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How long has this been going on for?  This is a question normally associated with secret affairs and spells the climax of an affair before it goes public. It happened to me too, when my secret affair with Latin America and the Spanish language was out in the open! My friends couldn’t believe it and wondered when it all started. My reply was a post on my blog almost a year back. It was as follows:

 

ZARALAND!

 

From the time I first heard Baccara to the last time Julio sang my ears have always loved the sound of Spanish beats and the language. I also love the accent with which Spaniards speak English. At the back of my mind Spanish was something I always wanted to learn and my recent sabbatical gave me the perfect opportunity to do exactly that.

I started dreaming about a wonderful long holiday in
Latin America and Spain where I could speak fluent Spanish. I saw myself seated in a rustic Mexican restaurant confidently rattling off my order of favorite dishes in Spanish! Suddenly there was loud honking and I opened my eyes to the traffic jam in front of Andheri station! The sights and sounds of LatAm had been cruelly replaced by the sights and sounds of auto rickshaws, bikes, cars, buses and every other conceivable noise in the world.

I was on my way to Academia de Espanol my third stop and final attempt to find a decent place to learn Spanish. For a city like Mumbai which is much touted for the endless opportunity it offers my experiences that morning were disappointing. My first stop at a place called Language Lab in front of Bandra station was a total disaster. I was sure that if I enrolled there I would also have to enroll into an anti-depression clinic within a weeks time.

The second stop was in Bandra again at a place called Instituto Hispania. It looked like a decent outfit but I found it to be too rigid.
Spain/ LatAm as I know them and as compared to the rest of Europe / North America are quite laid back places. These are places with jolly good fellas wanting to have a jolly good time in life. I also got to see a few students coming out of their classes and they looked too serious to be learning Spanish. When you learn a new language you must feel like you are having fun more so with a language like Spanish. Their timings too didn't suit me. I was left with no choice but to head to distant Andheri.

I arrived at Academia de Espanol around
1 p.m. and met Mr Dinesh Govindani the man behind the institute. I had visited their website and knew that he was a native of Canary Islands before relocating to India. He welcomed me and asked me why I wanted to learn Spanish. After hearing that it was my love for the language plus my plans of travelling to that part of the world he made me feel like I had come to the right place. He briefed me about the course content and I immediately confessed that although my English was not bad my theoretical knowledge of English grammar could only be described by an unprintable adjective. I liked his positive response to this when he asked me to look at the bright side. “You get to learn Spanish and brush up your English grammar for free” he quipped. The thing that impressed me most was the total flexibility as regards timings and frequency of attendance offered at the institute. I was to travel to Bangalore that week and told him that I would most probably be starting after that trip of mine.

Circa Aug 2008, I was back from
Bangalore and decided to take the Spanish plunge.


It’s Sept end and I’m almost one month into the course. It’s been an interesting time and in my next couple of posts I’ll try and give you a glimpse of my experiences, my classmates, my teacher et al. It’s Adios until then.

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My posts - “The Thrill” and “The Star Cast” (available on vynesblog.blogspot.com - " Sept and Oct 08) will give you idea how this progressed.

 

In the next post I want to write about the wonderful experience I’ve had on a language learning website where I got teach a lot of English to Spanish speakers and made some great friends in Latin America.

 

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photo by: vvicy1