Saturday, May 20, 2006

Madrid, Day 1.

Today I basically ran errands all day. It took me all morning to find a hostal that wouldn't mind taking me in with the bike or would even consider allowing me to stay in a room with two beds: apparently that's unheard of for single people. {shrug}. Heh, reminds me a bit of the hotels in Florence.

Anyway, after that, took me a while to find a decent internet place where I could actually use ftp (most of the places block access to the DOS window), and although I wandered the city pretty much all afternoon I was also unable to find a bike shop (I need to buy a replacement tire, as you know).

Madrid is a chaotic city, teeming with tourists, American college kids, in particular, which makes moving about it bit unpleasant. Casual relationships abound, judging from snippets of conversations overheard while walking the busy streets, park bench corners, or cafes, and this, the general ambiance, is a bit on (with my apologies to the MadrileƱos, but this is simply what I observed) the crass side. {shrug}. Methinks I will not be staying here for too long....

Anyway, the French lessons are going along well. I can say things like "Il fait froid," or "Il pleut" or "Il fait du soleil" now (though when one would make use of such phrases stating the obvious to someone I cannot even begin to fathom, but anyway...). My pronounciation is not too bad, either. You can tell I have a slight accent but not really from where (even though the lessons are geared for American English speakers, I managed to eliminate the annoying americanized dipthongs on the dry vowels, and I was also able to eliminate the marked Spanish/Mexican accent in the pronounciation of the "r"s and also made good use of the Italian vowel sounds and German umlauts to get the French dipthongs sounding fairly decent). That's o.k. with me, since if you think about it I have the exact same problem when speaking my native tongues: in Italy, I'm supposedly from Veneto, in Mexico, from Spain, in the U.S., I'm slavic or Hungarian, in Spain....heh. Here they're the only ones who got it right. They know I'm from Mexico immediately. The reason is simple. We pronounce the "z"s and the "ce"s and "ci"s exacly like we pronounce the letter "s". :)

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