Wednesday night's Spanish class is one of the highlights of my week, or perhaps I should confess - my life. That's when at a local Neighbourhood House I meet with a divergent group of intriguing people, with whom I share a passion for Spanish conversation and Spanish-speaking countries.
Undoubtedly, an important factor that keeps us coming throughout the depths of winter is the input from our wonderful teacher, Cynthia Granados (*CYNAMööN* www.cynthiagp.com).
Cynthia performing ritual - MONARCA - at Federation Square
Cynthia is a Mexican performance artist. For the last few years she has been living, working and studying in Melbourne, while hoping desperately to be allowed to settle here. But things are not looking good. Unfortunately Cynthia's visa requires her to obtain permanent sponsored employment in a job that can't be done by a local. And in the area of arts administration, which she loves and where her qualifications lie, there are few opportunities.
We don't want to lose her and she is exactly the sort of young, independent-thinking, talented person Australia needs. And she's lots of fun too. So if you know of any job leads, please contact Cynthia.
One of the fun things she encourages is zany themes for our discussions. Simple conversations - like menu analysis - the stuff of 'conventional' Spanish classes are not for us. We might not be able to order lunch in Spanish, but we have no trouble regaling the waiters with our opinions on global politics or Michael Jackson. Or for that matter, on the topic for this week's class: life on other planets.
That topic has turned out to be easy for me. I know exactly what life on other planets is like. People watch football on TV, eat pizza, get blown about walking on the beach before gratefully returning home to bask in front of an open fire. How can I be so certain? - you may well ask.
Well, last weekend, in preparation for class, I undertook some galactic explorations of my own. We headed for Venus Bay, travelling along Jupiter Boulevard, took a left into Saturn Parade, before alighting in the:-
I've always known that Melbourne is the centre of the universe, but I had no idea that there were so many planets orbiting around us.
But getting back to Cynthia - as you can see from her photo above, Cynthia clearly hails from Venus. I just hope she gets to spend her future life here on Mars with us.