Salamanca has the oldest university in Europe, founded in 1218. It is a university city catering to an international student body. What a great location to study the language! Do the whole learning immersion thing, enrol in a two-week intensive Spanish course in the Tia Tula language school, and live in shared student accommodation with a group of 20-somethings from around the globe.
Olwen the younger cautioned against such accommodation, suggesting the other students may be challenging with their nocturnal activities. However, the Airbnb options in this area were expensive. Besides its all part of the student immersion experience. Señora Maria, the dueña, has an arrangement with the language school to provide basic student accommodation: five two-person bedrooms, two bathrooms, one kitchen – with shared fridge, small sitting room with trestle dining table and assorted chairs. Cost: 14 euros a night.
Fellow students included girls from Trinidad, Korea and the USA, and a guy from the Netherlands.
I took one look at the kitchen and fridge and hit them! There were alien life forms everywhere – or experiments in decay. There was no way I could endure preparing food or even storing it in such an environment. I asked the longest resident, the Dutch guy, whose stuff was whose in order to claim a shelf in the fridge and clean the fridge out. Once that was established I started…mouldy cucumbers, rotting broccoli, brown lemons, swollen milk cartons and past use-by-date yoghurts…and found a couple of containers at the back of the fridge with unidentifiable substances in them. So cleaned them out – only to discover several hours later that the Korean girl had brought this stuff in from Korea because you can’t buy it in Spain (she neglected to declare it on arrival).
No amount of apologies were acceptable; she shut herself in her room and began to weep and wail and howl and scream on her phone. It was a relief when the Trinidadian advised that the Korean was a bit strange, doing things like drying her hair and doing her teeth in the kitchen – even though they’d all asked her not to – because she doesn’t like bathrooms. She also had no social skills and didn’t want to be in Spain but her parents insisted. Nevertheless, the prospect of sharing 14 days’ accommodation with her was not a pleasant one as she moved into silent treatment mode. Truly, grow up! 24 hours later she moved out and the rest of the residents breathed a collective sigh of relief. I didn’t feel so bad after that.
The language classes run from 4.00pm to 8.00pm, meaning “despues las classes, una copa de vino tinto y tapas o pinchos estan muy necesitos. Vale.”