Poco a poco

29 Sep

This is hard for me, accepting everything a little bit at a time. I am the typical American….I want it NOW! I want to be able to speak fluently NOW! I want to be able to understand everything people are saying to me and around me, NOW! I want to know where I am going and not worry about getting lost, NOW! I wantto be able to express myself and my thoughts in castellano, NOW! Mom always told us kids ¨Patience is a virtue,¨ and she is right. I have the patience of Job about now.

I am sitting here watching  an American movie on Spanish TV, and beginning to understand it without relying totally on the action behind it. (And also not laughing hysterically at the dubbing with lips moving out of sync with words!) It is comforting to realize that my Spanish understanding really IS beginning to get better, and after only three weeks here. I watched a cool quiz game show earlier today, a jeopardy-type show, with pre-teens competing against each other to answer trivia questions. I am proud to say, though the level of question certainly was not as high as Jeopardy, I was able to answer two-thirds of the questions without any help! Several would have been impossible for me because they were Spanish pop culture questions, and I am not yet familiar with the pop culture themes.

I am feeling much better about being here because even just last week, I was beginning to think that my castellano was never going to improve, that my listening skills were horrid, and that I had made a big mistake thinking that I would be able to improve at all – I am too old and set in my ways. Last night I went out by myself to go salsa dancing and met some very nice people. Even got a teléfono so we can talk more over un café some day soon. People were impressed with my castellano and that I could speak so well. (I think they are surprised that a gringa from the Estado Unidos knows a second language!)  I am still very shy and listen more than I speak and continue to nod a lot in agreement when I don´t fully understand. But the sentido (the general idea) I am getting more every day. Gracias a Dios!

Using GoogleMaps and the app for the Bilbobus is a real treat as well. Between the two, I am learning my way around the city and navigating pretty well. Some day I may even be able to walk around without looking at my phone every three seconds. I am still afraid of going off the beaten path, for fear of not finding the metro or bus stop again, but I am sure that once I have my sense of direction back (where North and South are) I will feel more comfortable. I did explore a little in Casco Viejo (Old Bilbao) the other night and found some great shopping –anything from cheap chino stores to high-end shopping. I am thinking I must be developing a shoe fetish because I was only able to bring about four pairs of shoes with me, and now, all I want to do is buy shoes! When I pass a shoe store, I am smitten and glued to  the window!

Poco a poco, little by little. A good way to live.





2 Responses to “Poco a poco”

  1. Laurie 30/09/2012 at 10:55 #

    I feel your pain, Kelly. I want everything NOW, too, but then again it wouldn’t be an adventure if everything happened now…

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