"Au idò, vagi bé" - The Pre-Mallorca Summary

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Monday, 24 May 2010 at 01:20

Well, a month has gone by without updates. In fact, I think it's been longer than that. Actually, who cares? What matters is that there's one right here, right now; as the Chemical Brothers song goes.

So, the last month has pretty much been hellish. It's exam season, in case you haven't already guessed. There was the fun of "functional translating" for Italian, followed by an oral exam on Italian novels and, yup, you guessed it, functional translations. That was swiftly followed by a Spanish exam, possibly not the hardest I've done in my life, but, still, one of the trickiest tense-wise. A week of freedom, if procrastination and revision can be called that, was followed by another Italian exam - one of the silliest exam papers I've ever had the misfortune to encounter - uh oh.

Now, in this glorious sunshine (well, the glorious sunshine that existed earlier, since it is a quarter to one right now), the prospect of one more exam is looming on the horizon. It's Catalan. It's going to be different, because I've never done a Catalan exam; we've never really been formally tested on it to be honest. Orally, we just speak in turn and ask questions about grammar; aurally, we listen to Manel and Whiskyn's and Estanislau Verdet and learn a few new words here and there; grammatically, we have a sound basis, but, I don't think I could hold my own for long in Catalonia.

That's why I'm throwing myself in at the deep end. I've had an entire two weeks off from exams, so in less than six hours I'm flying away to Mallorca to stay in the deepest, darkest part of the Mallorquí countryside. There'll be plenty of avis and avies to chat to; maybe a few nens and nenes. The plan is to leave at 3am, bum around in the airport for a bit, spend two hours on a plane reading Miquel Martí i Pol, then get a bus into Palma. There, I'll probably spend an hour hunting down a farmàcia to get some crema de sol. If I find one a bit faster, maybe I'll grab myself a tallat and some pa amb tomàquet for breakfast before heading off on the train to Manacor. Then, I'll do some mild sight-seeing in Manacor, before getting the bus out to Artà, where I'll be spending the next five days.

Hopefully, I'll be able to come back with some improved Catalan, and maybe some improved Spanish. I really need to get up to speed with both really; I feel unqualified in the one, and rusty in the other. It's such a brilliant thing that Mallorcans tend to speak both, especially in the more rural areas. However, it does mean that every sentence in Palma will start with Le importa si hablo Español, porque no hablo bien el catalan. (or if I feel confident Usted sabe catalan? Le importa si nos utilizamos?). My one downfall will be the conditional, but, beyond that I should be able to handle myself - I'm even packing a Catalan dictionary. How sad. I wish I could pack Wikitravel's Catalan Phrasebook to be honest - the more I look at it, the more I remember words from way back in the first semester. Ho sento, no puc comprar-ho. És una miqueta massa cara per mi. Pero, moltes gràcies per la seva ajuda sprung to mind on reading it.

The worst bits of all of this will be killing time and staying awake. I mean, I've been up since 8am; done 3 hours of shopping; had two hours of extra sleep on top of the 6 I've already had; drunk a pint of coffee; and it's still only a quarter past one. I have another hour and three quarters before my taxi turns up, and another four hours and three quarters to take-off. It's all a bit much really.

However, as previously stated, I did hope to vlog some of this holiday. The more I think about it, though, the less I want to. I feel like it's just going to be a holiday of relaxation and some mild language use, so there's not going to be anything worth vlogging about. Maybe I'll save those for my real year abroad, when I can dictate the flow of the tourism. Until then, you'll just have to wait with bated breath for me to return, gather my thoughts, and write up some form of post-trip bloggage to keep you hanging on for something infinitely more interesting in the forms of Pavia and Lleida.


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