January 12th, 2013 | Comments Off on Note to self

Today on the tram someone actually talked to me. Usually these things don’t last long because I don’t give them much in return (it’s quite easy to ignore people when you have no idea what they’re saying to you.)

After some halting small talk in German (did you make that cake? where are you from? why did you come to this city?) we started talking about polylactide, of all things. Anyway, we then started talking about our consumerist society, and he directed me to a German documentary called Kaufen für die Müllhalde.

Ah, but you understand some German, ja?
Uh, a little…

Luckily, since it was originally a Spanish-French production, a French version (Prêt-à-jeter) is also available! I might actually get around to watching this, unlike the pile of movies I have sitting on my bookshelf at home.

Posted in general
February 3rd, 2010 | Comments Off on Maybe it’s a French thing

There’s this guy 1I can only assume he lives on my floor who keeps pacing up and down my hallway in the evenings. Talking. On a cellphone, I assume.

I am really really confused about why he needs to do this every night, and why he needs to do it in the hallway. It’s not like he’s bothering a roommate (we’re all in single rooms–or we’re supposed to be, anyway). I doubt he gets better reception in the hall.

1 I can only assume he lives on my floor
Posted in snippet
January 7th, 2010 | Comments Off on RARGH RAGH

Cultural collision, no 1:
When we make an appointment for 10 am, I expect you to be there at 10 am.

Posted in snippet
December 15th, 2009 | Comments Off on Simple pleasures, part II

Is there any problem a dish of tomato beef served over rice can’t solve? Nope.

For those interested, my hotplate-and-one-pan version follows.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in quotidian
December 14th, 2009 | Comments Off on Simple pleasures

One of the other students is returning to Spain tomorrow, and left me a few of her things. Like a pillow. I’m really looking forward to getting a good night’s sleep tonight. 🙂 (I’ve been sleeping on a $2 ‘camping pillow’ for the last three months.)

Posted in snippet
October 2nd, 2009 | Comments Off on C’est différent ici.

So I was all excited about no-bake cookie recipes… then I realized they almost all call for peanut butter, which is basically an import food item here. Oops.

It’s the little things that get you. Why isn’t this milk refrigerated, you wonder: and then you see that it’s sterilized, and that the refrigerated kind has only been microfiltered. You see a pay phone and try to find a slot that accepts coins, but there isn’t one: pay phones only accept cards here. You consult your map and see that your destination is almost due north, but you can’t find it because you keep running into dead ends and you can’t orient yourself.

But at the same time, you don’t want to miss home too much, because you’re a continent and an ocean away from where you were born, and this is supposed to be an adventure. So you stroll and you wander, a little more alert than you’d be at home… but you live in a suburb, and there’s not much to see. You wonder if you’ll ever make it here. You wonder if you’ll ever feel like you belong in this city, just a little bit.

Posted in quotidian, ramblings