Jun. 11th, 2007 02:59 pm
There must just be a lot of random particles of despair and depression in the air. I keep getting hit by them. It's like a brief wave, and then it's gone again. I'm tired, and starting to feel ready to go home. Not exactly looking forward to it, but also not particularly wanting to stay here longer. I just feel like it's time.
This whole 'the sun sets in the wrong place' thing has me musing about body memory and basic concepts in our brains... this was one I wasn't even aware of until I got here.

Apparently when near the coast, I take my direction orientation from where the sea is, not where the sun goes down. It's hardwired in my brain that the sea is West and West is where the sea is.

But here in Vejer, the sun is confused and doesn't set in the sea. (that would be because the sea I can see is actually in the South). So as far as I'm concerned, in Vejer the sun sets in the North. Behind the hill.


Jun. 4th, 2007 02:25 pm
For some reason I'd always mentally connected hot countries, and specifically Hispanic countries, with spicy food. So I was quite surprised when most food over here isn't spicy at all, and in fact... a little bland to me. I've always considered Dutch food and eating habits as utterly bland, so this was a big surprise. I eat more spicy at home - and I've invested in a bunch of dried chillis to gently dose into my food.

I still hoard food in the house, though I'm getting better. I ate almost all the stockpiled food I had in the freezer. Thing is.. I just really like cooking fresh! I also like taking my food up to the roof and perch on the highest wall and watch the sun set and the world go by. Even though to my orientation, the sun goes down in the wrong direction *.

Two more weeks here. I think I'll miss it when I go.

*) I'll explain this concept in another post ;-)
People left. Other people arrived. Two new housemates. All new class, which is a little far apart in level so I'm not sure if it'll stay this way. I waver between hope and despair with the Spanish speaking. It's coming along in simple social conversations. The more complicated discussions in class keep halting on missing words I have trouble talking around of. I bought a Grammar Elemental book because it'll likely help me pass the uni exams even if they don't help me improve my speaking.

It's kind of cold here - I haven't worn my shorts in two weeks! Weekend was grey and rainy. Can I just say... W. T. F?

Oh yeah. Please, nobody spoil me about Pirates.
Monday april 23:
The house is authentic and gorgeous, built for hot weather. My room has two beds and its own bathroom - yay! Unfortunately no desk so I have the second bed as my basis of operation. Not very comfortable. Will have to find something for this.
I also decided to buy some of the stuff this house lacks, like a kettle, something anti muskitos, and a big towel for myself. I'll be here long enough that spending a few euros will make life a lot more pleasant.

School was okay - I felt slightly above my level in B1 so the admin lady (very good and understanding) would discuss with both A2 and B1 teacher what to do - maybe put me down a level for the rest of the week. Better gain some confidence first before starting to move forward, in the long run that will just help me.
I signed up for a city walk tonight just so I would learn to find myway around a bit. Hopefully I'll come across some useful shops. For now it's 3 and everything is quiet - they take siesta serious here, and I have decided to adopt the idea

tuesday april 24
Was in the beginners class today and felt much better about it. Understood everything said and could participate too. A lot was repeat, but apparently I can do with a little repeat. The school admin lady sounded confident that I could grown to an adept speaking level in my time here. Right now I can't imagine it yet, but I hope she's right.

I haven't properly written about Vejer yet, so why not now.
Vejer's motto should be "Vejer, where everything is a steep uphill walk"
It's a gorgeous town though, and I think as 'real' old Andalucia as you can get in a place that sees its share of tourists. The houses are beautifully built around patios, everything plastered white - no colours like in Marocco. There are a lot of pretty mosaic tiles though and elaborate ironwrought doorhandles etc. Houses are not seperate units but built over, under, entwined with each other, and from the street all you see is a big wooden door that gives entrance to the patio. Front doors open into the patio, not the street..
Everything makes me want to get a white-plastered house myself, with a patio and a roof terrace and lots of mosaic tiles.
It's a friendly town - people are used to tourists and language students and for the most part have a lot of patience with learning speakers. The lady in the Bazar was very friendly in helping me figure out what I wanted. Nobody seems to be in a hurry much... except the guy on the crossmotor that has raced down the street at 3 AM both past nights. grrr. Right under our house they give Flamenco classes, so we've listened to the music and the stamping all afternoon.
Another thing I listen to a lot is the constant bird concert. I don't know what kind of birds but they chatter and sing constantly - at home only the birds in a petshop make these sort of sounds. It's a nice sound to wake up to.

There are a lot of cats and dogs, but unlike in a lot of places they are not feral. The dogs all look to be owned, if let off leash and wandering a lot (dogs waiting at the door of a bar is a common sight). Cats wander but look fed, if a little street worn like they fight a lot, which they probably do. Mouse observed that they seem very at ease, not the flighty creatures she sees in Seville - they are not afraid of people and seem comfortable enough to take a nap in the street.

A crappy wobbly video of the house here - I could really do with a new camera. Ah well. I'll try to make some more clips and photos.

[edit: A MUCH prettier video of the village]

I'm busy and not online much... usually half an hour after class. It's cold in the computer room so I don't spend too much time here. New housemates are okay, two girls, and the class this week is smaller and more motivated so I have high hopes. I went to the beach on sunday (it was lovely) and if the weather warms up again (22 degrees and rain today!) I will go again tomorrow as it's a day off here.

Going now to eat and siesta. When in Spain.. do as the Spanish do.

Dis an Dat

Apr. 14th, 2007 11:45 am
Brother got married on thursday... he and Marijke both looked gorgeous and very happy and it was a lovely day. The weather helped with its spectacularness. You couldn't have ordered it better.

It's still like that today - predicted to hit a staggering 26 degrees. Ridiculous for April.

8 days until I go to Vejer. Guess there's a few things I need to do before then... Uni is all closed off until after summer though. That feels really strange.

Here's the requisite amount of AYEEEfloofypupppyCYOOOT! for today.


Jan. 6th, 2007 02:36 pm
I've been looking into shuffling around some study related things to make everything easier to tackle. As I'm going now, I'm going to run headlong into the Spanish credits that I can simply not obtain. So what I want to do is instead of reserving 4th period of this year for writing my dissertation (which is what the time is reserved for, even though I still have some courses to finish next year) I will go to Spain to do a language course for 8 or 9 weeks.

Only how will I do that..

I can go the private route, staying at a private language school and a shared apartment. This is less expensive than I thought it would be, though self catering will add to the cost - it will also force me to go out and Procure Food, which is good for the whole language immersion thing. A private school offers lots of cultural things and excursions to see something of the country, plus it would offer a support system to fall back on and guaranteed contact with people there for the same reason.

I can TRY to get into a uni exchange thing and go as exchange student. IF this was allowed (I have no idea if the school will allow it since I've already fullfilled my study abroad period) then it would probably cost less in course fees (but more in accomodation) and, major plus, it would be study credits, so might count instead of the Spanish modules that are the bane of my study.
Downsides would be being a lot more on my own and at large, with little support to fall back on. And I'm not sure if a uni would give Spanish courses on my level. It would als require a lot more organisation on my part, of courses, accomodation, etc... which I'm not sure I'd be up to. It would certainly be more stressful.



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