Advanced series 2
3. Spain – Daura
Welcome to episode 3 of Latin Voices. In this episode I speak with Daura, a friend from the province of Valencia, in Spain. Daura has been living in London very little time. In this episode, she tells us a little about her time living in London up until now, and of our plans and Christmas traditions, especially in Spain
From Tenerife, we're here with Daura in this episode, today it's Sunday 08:00 at night, more or less, and Daura made a big effort, thank you very much for coming and joining us
And nothing… I wanted to tell you, we were with my family a few hours ago and since Friday, celebrating the “day of the candles”, is that familiar to you Daura, in Spain, the celebration of the “day of the candles” for the virgin Mary on December 8?
It is not known as the day of the candles, day eight is a holiday for the Virgin Mary and all that, but it is not a celebration like the day of the candles, it's just that day, but nothing special is done.
We do, we like to celebrate and have parties. We do it on Friday, it is very simple, some small candles are placed, the families put seven candles in front of the house, dinner is made, perhaps, and it is nice. I think I was curious to know if they did it in Spain or not.
At Christmas, let’s see, it depends on each family, in our family we are not very religious, because Christmas is focused on a religious aspect and we are not very like that. What we do is put the Christmas tree, the Bethlehem and we make Christmas dinner, New Year’s Eve, Christmas Eve, it's like everything.
Do you have the “novena”? No, it's very South American, it's nine nights before the 24th, they also celebrate.
The United States custom of Santa Claus has been taken up a bit and Santa Claus comes on the 24th and the celebration is on the 25th, it's like the night.
It's really the excuse, but every Christmas we eat a lot and have a lot of parties, but on specific days it's Christmas Eve that is the 24th, New Year’s Eve that is the 31st and then we do the “wise men”.
Yes and the 12 grapes.
The traditions of the 12 grapes we also do, what an interesting one. This was like to put us in the Christmas spirit, but tell us a little more about you Daura, what are you doing in London?
I came to London to learn English, because my English level is very basic, and I needed to learn English, but apart from that it is also an excuse to “change the air”. I had nothing that tied me up really fixed, there I have my family, I had a job, but I had nothing to tie me and as I am still young, I did not have studies or a house, a partner.
I decided to make a change and I don’t know, the first destination that comes to you, that many people come to learn English is London. One thing I've noticed is that in London there are more Spanish people than Londoners.
Not exactly, I valued the possibility of going as an au pair, and spoke with families from Ireland, but I also spoke with a friend who got me a job interview, which was not an au pair, I decided to go for the interview and see how I developed here. There I have spoken with people who have told me that it is easier here than in Ireland, because of the thing about the accent that in Ireland is something more “closed” I think.
It's the thing, from my experience, of what I think of London is that yes, what you say is true, Londoners, that is, very few, perhaps. It is a city already full of immigrants, but there are other cities with customs, more English, perhaps more local customs, London is very cosmopolitan.
It's also that I'm an impulsive person, I decided it and I'm one of the people [of whom] you say, “If you decide to, do it”. So, I decided to, and I wanted to do it already, I did not want to wait. I have a friend who also wants to come, but she wanted Christmas to pass, she wanted to prepare, I don’t know, to be like more time thinking about it. She was deciding and I said, “I'm leaving”, maybe it's a bit hasty, but I didn’t assess other cities that could better adapt to me or not, I don’t know. I was, the idea of London came to me, the opportunity of an interview and I said, “why not”.
Yes, I think that's fine. I have my niece, she is in Germany, and she lives in smaller cities, even villas or more distant places, not as much as the city, but the issue of finding work is more complicated. So, you can’t always have everything, work, premises, all at the same time, you always have to sacrifice one thing or the other.
Yes, and I have also found that there are so many immigrants, among immigrants we also have some understanding or consideration, because we have experienced the same thing, the struggle. It seems to me nice to be in a city like London, that you find people who are in that continuous fight, just like you as an immigrant.
That are taken [by the wind], because that, had the initiation. Then we also take out sailboats, paddle surf, canoe, work on the beach.
I don’t know whether to go back to work there those three months, because I love that job, or stay here longer or go somewhere else, I don’t know. Let's see, at first, stay at least until summer, not leave now, because this month it has been a bit more difficult for me to communicate because my level is very basic, and to develop in a different country, alone–
I still have not adapted completely. Little by little I see that I am evolving, but I have not adapted completely, and I don’t want to surrender in the first month. I don’t want to see myself like, “Oops, I'm alone”, “Oops, it's hard for me to communicate, I'm leaving”, the easy way. At least three, five months to see a little if I learn something and if I get secure or not.
Yes. Anyway, I've been here in London for more than six years, for example, and the first year, without a doubt, is harder, because there are many things, the change is total and one is facing a new world and with many fears. The language, everything, but after a while, I think that everything is getting richer and you learn. You have to give it, I think, a little more time. If you really want to have an English– Whether you're going back to Spain or somewhere else and want to have a level of conversational English, it's time. Because I don’t think that three months to learn a language is enough. One has to dedicate … It's time. Time and patience. [laughs]
Yes, but that's fine. That is, not that there are many Spaniards, but the difference that there is, is that there are many people from many places, it is enriching.
I, in my work, I think there is one English person. In my work, because it is a French restaurant and there are many people from different places, and you can learn something different from everyone.
Yes, that's what many people tell me, that I have it very easy because Spain is next door and there are many flights. For example, there are people who are in America, in the United States, in Latin America, it is more difficult. Or people who work with me who are in Russia, where tickets are more expensive or there are fewer tickets. To [fly to] Spain, I have that luck.
Yes, of course. That perhaps also has its downside, because here it is very easy to also have days when, “I want to leave”, you don’t feel that you can take it anymore, and the only thing you think is that, “I want to take a flight and return” Sure, you would have it easier. When you look at the ticket it is worth €20 or if it is worth €500 [laughs], “Eh, no”. It has its pros and cons.
Yes. Sure, you have the easy option, which is to surrender. What happens is that my mother tells me a lot, that I'm very stubborn–
Yes, even if it costs me or I'm having a good time, but I'm not completely comfortable, try it, until I see that I'm really doing well or that it’s going nowhere, but I'm very stubborn.
No, that's fine. Sometimes the most worthwhile things are those that involve sacrifice or effort, to suffer a little to see more results.
Sure. I like to fend for myself, I don’t like to have things rain on me. Also, many times they reproach me for that, because sometimes I receive help, I accept it, but it's like I feel that I have not done it, I feel that they have done it to me, but all help is always good.