Valencia is the third biggest city in Spain. I talked to several friends with contacts in Spain and finally a men’s home in Valencia invited me to come over. The house was a rehabilitation center for drug addicts. A lot of men with strange backgrounds, complicated family histories and bad experiences in life waited for me.
The first day I didn’t get a lot. They talked fast and didn’t repeat their questions. One guy put it bluntly: “He doesn’t speak Spanish.”
But, slowly we made progress together: Some guys had a bit more patience with me than the first and understood that they might have to ask more simple questions.
Every day it got a tiny bit better. Not that I had noticed, you recognize when you look back. But, I did what everybody recommends: total immersion into the language. Most of these guys were simple men who didn’t know any other language. Spanish or nothing – that’s what you need if you want to learn.
There was another advantage that I appreciate a lot today if I look back:
No grammar, no instruction, simply communicating.
The things you have learned suddenly get put into practice, they become alive!
How it helped me in my university studies I will tell you next time.