Monday, June 4, 2007

it appears that computer access will be somewhat sporadic in the coming months. the nyu computer lab closes early and is closed all day sunday, and ill be damned if im going to pay to write in this thing. thursday evening we had a walking tour of madrid, and afterward i ended up at a cafe with my new roommate, inti, and two other nyu kids. they had beers, i just sat. like most nyu kids ive ever met, most of the 66 kids in my program want to spend their time here "partying", think that being vegan is insane, are pre-med or business majors or are liberals majoring in humanities, and dont know anything about any of my interests or hobbies. that being said, they are mostly decent, reasonably intelligent people that i think i will enjoy taking classes with. this is an exercise in diplomacy for me, and so far i think ive done pretty well at not being an elitist prick.

on friday, we had orientation. it involved fewer ice-breakers than i expected (there were none). its kind of a blur by now. in the evening, we had a tour of the old stuff in madrid, which was quite interesting. i wish i had taken history classes, because it turns out that its something in which i am very interested. i guess ill just have to read actual books after i finish school. after the tour, i went to a turkish place and had this thing that they called a vegetarian pizza. it was sort of like a falafel burrito and was the first real meal id eaten, not counting the beans and rice that ive been cooking for myself.

the book stores here close really early, and on thursday and friday i was finished late enough with nyu activities that i didnt make it. i spend a couple of hours friday night working on a letter, and went to bed early.

on saturday, we had a day trip to segovia. segovia is fucking gorgeous, as are the castle and cathedral contained therein. more tours, more hanging out with nyu kids, and more allergies. for lunch, i split off from the group, because just about everyone wanted to eat the traditional segovian suckling pig at really expensive restaurants. i found a bar and got a lettuce, tomato, and asparagus sandwhich which tasted like nothing. the girl working at the bar was cute, but i didnt feel up to the challenge of flirting in spanish, so i started wandering to kill time until we were suppose to meet back up. i ran into another nyu kid who told me that there was a modern art museum nearby, so i checked it out. i still dont really get art, but some of it was cool, especially a piece which consisted of little kids´ stickers arranged to form letters which spelled "i love making cutting edge art". har har. after the museum i decided that i might as well brush up on my spanish, plus you only live once, so i went back to the bar, this time with another kid, to get some juice and talk to the waitress. i understood about 75% of what she said, including that she was from valencia but spending her summer in segovia, where there is nothing to do but hang out and drink (shocking), that valencia has beautiful beaches that i should check out if i have a chance, and that my spanish is good enough, albeit barely so, to have a conversation with a stranger, crack a couple of jokes, and give her my number. she blushed, but i dont expect a call, given that segovia is over an hour away from madrid.

we got back to madrid just in time to buy some books. the selection of books in english is rather small and they arent cheap. i bought 4 books for about $70: what is the what, by dave eggars; love in the time of cholera; something by margaret atwood (someone suggested that i read her books but i dont know anything else about her), and the windup bird chronicles by haruki murakami (im sure i just butchered the spelling of his name). i figured that with so much free time and so few distractions, i would be able to break into the classic literature that ive skipped over and dont have the attention span to read when there are alternatives, but gabriel garcia marquez was pretty much the only author i could find. they also had dostoyevsky, but not the brotheres karamozov, which is the one i wanted to read.

more beans and rice for dinner.

i need to go meet juan at his job and see if they have a position for an experienced messenger who does not know the city, speaks poor spanish, and is only free monday-thursday after 1:30. it seems unlikely, but this place is more expensive than i expected, so i could use the extra money. the rest of the weekend and day one of class later.

No comments: