Our driver was not lying when he said it was rainy season and would rain every day. Monday was pretty gross, with a light rain through the entire day, Tuesday was generally quite beautiful, with rain later in the evening, but last night was insane. All of us don Quijote students were taken to a bar/restaurant for a social evening where we were supposed to practice our Spanish. It had been a gorgeous day up until that point, but after being there for about an hour it started to pour. We were nearly at the lowest part of the street at this point, which sloped up on either side. So all of the rain ran down the street and pooled in front of our building. We were completely safe and the building was up high enough to be immune to damage, but we got to watch some serious flash flooding out the window. It was quite impressive. A shop owner right at the bottom had his Internet cafe below street level, but the door was at street level, so his shop was completely flooded. He just stood in the doorway watching, since there was nothing to be done about it. Right in front of his shop was a stairwell running somewhere below the street, which had become a waterfall. The street and stairwell would have made for great kayaking.
Besides the constant rain, the weather has been great. The highs are in the low 80’s, though it’s mostly been in the mid 70’s. The lows have been probably low 60’s, but usually high 60’s. When it’s not raining, the sun is always out.
But let me backtrack to what we’ve been up to. We got up Monday morning and made our way to the school. We were given a short multiple-choice test with all of the other incoming students, and then pulled out one by one by an instructor who would check the test and tell us what level we would be starting at. Even with my Spanish background, I still ended up placed at the lowest level. The gf was as well, so we ended up in class together.
The classes are usually in the morning, but since we were ultimate beginners they put us in an afternoon (3pm-7pm) class. So the gf and I went home for a bit, got some food, and returned at 3.
We have two classmates. One is a German guy who is the same age as we are, and who is fluent in English. Apparently he also speaks some French and probably some other languages. The other student is a woman who has a son that is our age, and is a nurse in Florida.
The class is taught entirely in Spanish, with English thrown in when we can’t figure out what a word means. Fortunately, the teachers use a ton of body language and simpler spoken language, so I am generally able to follow. It requires a tremendous amount of concentration, though, and I’ve left with a slight headache all three days thus far. I seem to be picking it up pretty quickly, though.
So class has gone well, and otherwise the gf and I have been exploring the central area of the city, which is just a ten minute walk away. There are all kinds of shops and restaurants, but our restaurant of choice has still been Truco 7. We have eaten three meals there so far, and will probably be there for more. It’s just awfully hard to beat the price/delicious combination.
Eventually we’ll have to start cooking our own food, but it’s so cheap to eat out that it hardly seems worth the effort. Maybe we won’t cook the entire time we’re here!