Here we are again with another listening appreciation and another chance to listen to Spanish speakers. It’s always a challenge to capture everything that a native speaker says.
Invariably, knowing that their audience is made up of students, they start speaking slowly. Then, after what seems like three and a half seconds, they start speaking at the speed of light as though they’ve completely forgotten that we are listening. (And they have).
During all of our interviews with native Spanish speakers at some point we have had to do the internationally known hand signal which involves frantically waving it up and down in the air. Supposedly, this makes people slow down and so we do it in the hope that the interviewee notices that they have lost just about their entire audience. Most times, however, they carry on oblivious!
In this interview between Iván and Cynthia, the theme is going out in Spain, principally in Madrid. You’ve already met Iván in the other interview with his boyfriend Jorge in which they talk about being gay in Spain.
This time, however, Iván is alone and covers the main things that young people do for fun.
What’s interesting is that they cover the topic of the infamous ‘botellón’. During many, many years, this was a favourite subject for the A level course here in the UK and it seemed that all of the students we coached through their exams had to talk about it.
If you aren’t familiar with it, the ‘botellón’ is a party outdoors for young people. They normally happen in parks and involve music, (some people bring guitars or drums) porros, (marijuana joints), and ‘calimocho’ (coke mixed with wine).
These parties have ‘mala fama’ mainly because of the mess that the youngsters leave behind afterwards. However, the ones that I (Gordon) have seen have always seemed quite nice and communal. For young people who have little money, this is a great way to have fun with friends without having to pay the high prices in the bars and clubs.
Fortunately, the Spanish climate permits people to be outside during the evening and so el botellón can happen spontaneously on any night. Although young people in the UK have tried to emulate the Spanish, it has never really taken off given the ‘tiempo fatal’ that we have here.
So, listen in as Iván talks you through his perceptions of the night life in Madrid. Buena suerte.