Here it is the 10th of July, 2019, 1247 Spanish time. Come Friday we have two more weeks remaining here in Salamanca. My wife has struggled with her Master’s studies this second half. They certainly don’t give Master’s degrees away here. Technically speaking, in my observed opinion of this experience, this MA study is a cram course. I curtly informed her of this observed fact. The thesis must be completed, or else one consequently fails. She has already turned this in, with corrections made.
She has a close associate who did not manage to conclude on this, and consequently failed the MA program here., as do more than a few people , so we have been informed. Come here determined to succeed, or waste one’s money and time. I want to earnestly stress that absolute fact. That being said, the prices and the potential opportunities gained from travel experiences all across Spain, are extraordinary, to say the least.
The wife had better pass, is all that I can say right now. She has three exams today. These courses given to Spanish instructors are all in Spanish, but such was no surprise and not a problem to the wife. My Spanish speaking skills are basic, so I am not much help in reading the work, or assisting her in her studies without being able to translate it.
I have contented myself in walking around Salamanca, Spain. During my entire stay thus far, I have only spent three hundred dollars, American! I have eaten Spanish buffets three times. I have enjoyed ice cold refreshment by the large mug full, with tapas or potato chips at night, at least three times a week. I have gone to concerts of various types, from classical, to Tunas time-honored musical demonstrations, similar to the Mexican Mariachi; all the way up/or down, depending on one’s perspective, to music from the local pop culture; all for free! How is that for living on the cheap while traveling, without sacrificing one’s quality of life?
For a writer seeking a type of writer’s retreat, traveling to Salamanca, Spain, for a few months would be perfect in that context. In between all of this walking around, I have had much time to compose and submit several pieces of poetry, one novella, while I edit and rewrite several other works that I have been submitting to a line of potential publishers. Earlier in this blog I mentioned the process and general formula of approach for staying in Spain long term. Refer back to that if the general idea of such a retreat generates interest. This same formula could also be utilized in a number of potential personal contexts, other than the one mentioned, so bear that in mind as one reads along.
I sincerely hope that I don’t offend any potential reader with my down to earth, hard core, realistic presentation on this experience. I, personally, have a sensation of total exhilaration found in only being here in Spain. This place is immensely beautiful, but there are realistic concerns that become all too apparent during extended stays. My objective is to speak of those concerns in my account, so that should readers attempt a similar course of experience while using this information, they will be aware of specifically what they are up against. People are not rude here, and tend to be very friendly, largely speaking. English is known, but the more Spanish one can speak with fluency, the better they shall fare, I promise!
Day before yesterday the wife and I purchased bus tickets to Seville, Grenada, and a place nearby that I can’t recall. This place was thrown in as a marketing bonus, with the ticket. Our tickets included hotel room for three days, the bus ride, and breakfast for the three days, all for 179 euros, or $210.00 at the time of this writing. I am here to tell everybody that the value of the euro changes abruptly; thankfully decreasing, rather than increasing, which we haven’t had to experience yet.
I read where plans are in the making for decreasing the value of the dollar, so my fear is that the euro may increase, reducing my spending power when in Europe. Keep in mind as well that the Spanish have siesta from 1100 hrs until 1600 hrs. Should one not make it to the travel agent’s office before 1100 hrs, he may be out of luck completely.
I have been attempting to secure a teaching position for the year 2019-2020. Students are gone on summer vacation at this time. The academies are manning up. I show my credentials and they make copies and give me encouragement, but nothing finalized right now. I received an offer to teach in Ecuador next year while here in Spain, when word passed around that I was here. I have also filed an application to teach in Malta, which is not too far in the overall scheme of things, from where I presently am. I am going to keep trying for Spain during this time, however. We shall see where all of these waves carry me.
Currently my most immediate personal goal is to secure a bus ticket to Pamplona, which is not too far away, in the overall scheme of things (280 miles/5hr,35 min bus ride). Honestly my wisest most efficient move may be to research a closer, more exotic town. What e’er I choose to do, I hope to go there this weekend sometime. Problem is the local bus station does not offer tickets to Pamplona, at least, as of yet. My task for today is to find out specifically where I can secure my tickets there. If I can land a cool, all inclusive package deal through a travel agent at a pauper’s rock bottom bargain price, I shall be overjoyed. Stay tuned until tomorrow, same Spanish time, same Spanish channel!