January 9th, 2008
|07:11 pm - That Review Your year meme|
Most of this meme concentrates on Lisbon, cos I really don't recall much of my life before September. This'd worry me, except memory blanks aren't a particularly rare occurance with me.
--What did you do in 2006 that you'd never done before?
Well, lots of stuff. Um, played on a beach at midnight.
--Did anyone close to you give birth?
Um, well my niece did, but as it was stillborn twasn't much of a cause for celebration
--Did anyone close to you die?
--What countries did you visit?
Portugal. Romania, Germany (briefly), Spain, and of course, the UK.
--What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?
I can't think of anything that I didn't really have, apart from conviction and self-belief.
--What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I moved abroad, and survived.
--What was your biggest failure?
I didn't make as many proper friends at uni as I could've.
--What was the best thing you bought?
Um... coat? Boots?
--Whose behavior merited celebration?
Too many people. Especially my family
--Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
--Where did most of your money go?
Eating out, drinking and taxis, I guess. Worth it, though
--What did you get really, really, really excited about?
So many things.
--What song will always remind you of 2006?
Hey There Delilah. Not sure why
--Compared to this time last year, are you:
-Happier or sadder? happier than this time last year
-Thinner or fatter? Fatter at the mo
-Richer or poorer? Poorer
--What do you wish you'd done more of?
Partying (hey, I'm Erasmus), sightseeing, that sorta thing. And thinking about it, I was quite a crap daughter/sister/aunt. Really should've seen my family more.
--What do you wish you'd done less of?
--How will you be spending/did you spend Christmas?
Spent it in a gorgeous hotel by the sea (was in a bit of a funny mood though... xmas eve and boxing day were fantastic).
--Did you fall in love in 2006?
Love or lust that then solidified into something that could be taken for a sort of love.
--How many one-night stands?
Same answer as last year- what do you take me for? none
--What were your favorite TV programs?
Didn't watch much TV. Desperate housewives, I guess.
--Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Same answer as last year-I rarely hate anyone
--What was the best book you read?
If On a Winter's Night a Traveller, I think. Ooh, or Red Seas Under Red Skies. NOT The Modern World
--What was your greatest musical discovery?
Elliott Smith. My god his stuff's fantastic.
--What did you want and get?
A lot of things. Happiness, of sorts.
--What did you want and not get?
I'm struggling to think of anything. Contentment makes for a boring review.
--What were your favorite films of this year?
At World's End. That was 2007, right?
--What did you do on your birthday?
Again, i haven't got the faintest idea.
--How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006?
Calf length skirt and smartish top. Jesus, I'm not even 40 yet.
--What kept you sane?
Friends and family.
--Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Every time I see an Antonio Banderas film I feel all wibbly...
--What political issue stirred you the most?
I know there was another, but all that stands out is my noticable lack of concern about ID cards. I think they'll be quite a good idea.
--Who did you miss?
i still don't really miss people that much.
--Who was the best new person you met?
Duty bound to say Chris, though Scott's coming a close second, and Carolina and Tanitsara are hovering closely behind.
--Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006:
1- I'm not so different from everyone else- we all want the same kind of things. Everyone just wants to have some fun.
2- Just try it. If it goes wrong, at least you'll know you tried.
3- There's a whole world still waiting for me.
Current Location: Still in Anjos
Current Mood: contemplative
Current Music: Starsailor
December 5th, 2007
Damn, I only went out to buy a jumper. There's a suitable shop about 5 minutes up the road.
How the hell did I come back 150 Euros lighter, without even having bought a jumper?
Current Mood: surprised
November 20th, 2007
"You want to learn portuguese, watch City of God", my franco-brazillian friend says at a party.
"It's about a proper Brazillian slum. It's real, it's how it is."
"Wow, sounds cool. I'd like to visit somewhere like that one day."
He gives me a funny look. "No, you wouldn't."
So I buy City of God from Amazon, and I decide to watch it one rainy morning. It's a good portuguese lesson, but it makes me sadder than any other film I have ever watched. I don't mind that it's violent, or dark, or full of murder, I mind that it's based on a true story and that none of the people in it are actors, just people picked from the slum.
Even the 8 year old kids who, in the film, laugh while they're shooting people.
I know I'm naive, and all the rest of it, but I wish I'd never seen it
Current Mood: discontent
November 19th, 2007
November 13th, 2007
One day, I am going to get my head around the idea that the whole world does not always revolve around me.
And I'm going to realise this before my hissy fit, thus saving a lot of time and energy and the need for apologetic backtracking, etc.
Current Mood: embarrassed
October 17th, 2007
|08:28 pm - An Englishman, a Swede and a German walk into a uni...|
Life as an Erasmus student in Lisbon is hilarious.
In an English university you enrol, go to lectures, sit an exam. Nothing funny, nothing entertaining.
In Lisbon, every day I hear of some administrative cock up that has me in hysterics.
For example- our Erasmus co-ordinator, who is supposed to organise everything for us, enrol us into courses etc, has a policy of saying 'yes' to everything (and her english is perfect, so that's no excuse).
We tested this a while ago- one of us went into her office and said "so the BFFR course is 6 credits, right?" and she said yes.
They then came outside, and half an hour later I walked in and said "so the BFFR course is 4 credits, right?" and she said yes.
