My photo
Always a traveller but occasionally settled for a few years or more. I've lived in Sydney, Adelaide the longest with stints in Darwin and Perth too, as far as Australia is concerned. In terms of more than six months then I can add Rio, Cairo, London and now Madrid, for the past five years. Regular visits to rellies near Venice and jaunts to various parts of Europe keep me fresh and my larder well stocked.


Monday, 24 May 2010

Update 1

It's been a while.
Life tends to get in the way of writing and sorting put photos etc. The pressures of work (or worrying about the lack of it) can also drain your energy, convincing you that watching a movie is a better option. And sometimes it is, especially when you have very little to say.

Living in a country not your own has a complete set of problems that never even occur to citizens going through their daily grind at home. For example, having to deal with another language all day. Even if you are (more or less) fluent it can become a chore and you long to switch back to your own. Speaking your own tongue with non-natives is not quite the same and can be a bit draining as well.

For me, this situation is acerbated by the fact that I'm training others or teaching. I use my own language most of the day but I cannot do it fluently because of the requirements of my students who are paying me for my skills. This means that I tend to avoid English in social situations because it becomes a bit too much like "work" when people ask you to clarify, to correct them or to repeat many times over. The problem can become even worse with people who are fairly fluent because then you tend to forget that they do not have the cultural background, the shared history to fully understand what you're trying to say. It becomes frustrating because you wander why they don't understand something that for you is self evident. Are they stupid or what? I ask myself.

Of course not. They are going through the same emotions, feelings and frustrations when they listen to me speaking Spanish or when they say something I haven't quite grasped because I don't have the necessary baggage with me, that shared history I mentioned earlier.

I'd be interested to hear any comment or diverging points of view.

1 comment:

  1. Por el modo en que fotografías España (con tus imagenes de Madrid me parece decubrir un poco más mi ciudad) pareces estar al margen de esa necesidad de "cultural background, the shared history" para entender y comunicar lo que ves. Enhorabuena por tu ojo de fotografo.