Sunday, February 2, 2014

Your Spanish Friend

A few weeks ago, I told you about my long weekend in Madrid staying with Guadalupe (click here for the last of several posts on that trip).

Guadalupe and a few of her friends can communicate fairly well in English. Other of her friends are fluent — and probably have a much better academic knowledge of English grammar than I do... than do I... than I... In addition, some are also fluent in French, German, and Italian. One friend is even fluent in Hebrew. All I could remember how to say in Hebrew was, "What's this?," "I go to Hebrew school," and "Koopy is a good monkey." Phonetically, that's "Koopy cove tove," if it ever comes up in conversation.

Putting Koopy aside... The core group of five professional women started a business together called "Your Spanish Friend." They host people in their homes and offer a few days or more of immersion in Spanish conversation while sharing the city of Madrid from an insider's view.

This all sounds like an advertisement and I don't mean it to be that. I just thought I'd let you know about it in case you're interested. Although Guadalupe and I had recently become friendly, we weren't close friends and really didn't know each other very well. I agreed to go up for a visit and was kind of nervous about staying in someone else's home (not my favorite way to travel) and spending so much time in such close proximity to a fairly new acquaintance. I also love to travel independently, so didn't know how I felt about being taken around Madrid by someone else.

The entire visit was a revelation. First, the homes are large and elegant. I had my own beautiful room and private bath. I know people with apartments smaller than that. So, staying in Guadalupe's house was like staying in an elegant B&B — with the added benefit of feeling part of a family (and being able to eat whenever I wanted). We spent the entire weekend speaking only Spanish. At times, my Spanish was comical, but I can't believe how much I improved, and how relaxed I was the entire time.

YOUR SPANISH FRIEND(s).

You may remember the photo I shared of Guadalupe and her friends. They are all gracious, fascinating, classy, relaxed, warm, kind, funny, knowledgable. I could go on an on. I fell in love. I told San Geraldo even he (yes, even he) would have had a great time.

This is not a shameless plug since it's not about me. Check them out at www.YourSpanishFriend.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/YourSpanishFriend. (You may recognize some of the photos. I sent all of mine to Guadalupe.)

AND JUST THINK, AFTER YOUR TIME IN MADRID,
YOU CAN VISIT THE COSTA DEL SOL AND WAKE UP TO THIS.
CLICK THE IMAGES TO FILL THE SCREEN WITH SUNRISE (AND FRIENDS).

Koopy
During your next trip to Spain I know you'll be asked about Koopy the monkey (he comes up all the time, as you can imagine): When asked, all you need to say is:"Koopy es un buen mono," because Koopy is a good monkey.

28 comments:

  1. Sounds like a lovely trip to meet lovely people, but, as for me, it's all all Koopy. I'll be saying Koopy cove tove all day and then telling people I speak Hebrew.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob:
      When I learned about Koopy, I already knew how to say something was good (in Hebrew). Why I needed to know how to say "Koopy is a good monkey" beats me, but I DID learn (and remember) how to say "monkey."

      Delete
  2. This sounds like a great immersion class......Plus meeting new people and seeing their home (s?). I may know more Hebrew than you, Mitch. On the basis of a few ulpan classes in the early 60s. I can say, "Koopy lo tov". But that's mean. I'm sure he is good. I want to know more about his story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kristi:
      Wow. I had forgotten the word "lo" until I read your comment. How exciting. Now I remember even more Hebrew.

      Delete
  3. Oh Mitch, this sounds perfect for those who would need only a few days to learn Spanish. I think I would need a few years! lol Ron on the other hand.....
    But I will keep it in mind to share with friends heading in that direction.

    Since I do have a distant Jewish 'family branch', I just be better off honing into that DNA and hoping for the best! Then again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'I just be better off....' I would just be better off....' maybe, just maybe, English classes would be better for me!

      Delete
    2. Jim:
      I just be thinking the same thing... about English classes, that is!

      Delete
  4. Sounds like the kind of thing Bill & I would like to do... stay in someone's home and speak (try) Spanish... About Koopy... I think we saw him on our way to town yesterday... at least that one didn't through something nasty at us, so he was good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sharon:
      Really great immersion program and the most wonderful and fascinating people.

      It must have been Koopy you saw yesterday. Give him my regards.

      Delete
  5. I'm glad Koopy is a good monkey, and not like that chain-smoking monkey in Hangover II.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stephen:
      But Koopy just won't get off my back. It's been more than 45 years!

      Delete
  6. I would love to be able to do this! Maybe someday ...
    I needed the Koopy story. I just watched a tear-jerking ad and needed to smile.

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    Replies
    1. Michael:
      It's embarrassing what those advertisers can do to the heartstrings. I'm glad Koopy is good for something.

      Delete
  7. This sounds like an amazing idea. They look like a beautiful bunch of ladies. Is that the term for a group of ladies "a bunch". Anyhow, I wish there was a French one.
    How splendido!
    Di
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Di:
      You're asking me? Hmmm. A group of flamingos is a flamboyance. It could be a ladle of ladies. As for French, they're planning to expand the program to "Your French Friend, "Your German Friend." One of these days, you can sail to France...

      Delete
  8. Guadalupe and her friends are many things including they are all thin! I couldn't help but notice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ms. Sparrow:
      It's funny what we notice about people. The first thing I tend to notice is when men have hair!

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. John:
      And the photo doesn't do them justice. Even more beautiful when you get to know them.

      Delete
  10. I love hearing stories of Warrior Women like these.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spo:
      They are an amazing group. In Medicine, Law, Art, and Finance. Who knew brains could be so beautiful and gracious?

      Delete
  11. I loved your post Mitchell! This "spanish friend" experience really sounds fascinating. When you travel you don't want to feel like a tourist, but as part of the city and surrounded by friends!! I'll certainly share it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon (S?):
      You're so right. We had lunch and drinks in places tourists would never hear of, and I heard the greatest inside stories about Madrid, its history... A really unusual experience.

      Delete
    2. Mitchell, me encantan los comentarios que has puesto en tu blog!. La verdad es que pasamos unos días muy agradables, pero después de lo que has escrito creo que voy a invitarte cada vez que quieras. Una cosa solamente, de todos los adjetivos que habéis puesto solo uno es absolutamente verdadero: No somos ni demasiado thin, ni tan elegant quizás, por supuesto, no tan beautiful. Pero si somos warrior,
      Un beso a ti y a tus amigos

      Delete
    3. Gema Calvente:
      Tú (y las diosas) eres todo lo que decimos ... ¡y mucho más! Besos y abrazos

      Delete
  12. Koopy est un bon singe! You know, Spanish is still the one language I really want to learn!

    And no kidding, my second verification is "rabbinic"!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Knatolee:
      Sometimes those word verifications make me wonder who's watching...

      Consider this post an important Spanish lesson. You now know how to say Koopy is a good monkey. (And I now know how to say it in French!)

      Delete
  13. Pues esta es major manera de aprender, contacta con nosotras: http://www.yourspanishfriend.com/ y ven a pasar una semana a Madrid.
    Gema= Guadalupè

    ReplyDelete

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