Some days I’m really motivated to study Spanish. Other days, not so much. It all depends on the amount of coffee and carbs I’ve had that day. (Hint: more coffee equals better studying, while more carbs equals better napping.)
For my birthday, my friends gave me a book, which is great for language nerds like me who spend their free time reading linguists’ blogs and articles about language change. Yep, that’s me. So obviously I was quite enthused by the gift and the thought that went behind it.
Presenting Kaley’s Favorite Books for Learning Spanish
Las 500 dudas más frecuentes del español is the book I got for my birthday a few weeks ago. Just like we do in English, Spanish-speaking people make mistakes when writing and speaking Spanish. This book is designed to help clear up any debates about the correct usage of the language. I recognize that spoken and colloquial language may not follow these guidelines, but written language needs to adhere to them in order to be fit to print.
Quick, a quiz!
¿Está bien dicho Cuidado, que caes el vino? (For the answer, check out page 232.)
¿Está bien dicho Me miraba de arriba a abajo? (Answer on page 300.)
¿Por qué algunas palabras como azúcar o mar admiten tanto el masculino como el femenino? (Answer on page 194.)
Mario called it The Zamoran Invasion. My friend’s Spanish husband referred to it as The Spanish Invasion. Whatever you want to call it, invasion or otherwise, it was definitely chaotic. But also fun. We showed our guests, my in-laws, quite a few places and events, all of which I’ll get around to discussing eventually, but for now I’d just like to list a few stray observations:
What is it about living or working in Spain that piques so many people’s curiosity? Is it the fact that it’s European (and therefore cosmopolitan)? Is it the fact that so many of us have studied Spanish in high school? Is it the fact that it’s so far from home?
I’m not sure, but I can tell you one thing: people have questions about it! Some questions can annoy me, but most of the time I love getting questions about my life in Spain!
I made it! On Thursday morning, I woke up to the news that my flight to New York (JFK) had been delayed four hours, and I would probably miss my connecting flight to Chicago. As you can imagine, I was quite—shall we say—perturbed by said news. Nonetheless, I made my way to Barajas, only to stand in the check-in line for an hour and forty-five minutes! One hour and forty-five minutes. Incredible! Somehow, we made it to JFK by 4:05, and as my connecting flight was set to leave at 5:05, I booked it as fast as I could. Thank goodness for fast-track passes that allow those with flights leaving within the hour to get through customs. I arrived at the gate at 4:55, triumphant but sweaty, and I immediately texted my parents, who were, as it were, standing by, just in case I did make it. And they met me in Chicago three hours later! A happy ending indeed.
The first things I do when I get home are …
… relish falling asleep to the sound of crickets, rather than my neighbors’ television.
… wear sweatpants to the grocery store. Because I can.
… order two or three refills at all restaurants, even if it’s just water.
… take the dog out on a long walk.
… text message everyone because now I don’t have to beg them to get Whatsapp.
… wake up at 8 a.m., even though I can sleep in, because of jet lag.
… immediately have my Spanish-speaking skills regress. It’s amazing how fast this happens!
… eat cottage cheese and Ranch dressing. But not together (ew)!
… sit out on my porch and watch an amazing sunset.
… drive my car, and realize (for the umpteenth time) that it really is akin to riding a bike. You don’t forget. I actually go into auto-drive mode incredibly quickly.
… relish the fact that I get to see people I know, but hate the fact that I see people from high school with whom I really don’t want to have an awkward encounter.