This morning, I went up to an exercise machine in a park close to our piso, or apartment. I think you are supposed to stand on it and swing your legs back and forth which will hypothetically result in rock-hard abs. After walking around it a few times, trying to read the directions and hopping on like I knew what I was doing, the guy standing next to me asked, “Es tu primer tiempo aqui?” (Is this your first time here?) How did he know?
Earlier that day, I learned the importance of knowing how to turn the key in our door. I spent about ten minutes turning the key to the left and to the right before I finally gave up.
“Charo, la llave no funciona,” I asked my host mom. (Charo, the key doesn’t work.)
Yes, the key did work. You just have to jiggle it to the right a bit turn it three times and pull at the same time to open the door. Hey, at least I know we’re safe at night.
Later, I found out how to spell Exuperancia. I have never heard of such a unique name in my life. Thankfully, I wasn’t alone. The six other students that I’m teaching (English) readily assured me that it’s a difficult name to write even if you aren’t a native Spanish speaker. The most fun part was trying to write her name on the board, with each person trying to help me find the right letter. Let’s just say there was a lot of laughter involved.
I’m slowly getting used to most of the major cultural differences (like the siesta after lunchtime…that was an easy adjustment) but I’m just now starting to understand some of the smaller cultural changes. Such as…besos (kisses) are custom when greeting someone, but that’s not an excuse to ask for more besos when you’re out dancing! But that’s a story for another blog post…
So much learning in one day. And it’s only been a week since I got here. Can you imagine how much I’ll learn in four months? Actually, as long as I know how to unlock the door to our piso, I will be content.