It has been eleven years since I have been in a fully Spanish speaking community. My Spanish skills (or the little that I had once had) has pretty much gone to shreds. I entered Monterrey, Mexico, with hardly any ability to communicate with my host family. The poor family spent the first couple of days lamenting over the face that I had forgotten my Spanish, and that I once was able to speak with them well. (In fact, I know it was a miracle that I was able to communicate with them when I was in Argentina because the next semester when I was back at university I wondered how on earth I managed to get away with so little Spanish) Anyway, a few days later, I am now using my maimed Spanish and feeling a little more confident talking to people.
A little bit of background about Monterrey... it is the capital city of Nueva Leon, the north eastern state of Mexico. The city is famous for its natural resources... it is rich is iron, steel, cement, etc. It is a city surrounded by mountains (hence the name). And the climate is very desert like... it's supposed to be autumn now, but the weather still is in it's high 20s up to the mid 30s.
Things I have been discovering about Mexico:
- the Mexicans love their chillies
- the Mexicans do not like being associated with the US, but they have tonnes of borrowed words from the English language...
- apart from borrowed words, they also have lots of different words from the Spanish spoken in Argentina and the Spanish I have learnt at uni