I made it to Madrid on time, with no issues. Like I expected, I got about 30 minutes of sleep. It’s now 10:10 PM on Thursday and I’m still awake. It probably has something to do with getting lost on the way back to the hotel and walking in a big circle in uncomfortable shoes and then, again, being challenged by technology.
Most people agree that technology is a great thing, as long as it works. It can siphon the life right out of a person when it doesn’t. I had issues today with both the wireless internet connection in the hotel and BlackBerry personal email. Fortunately, I resolved the wireless internet problem with some Internet Explorer adjustments. Verizon Wireless has the best customer service and they were able to resolve the BlackBerry issues. One might ask, how much time did I spend today working on technology while in Madrid? I estimate about 2 hours total.
Today, the Pueblo Ingles program held an orientation luncheon at a local flamenco restaurant. The lunch was less than desirable, but the flamenco demonstration was fantastic. With 2 groups totalling about 30 people, the place was pretty loud. It’s clear one of the criteria for being selected as a Pueblo Ingles participant is the gift of conversation. I have not often been in a setting where I looked around the room and no one, I mean no one, was sitting and observing. Whew – that was even a bit much for me.
The Coto del Valle group is off on a bus to Cazorla at 8:30 AM on Friday morning. We learned this afternoon that it’s approximately a 5 hour drive, with the last hour winding up and into the mountains. I’ll be sure to make some photos. Some Spanish participants will be on the bus, so Pueblo Ingles work starts immediately. We were given the basic guidelines –
All English, all the time, even if you know Spanish
Socialize (again, in English) at least once with every Spaniard throughout the week.
If we heard Spaniards talking amongst themselves in Spanish, politely intervene.
After lunch, two women and I did some shopping around the area. I did not purchase a single thing. I did observe people out and about everywhere.
One last thing about technology — I learned today that Coto del Valle hotel has internet through a satellite connection. Those of you geeks will know that means it’s usually less than stable and slow. If I go dark, you’ll know why.