dinner at my house usually consists of us eating in silence while maría luisa talks to the tv and then looks at us expectantly. at which point, we make the appropriate nod or "i know. i can´t believe it either" face. occasionally, she talks to us at length, but is very hard to understand so we never really know what´s going on.
the other night, we were peacefully enjoying the awesome tortilla de españa that i´ve grown to love (and will make for everyone when i return), when maría luisa starts talking to us. she started out slowly, so i was able to catch "two men....known a long time...very nice...english....pay." then she got fast so i just kept nodding and smiling because we were in "what the heck is going on?" territory. when we left the table, i asked my roommate if she got any of it, and we came up with something like this: maría luisa and miguel have two old man friends who might be lawyers and want to speak english. and we´d practice our spanish with them. but we have to pay. and i think we agreed to do it already. crap.
the next day, miguel approached me with the same proposition. however, he is much easier to understand to i was able to get this: "two men...i work out at the gym with them....very nice...they want to practice english...they pay." at this point things started to make sense. i like this idea. we go, once a week, and speak english to these two men, and they pay us!
last night was our first class. it wasn´t until we left that i actually understood what was going to take place every week. just like miguel said, they´re lawyers who took english classes a long time ago and want to stay fluent. they pay us 7.50 euros a week for an hour to sit and discuss topics and read to them and translate. they´re hilarious too! when we got there, they were only speaking spanish to us and they explained what was going to go down in spanish, so i still wasnt too sure what we were getting into, but it all turned out ok. the only problem we had was getting out of the building. there´s a button you have to push for one door, and a button for another door, and the elevator´s really confusing. we were locked in for a little while because he explained to us how to exit the building, but it was in spanish. don´t these people get that i don´t understand them?! oh well, it was an adventure, and now i´m 7.50 richer, so all in all, it´s a good deal.