BTW, we all need 30 credits to complete the course. If we don't get 30 credits we fail our year abroad and cannot continue our degrees, so it's kind of important to know. We now know not to trust anything she says.
Also, my friend Anna is Swedish, and is having real problems learning portuguese. She's not sure if she'll pass the portuguese course, and she needs the 4 credits that it gives, so she went to the office and explained, and asked if she could take another course aswell, to make up the credits, and was enrolled into European Comnpany Law and Directives.
She turned up, and sat through a 3 hour course in Spanish.
The lecturer spoke no English, and not very much portuguese. She went to Senhora Useless, who was shocked that the course was not, in fact, in English. Turns out nobody from the university has ever actually spoken to this lecturer, so Anna found a spanish speaker and asked the lecturer what to do.
As far as she can make out, she needn't attend any lessons (which she wouldn't understand anyway). She needn't sit the exam (as she knwos nothing about the subject), instead she can read some cases and comment on them. She doesn't knwo what she's supposed to comment about, but the lecturer pointed out that he wouldn't be able to understand the comments anyway, so it doesn't matter.
And this is one of the core subjects.
For our international law class, our chinese lecturer spent half an hour explaining that we would be tested via an essay on any country's implementation of any international human rights treaty. He then spent the next 22 hours of the course telling us about china, whcih has nothing to do with international law, and which we don't need to know. He's a lovely guy, and it's very interesting so we all turn up, but it's totally pointless.
All this would be really depressing and frustrating, but Catolica is apparantly 'the Oxbridge of Portugal' (I was in a lecture when someone told me this- we had hysterics for the next 10 minutes). A friend of a friend who goes to another Lisbon uni verified this- he turned up on the first day and was told that they had changed all of his classes for no reason. So he turned up for the new classes, and after half an hour someone came into the classroom and explained that the class was cancelled that day, as the elcturer has a drink problem and couldn't make it that morning.
Insert more hysterics here.
We're sure that this is only the situation for Erasmus students, but it really si a joke. Quite a funny one at that. If it weren't for the coffee to which we've all become addicted, it would be terrible, but hey. We can go with the flow.
Never did I imagine that so much fun could legally be had in an education establishment.
Current Mood: amused
October 14th, 2007
"I'm 32", says Scott, "and last time I stayed out all night I must've been about 18. Or younger."
So I take him to Lux, and we sit on the roof and talk fir hours, then when they shut the roof we go downstairs and drink more capirinhas and socially analyse/bitch about everybody on the dance floor. It doesn't sound like fun, but it was.
Then, when the last dancefloor closes, we go outside. The sun is up, and Scott keeps saying how he feels like he's 18 again. I've lost the rose that he bought me, but no matter. We go to That Big Food Place by the river, and eat Pao de Deus (sweet pastry roll, with honey and icing sugar) with cheese and ham. Has to be tasted to be believed. It's incredable.
Then I get a taxi home, and the taxi driver speaks no English, so when I converse with him I feel ok, not stupid, because my portuguese is at least better than his english. I get home at 7.30 am, about the time that I got home last night, and not much later than the night before.
I'm not too sleepy, so I post on LJ. Then I plan on having a cigarette, a banana and plenty of water, as I'm out again tonight.
I still miss Chris, though I only really knew him for less than a month. But my life in Lisbon is... I am a totally different person. I like it.
Current Mood: awake
October 8th, 2007
How i wish i was in london.
Then i could pelt the striking postmen with rotten eggs, vegetables, and perhaps the odd nail bomb or two.
Their conditions aren't that bad- certainly no worse than nurses'- and they are effectively holding the country hostage until they get what they want. It is not peaceful protest, it brings the nation to a complete standstill for 48 hours. We have no alternative service, we're nothing to do with their goddamn pay so why should we (innocent parties here) suffer their displeasure?
And if they do get a payrise (really, you should be paid according to your work, not paid according to how badly you can mess up everyone's schedules while you wander down london with a few pickets and catchy slogans), what's to stop them striking again next week when they decide they have an inaliable right to free chocolate biscuits or whatever? Royal Mail cannot actually win, and we the public certainly can't.
Meanwhile i wait in lisbon for those important documents to be posted from home, which have been paid to go first class and which probably won't get here until it's too late. And my sympathy for the postal workers, which could never have been described as ardent, has disappeared entirely.
Current Mood: aggravated
October 5th, 2007
The Associação de Loucos e Sonhadores, aka Association of Madmen and Dreamers, is
But that's just my humble opinion.
Current Mood: chipper
Current Music: Spandau Ballet, for some reason
September 22nd, 2007
|12:23 pm - A Mid-September Night's Dream. With no faeries.|
Had a wonderful night last night. Drank lots fo normalish alcohol, then came home and ate NO CHEESE at all.
Then I went to bed and dreamed that (Ashley? Girl from middle school called Arron?) and I were being chased around a shopping centre by a homicidal, cunning and wry gorilla with magic powers and super-gorilla strength, which for some reason made me think of the giant evil bunny in Donnie Darko.
For this I am going to blame Mat, Jennie, and Cadbury's. Twas a very strange dream.
Current Mood: still a bit drunk
Current Music: Elliott Smith. Of coure.