Yesterday evening, I had planned to go to the cathedral with Ahmed. We arranged to meet at 6, and when I found him he told me that the cathedral closes at 6:30. I'm not sure why he didn't tell me this before!
As the cathedral was going to be closed we walked around a bit to find somewhere to have a drink. Ahmed once again ordered something stronger than necessary - this time he wanted a Jack Daniels. It was huge as Spanish 'measures' are about 3 times the size of English ones. It was painful to watch him drink it and he obviously didn't enjoy it, but tried to drink it anyway. When I ordered my second caña (small beer) I got him a coke and he mixed it in and was able to drink it. I made an excuse after this and went home for a while.
When I got home I replied to my emails and went down stairs on my way out. Oliver and Charo were in the kitchen and Oliver invited me to eat with them. Charo told me they didn't really have any food and it was a bit awkward. I wanted to say "I was going to eat out, but I can eat here if you want me to". Basically the rules are that I get breakfast and lunch here, but eat in the evening on my own.
I couldn't figure out how to word it so I told them to give me a minute and ran to my room to look it up. This a really useful phrase: "Iba a ..." literally "I was going to ...". When I found them again I told them that I was going to eat out in the restaurant, and I can still do so, but I can eat here too. I will only eat here if I am invited. Eventually we all understood each other and Charo said they don't really eat a meal in the evening - they just snack on bread and fruit. It was all a bit difficult because of the language barrier.
After that I went to a restaurant in the "Plaza amador de los rios" - the square of the lover of rivers. In some ways it was better eating alone than with Ahmed because I chatted to the waiter more. I asked the waiter what "Alcachofas con Jamon" was and he said serano ham with vegetables so I ordered that. When it came it was a plate of artichoke hearts with little pieces of ham and was very nice. Every time I saw the waiter I asked him to repeat what it was called until after about 3 times I'd got it. He seemed impressed that I wanted to learn.
I slept well last night and awoke feeling refreshed. When I got to class there was no Ahmed - apparently he was ill. I predict that he had drunk more spirits and was ill because of that but I don't know for sure.
Class was pretty good as it was just me and the teacher. The first half of class went extremely quickly, and as usual we went for a coffee in the break. In the second half of the lesson I had a lot of fun trying to explain Imperial Units (feet, inches, ounces, pints etc.) to my teacher. I always knew it was a stupid system, but it seems even more so when explaining it to a foreigner! "What - there are 12 inches in a foot? Why?".
Lunch today was the best so far and I ate a lot. I had green beans with ham to start, and tortilla for my main. I had a custard desert (natillas). I have also mastered the words for knife, fork and spoon at last!
This evening I am meeting up for some kind of tour of the city (in Spanish). I'm not 100% where so I will go now and try and find it!