I had my first class with the month-long language program about an hour ago. My session is from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. every day.
Like I said, I tested into "Primer Avanzada" (the first advanced class, above intermediate) but it is going really well thus far. I understand both of my teachers surprisingly well. AND my friend Arisa from San Francisco State (who also lives in my building now) is in my class. During our break, we met up with Natasha and Amity and we all bolted out of el Centro (our school) down an alley way for some coffee. Hallelujah we found a place! 1,20 for a cup and it was DELISH. It definitely helped us through the next two hours, but we need to start ordering "una corbata." Regular served coffee here is half milk, half coffee, but una corbata is mostly coffee, a little milk (which is what I like).
My teachers are amazing. Profe Herrero y Profe Martinez. Nice ladies indeed, but Martinez is HILARIOUS. And they smile when they say my name the first time. I honestly think it's because my name is of Latin origin and VERY popular in Spanish speaking countries so it's easy for them to say and it's familiar. One lady read off my name as "Laura Rosa" and it made me happy.
I bought one book after class today for 22 euro. TWENTY-TWO! That book would be $80 in the U.S.! Woo! And I have one on back-order for Monday. Not looking forward to homework but I am looking forward to kicking my Spanish into high gear. I think I already am improving.
For example, it is now habit for me to respond to Spanish-speakers in Spanish (I don't even THINK about how to respond in English, I go straight to translating). Also, I am understanding my landlord a little better. The other landlord is still INTENSE to understand, but we're all working on it! (I mean we bought the place, and signed contracts which we fully understood in SPANISH. Hah.). Man, they are nice guys.
Oh! A cute little thing I forgot to post in my last entry. When I signed the contract in Tony's "office," we were talking one-on-one and he was being super accommodating and telling me all the things I can ask for here and receive for free, etc. At one point I gushed, "Muchas gracias a usted!" In the States, I was taught, "When in doubt, use the formal 'you.'" Meaning, use "usted" when you want to say "you" because that is proper for speaking to the elderly, teachers, bosses, landlords, etc. Use "tu" or the casual "you" with peers, children and family. Tony looked at me grinning and said, "No! No!" A ti, a ti!" Meaning, use the informal/casual "you" with me. Which is a sign of being closer or friendlier with someone. It melted my heart! So "tu" it is! :)
I mean, the man took us to an amazing tapas bar while the contracts were being typed up. It was awesome to drink a beer with your future landlord and having him tell you that you get free toilet paper and where to buy cheap stuff in the city. What more can you ask?
Lunch time soon! Adios mis cariños!