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Things I Didn’t Know Before My Spanish Lessons (Part II)

Lots of Music and Foot Tapping

When I first arrived to South America I stuck to the bootlegged English language CDs which are on sale in countries such as Ecuador. However, one bright day I decided to expand my horizons and buy some Ecuadorian cumbia. It was unspeakably awful but I realised that Spanish music could supplement my Spanish courses by teaching me new words. This way I got hooked on Ricardo Arjona, Jose Luis Perales and Fito Paez. I am sure that I got yet more funny looks off passersby as I would sit in the plazas, tap my feet and nod my head while listening to music on my headphones. If you haven’t ever listened to music in another language then it is a brilliant experience to discover wonderful songs which generations have grown up with but which you are hearing for the first time. Just avoid the cumbia and you will be fine.

New Food

I have mentioned food a couple of times before but it was without doubt one of the first things to strike me as being completely different. I remember standing in a shop in Quito – where I was getting Spanish classes – and trying to decide whether to buy a type of pastry which I didn’t recognise or else some strange looking bread. In the end I bought both and by carrying on with this bold approach have since sampled some amazing stuff I never even knew existed before. When I travelled back to the UK for a spell I tried to encourage a friend to try some yerba mate and a few plantain bananas but he just looked at me as thought I had finally lost my marbles.