[Conferences] Make me speak Spanish

Salvador Fandino sfandino at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 16 12:42:06 CEST 2015

> From: James E Keenan <jkeen at verizon.net>
>To: Discussion about YAPC conferences <conferences at yapceurope.org> 
>Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2015 1:37 AM
>Subject: [Conferences] Make me speak Spanish
>I am planning to attend YAPC::EU in Granada this year and I am 
>soliciting suggestions for things to do in the *pre*-conference period, 
>say, from Sat Aug 22 to Tue Sep 01.
>But there's a catch:  I do not want to speak English during this period. 
>  I want to speak Spanish.
>I know from past IT events in Europe that >= 99% of the presentations 
>and discussions at the conference itself will be in English.
>I also know that I would have no difficulty if I were to simply play the 
>role of Anglophone Tourist in the pre-conference period.  I don't want 
>that.  My Spanish is good enough for me to survive in a Spanish-speaking 
>country without a dictionary, but since I have never been to Spain 
>before, I want to use this as an opportunity to really hone my Spanish 
>From this I infer that I should try to find some structured activity to 
>engage in that will force me to speak a lot of Spanish all day long.

>Does anyone have suggestions?

Stay away from the popular mediterranean beach destinations.

You can engage in some tour targeted at the local tourism. There are lots of them departing from Madrid or Barcelona and you will get to meet local people and enjoy less known parts of Spain. Look specially for tours visiting gastronomical and wine friendly places (i.e. La Rioja, Asturias, Basque Country or Las Rias Bajas) as they usually have a higher proportion of social events.

There is also the Camino de Santiago (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camino_de_Santiago), originally a pilgrimage, but nowadays lots of people do it just as a different kind of touristic experience and it is easy to meet other people from everywhere (lots of Spaniards too) and just talk and walk and walk.

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