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Category: Spain

Siesta in the Sierra

Excursions in the Provinces of Madrid and Castilla-León Introduction It may appear as if British Expat’s travel correspondent has lost his touch on exotic locations. No more 1001 nights in Kurdistan. No more incidents with Ossetian rebels on a Georgian mountain pass to Russia. No more clashes with corrupt policemen in the Balkans. Instead a […]

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Lesson Six: Get Into The Bit

"The message left on my answerphone had intrigued me: two policewomen whose main interest in foreign language learning was to sing karaoke. How do you prepare a lesson with these two? No use planning a quick dash through the Present Perfect. If anything, it was going to have to be Sing Something Present Simple." Graeme coaches El Duo Dinámico...

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Lesson Five: Strong arms and the law

"There is no point in resenting the fact that your fingerprints are to be forever-and-ever-olé on some petty functionary's computer, nor worth protesting that 'back home we don't do that kind of thing'. You have to go with a submissive 'here-unto-you-I-present-my-fingers-do-with them-what-you-will' attitude." Dr Graeme Porte applies for his Spanish ID card.

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Lesson Four: Tiptoe Through The Tutus

"I stood up, recognised a 3/4 rhythm, and tried to spot myself in the mirror. Not difficult. I was the only one moving sideways instead of forwards, stomping two seconds late, holding half a castanet wrapped round my thumb the other round the wrist, and wearing corduroy trousers." Graeme attends a class himself - a dancing class.

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Lesson Three: Chicken chests and cheeps

"I groaned inwardly. So, no money again, then. I came to call them my 'Russian classes' – goods in exchange for knowledge, consommés for consonants in the present case. Expanding my stomach rather than my wallet." Dr Graeme Porte's latest students - restaurateurs - offer payment in kind rather than cash!

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