Thursday, June 30, 2005

Banana Heart Summer on a Cold Winter Night

Freezing. Drenched. Frazzled.

But it was a great day nonetheless.

It was raining like crazy this afternoon and I forgot to bring my umbrella. I decided to go to Spanish straight after work so I arrived in Manuka a bit earlier than the usual. Hoping to study a bit and get somewhere with “Fiesta en la Primavera”, I opted to kill my time in the book shop nearby.

I was surprised to see heaps of people there as it’s quite unusual for a Thursday evening. It turned out that there was a book reading that night so people were lounging around the whole shop. Unfortunately, they moved all the reading tables for the event so I had nowhere to sit and prepare for my Spanish class. I ended up browsing through books instead. I was deciding what book to get when I heard someone say “Mahal kita” in the reading area. I had a look at the book that’s being promoted and it’s actually written by a Filipina who’s based here in Australia. I quickly grabbed myself a copy and had a bit of a chat with Merlinda. At first glance, Merlinda Bobis’ “Banana Heart Summer” reminded me of Laura Esquivel’s “Like Water for Chocolate”… only it’s set somewhere in the Philippines. The book also seems to offer magical realism through a mother, a daughter and lots of food writing. Can’t wait to read it!

Spanish class today was almost as interesting. I was the first to arrive in the center and there was no one else there but my Spanish teacher. He started talking to me in Spanish and I must’ve looked really weird cos he suddenly began stammering for English words. I don’t get myself. Why do I always get tongue tied when someone tries to converse with me in Spanish? It’s like everything that I know disappears into thin air. I know I’ve only been to a few classes and I don’t know much at this point but I really want to be more confident by trying to speak more. I always have a great time in class but it’s quite different when I get caught off guard. Those native speakers talk a mile a minute and it’s just too easy to get lost in the conversation. I can feel myself improving though. I find myself understanding more and translating less. I think that’s what we’re meant to do anyway… attempt to think in Spanish in order to speak it more fluently. Too easy to say, I know. I can only hope. :D

We didn’t have the usual lecture tonight. We just watched a documentary on Colombia and then headed to the restaurant downstairs to get some coffee. I also found out that one of my classmates works in Flight Centre. We had a bit of a chat and she’s agreed to help me organise my big holiday next year. If everything goes well, I’ll be off to Europe (and possibly get an around the world ticket so I can do a short stint in Brazil and Chile as well) next summer. *fingers crossed*


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