Day 5: Language

We arrived in Avila today and saw the most beautiful Cathedral yet. I’ll be dedicated an entire post to Segovia, Avila and Toledo later on, but for now, I’ll send a spoiler photo I took with my phone.

This photo has not been edited or filtered…

The people in Spain have been great. Our Air BNB host in Madrid was beyond helpful. The owner of our hotel in Segovia was so friendly, I don’t think he ever stopped smiling. But today, when we arrived in Avila, I had my first crummy experience with a local.

This cat we saw in Segovia looks the way I felt today. I woke up this morning with an email from my school telling me they were withholding about $2000 Canadian in pay from me. No reason given. They just aren’t paying me until after the holiday…..

When we arrived, we weren’t sure where to park (the area isn’t exactly ideal for parkades), so I ran inside to ask where to leave the car. The owner proceeded to yell at me because we were A.) Early and B.) Too daft to speak Spanish.

Meanwhile, my only concern was that our sweet little rental car was safe so we could start exploring Avila!

My Spanish comprehension is pretty good, but I can speak about 10 words total, so this was all very frustrating for me. I could understand her easily enough… But I couldn’t explain that she needn’t worry and that we didn’t need to check in. Just find parking.

The streets here aren’t exactly built for parking…. Parking spots are expensive and coveted. We paid 20 euros to park our car the first night. Our hotel, by comparison, cost only 30.…..

Language troubles are hardly new for me. I deal with them on a day to day basis living in China, but to understand without being able to respond was very frustrating!

All I wanted was to drop off my bags so I could go and see the city walls! But of course, I couldn’t communicate that with the owner of this hotel, because she came into the situation assuming I was demanding my room early …

Eventually we were able to work everything out, and when she realized I wasn’t just some jerk foreigner demanding early check in, she warmed up very quickly. We’re basically pals now.

We did make it to the wall!! We also enjoyed a very sunny day!

Language is so integral to the human experience. It’s what many psychologists say defines consciousness (you can’t think without language….try!). Without language, we wouldn’t be nearly as special among all the species on earth… I just wish there was a way to upload all new languages into my brain! It would make traveling so much easier!

The Wall at night! I’ll write more about Avila soon!

Tomorrow we head to Toledo! Stay tuned for more travel updates!

One thought on “Day 5: Language”

  1. Oh man I agree on the language experience, it’s a game changer if you can understand and respond! The trip looks amazing so far.

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