What can one say? The sun is shining and promises to remain for the entire weekend. We shan’t be around to enjoy its Spring warmth as we’re jetting off to sample the delights of Spain for the first time with old friends.
It seems strange to be travelling to a country whose language I don’t speak, yet I’ve probably met more Spanish speakers than English speakers in California, but most of them were bi-lingual. Spain is one of the few countries which refuses to pander to immigrants. They will pay for you to learn Spanish, but won’t provide interpreters or provide any information in other languages.
This seems a completely different way of thinking from our own, where Equal Opportunities legislation impels everyone to provide access to information in someone’s mother tongue. As I sit at my office desk, I frequently receive emails asking for Polish or Punjabi speakers and several of my colleagues have Russian speaking clients. We have an office in Spain, so fluent Spanish speakers are easily accessible, but I remember interviewing a Spanish doctor once who wanted to be trained as a psychiatrist and her English was the worst I’d ever heard, so I’m not sure her country’s ethos supports those who wish to work abroad.
Richard and Laura visit Spain regularly to train with their skydiving colleagues. Richard studied Spanish at school, but like his siblings and father, did not enjoy languages. This always makes me sad, because I loved learning French, German and Latin, even writing poems in French during a long holiday in Le Mans!
Kathryn has also travelled there before me, staying in her boyfriend's Grandmother's apartment. They loved the heat and wonderful sea food, so I'm looking forward to trying some paella and other dishes.
I’m wondering what herbs I’ll come across in Spain or whether the golf complex we’re going to will only nurture grass rather than green in general. Whatever I find will be an adventure and I’ll share some of the pictures when we return.