130212-graceBienvenido a todo el mundo to Grace’s first On Location Spanish update of 2013! I hope the New Year has gotten off to a great start for you all, and without further ado I’d like to tell you about my first months back in Valencia.

For the majority of the Brit Pack, we had returned to Valencia with only two resolutions: 1. Speak more Spanish, 2. Get healthy. Heeding the words of our lecturers, and taking advantage of the late night kick-off at Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium, off we went to see the Home team put up a formidable fight against Real Madrid. At a draw of 1-1, this was a satisfying result for the Valencia fans. Sadly for us, with the majority of the supporters’ songs sang in the regional valenciano, we spent most of our evening in the dark. Well, except for our rousing rendition of ¡Adios a la Liga, Adios! urging the Away team to “wave goodbye to the league title”.

Addressing resolution no.2, we all knew that we had to say goodbye to Mercadona’s reasonably priced magdalena cakes and our Wednesday night Agua de Valencia cocktails in Plaza Honduras. Getting healthy meant getting ourselves to the frutería (“fruit shop”), getting down to the carnicería (“butcher”), getting ourselves some fresh produce and (lending a hand to resolution no.1) mixing with Spaniards.

And boy am I glad we actually did! After around 4 months of incorrectly asking waitresses and shop assistants, ¿Puedo tener (algo)?, which I had quite literally translated as “May I have (something)?”, only now has my local butcher put a stop to this madness.  Setting me straight once and for all, I now know to ask:

¿Me pone una docena de huevos, por favor?
May I please have a dozen eggs?

If like me you’re most familiar with poner in the “to put” sense of the word, don’t be alarmed. Using this construction is seemingly the most accurate from a native’s point of view, and has certainly reduced the number of times a day that this Jonny Foreigner gets asked where she’s from and how she’s enjoying Spain.

I hope your Spanish is coming along well this year and that you’re enjoying the updates from Iain and myself. Please join me for more On Location Spanish and I’ll let you know if I’m having any more luck blending in and keeping healthy. ¡Hasta luego!

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