On Saturday, during my lunch break, I ate at my usual breakfast place across from my school that I’ve been going to for the past six months. When I walked in that day, I saw a Latino couple sitting at a table chatting with a white guy. When the guy left, my curiosity got the best of me and I asked them, in English, where they were from. I explained that I took Spanish in college and had a fascination to all things of that culture. They invited me to come sit with them, and we sat and chatted for a bit as they insisted that I try using my broken Spanish. I found out they were from Colombia, and they moved to Taiwan because of job placement and love it here. I also found out that the family that owns the breakfast place is from Honduras, and they all speak Spanish fluently along with Chinese. If I had known this earlier, I could have been practicing my Spanish with them!
La mujer and I set up a date to allow me to practice and learn more Spanish, so I met with her today for my first lesson. I spent two hours listening to her talk about her hometown in Colombia, her travel experiences, the Spanish culture, the language, and many other things. It was an amazing opportunity, and I was rather impressed with myself at how much vocabulary I retained from college. Because it has been almost a year since I’ve listened to a lecture in Spanish, I had to concentrate very very hard during the two hours. I think it was the most thinking-and-effort-required thing I’ve done since I’ve been in Taiwan. She set me up with tarea to listen to a Juanes CD (whom she knew as a kid cause they’re from the same city) and to listen to news from Colombia. On Sunday, we’re going to meet up again and go to a Spanish bookstore and grab dinner. I should expect to be fluent in six months.
You can take the girl out of the culture, but you can’t take the culture out of the girl. Even here, I will keep up with my Spanish. Once I’ve mastered this, on to Japanese.