I’m obsessed with Salamanca, and here’s why:
Housing: I decided to live in a Residencia (dorm) instead of living with a Spanish family, and it is one of the best decisions that I’ve made so far. Although it was adorable to see all the Spanish moms pick up their temporary children summer-camp style when we first arrived, the Residencia gives me much more freedom and a chance to meet other Spaniards my age. Ali is my roommate, and there are 5 other Americans and 9 Spaniards. It’s a really small community and I love it. Meal times are un poco awkward because the Spaniards sit at one table, and we sit at the other. The director (RA), Raquel, decided to break the tables into three today so we had to mingle. Ali and I sat at the table with a Spanish girl named Bea and we talked about Salamanca. We rejoiced in our room because we finally managed to make a Spanish friend. And by friend I mean one finally talked to us.
Classes: We took our language test yesterday to see if we would be placed in beginning, intermediate, advanced or superior level Spanish classes. Somehow, I was placed into the superior level Spanish courses (wait, seriously?). Classes started today and there were students from Taiwan, Japan, China, England, Italy, and the United States. Two girls from Taiwan sat in front of me and started talking to me in Spanish before class. This moment was a huge reminder of why I am learning Spanish in the first place. Although these girls can’t speak English, we were able to communicate in our shared language, Spanish. I love people and knowing that second language broadens the amount of people that I’m able to connect and communicate with.
Transportation and Budget: I walk everywhere. Everywhere. And I walk a lot. I don’t have to take a Taxi, bus or metro anywhere. It’s a good way to get some exercise and huge perk to living in Salamanca (I’m on a college student budget, people). Speaking of budget, everything is so much cheaper here than in Madrid and Toledo and my wallet is smiling. Probably my parents too.
Food: Overall, the food in Spain is amazing. I could eat Paella every day of my life and never get bored. Plus, I’m a little bit of a carboholic, and bread is served with every meal (be careful at restaurants because they put bread in front of you and sometimes it’s not free). I’ve been dipping my bread in olive oil and I can’t get enough. The food at the Residencia hasn’t been bad either. For breakfast, I have café con leche, toast and fruit. Yes friends and family, I am drinking coffee. When in
Rome Spain, right? Lunch and dinner vary, but it’s usually meat, pasta, or tortillas (patatas, not the kind you see in the States), salad, bread, fruit, and dessert (yogurt or mousse with dinner only).
Language: I love the Salamancan accent because it’s easy to understand (if they aren’t speaking 1000 mph, then I want to cry), and it sounds beautiful. Plus, they use the vosotros verb conjugation which is kind of like “ya’ll” (or “you guys” for you northerners), which I love. In the US, we didn’t even bother with that weird-looking verb form. Teachers wrote it on the board, scoffed, and told us that we would never need it and moved on. End of story. Well, America. You’re wrong. Thanks a lot. Also, I love love love the word “Vale” (vah-lay, but the “v” sounds more like a “b”). It means “okay”, and the Spaniards use it often.
-“Ali y yo vamos al Plaza Mayor, vale? Luego, vamos a comer tapas, vale? Entiendes? Vale.” It’s like every other word.
For fear of you all dying of boredom and hating me forever, I am going to stop there, vale?