Once in a while I poke the back of my head for a bit, in the hope that I will stumble across the Spanish language on/off button. Although I haven't located it yet, I am convinced of its existence, no matter how strange I may look when I'm trying to buy my metro tickets. At this point I'd even settle for a subtitle button.
I don't have a job, so by all accounts I should be spending a lot of time trying to learn Spanish.
The other night I was at a party. Sadly not a middle aged swingers bash, just your average erasmus do. I was speaking to a Portugese guy for ages, I told him I had trouble remembering peoples names, we had a giggle about it. He said he had the same problem. Then after about 30 minutes of chatting of getting along really well, we said we should probably meet up for a drink or something. Nothing gay, just a pal type thing. Then came the bit where he put his number in my phone, I was hoping he would know how to work my vintage samsung flip-phone and put his name in too. He didn't. So I asked his name, he laughed, good joke, a reference to earlier no doubt? Doubt. I couldn't remember his name, and even though I told him I had problems in that department he seemed a bit offended. He knew mine. He knew my name, because we have the same name. He was called Carlos, we had spent a good while joking about the fact we had the same name in the early exchanges. We never met up for that drink. Hopefully I will never see him again.
Anyway the reason I recounted that story was because Carlos advised me that a good way to learn is by listening to Spanish radio. At first I laughed him off, but now I am an avid listener of Huellas Jesus Radio. Anyone who knows me, knows I think Christianity is a bit of a farce. Its responsible for more bloodshed than the menstrual cycle and its more profitable than the tampon industry. But their Latin radio broadcasts are the only talk-radio stations I can find on itunes. And with such clear pronounciation at hand, I am able to look past the messages such ase "you don't need a girlfriend, the church is your girlfriend" and "God is your father". I am fairly sure I can't fornicate with a church, and I know if god was really my father I would have at least gone to private school. So my principle form of learning is by being brainwashed in a different language and it seems that not even that is working. I continue listening to the station, whilst hoping that noone else is. The last thing I need is hot Latin women thinking they don't need lovers. Statistically speaking at least one of them should fancy me.
Some days I'm able to spend almost half an hour at a time doing online verb-drills. Present tense seems to be what I'm best at, so everyone is constantly in the middle of doing something. I am cooking a nachos. We are buying t-shirts for my bed. They are eating plastic. It is tasting bad. You are getting the idea. I have found a couple of cheats (I call them cheats, because it makes the next couple of sentences begin to sound interesting), for example putting voy (=I am going) in front of any verb, makes it in the future. Voy a lavar los platos (I am going to wash the dishes), is much more appropriate for my lifestyle, than lavos los platos (I am washing the dishes). This means I can bypass the whole future tense part of my grammar book and continue to put off the washing up. Which I think is positive.
I really want to improve, it's just that its going very slowly. Thank god I live with Marco, he is the only person that actually speaks Spanish with me all the time.
In the mean time the dent on the back of my head is getting deeper by the day.