is time to eat “tapas” (snacks) throughout the day, especially in the afternoon, these are my main meals I eat everyday.
During lunch and dinner, my host family, along with another student, sit together at the dining table to eat, watch tv, and talk. Our conversations can range from anything about the food or weather to the news that are shown on the TV. During these conversations, I started to notice that even though I am a Spanish native speaker, the way I speak Spanish does differ a little from the Spanish used here. The difference is not so big to the point where communication is impossible, but there are new vocabulary words I am being introduced to, and in some cases the use of “vosotros” (you all) can be new to me too. I expected for there to be differences, but I was not so sure how I would react to it. At first I felt a little shy to talk, but now I think of it as an opportunity to not only learn and improve my Spanish skills, but also to share my vocabulary and knowledge as well. It is an exchange of information that goes both ways.
I think that towards the beginning of my stay, our table talks felt a little more generic, but now that we talk more and are more comfortable with each other, we talk about more things. We no longer just talk about the weather, but also talk more about our plans, movies that we like, or about anything that comes to mind. Now, we still talk about the weather or more specifically about how cold it is or how we hope it does not get windy, but the conversation does not stop there. Just yesterday, we casually found the movie The Lord of the Rings on TV, so we started talking about how characters in a movie can look different from what we imagine while we read the book.
Talking to them in Spanish has helped me improve my conversational skills and become more confident in them. I now feel more comfortable with starting a conversation or talking to someone at the store or even other students here. I look forward to starting new conversations with others here and discovering new words!
See y’all soon!