Thursday, February 27, 2003

oh yes, and text messages are always welcome. {g}
see? shower monkey improves sexiness!

in other news, i'm off for two weeks. let's all hope and pray that i don't die somewhere in the mediterranean, which is prolly spelt wrong. i'm just sorry i never got to play scrabble with some people. life goes on. running late, so emails will be caught up on...at some point. but i'll update when i can.

adios!

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

i may be leaving to italy and greece as of wednesday night. because i have to use up the eurail pass before it expires, not so much that i want to go now. but i'm currently in a bit of a funk and i'm sure things'll be grand once i'm going, so enough of my whining. although i am a little worried about money, because i honestly don't know how much this will all cost, but we'll see. anyways, i'm just wondering if anyone has any opinions? should i be going all the way to greece right now and then heading north? should i go to genova first? should i go there at all? if i just hit there, florence (to visit sanni!), rome and maybe napoli, is that too much? are there better places to see? any suggestions where to go in greece? is staying most of the time on the peloponnese island fine? should i even bother with athens? where do i want to go there?

can some just tell me what to do, just so that i'll shut up?
before my time in europe has ended, i may become a real football fan. not american football, soccer football. it's a whole lot more interesting. but maybe it's just when it's students you already know playing. although they're positively vicious to each other.

or maybe it's just because there's always the offchance of seeing rambo man playing in the other gym. once i grab a picture of him, you'll understand.

so very tired....

oh, and anyone reading this who's been to italy and greece, any suggestions as to places to see? especially if you can send them before wednesday night? never claimed to be good at planning things in advance now, did i....

Monday, February 24, 2003

for UltraBrent. because ninjas are cool; and by cool i mean totally sweet.
you know what would make me happy right now? if i could have the pillows from the couch back in coquitlam and pile them up and drape blankets over them like so and have my own fort. keep the cupboard that's on the wall here, just work it into the construction. and then i could just hide under there and pretend that i'm in my own world and that no one can bother me if i don't want them to, and if you want to come in you'll have to know the secret password, even if i just make it up when you say the word so that you can come in too, and then we'll stay hidden under there with strawberries and peach mattoni and chocolate ice cream to keep us going but if you want to bring some harder stuff well that'll be okay too.

and nothing else will matter.

gir, the shower monkey, he'll already be in there. he'll be our national emblem.

oh, and yes, of course the laptop will be in there too. i can't sever every connection to the outside world. besides. i need something to play music.

applications for a gourmet chef are now being accepted. (don't worry, we can import any extra ingredients that you might need.)

Sunday, February 23, 2003

it's not that special, but i was all proud of meself that i'd figured out how to get this up here: ICQ: 40705104. and even though no one would use it, it would be nice and green when i was online and it would be dandy. and then i realised that if you use trillian it doesn't show up as green when you're online. so sad. so the link is there on the side now, but no little flower. no point.

so sad.

maybe i should get dressed and get out of bed sometime soon.
nissa, could you email or icq me? i can't find your email addy on your site and would like to ask you questions instead of doing it in messageboxes. {g} thanks!
how's that for predictability? going from a wonderfully pointless day to a not-so-wonderful and not-as-pointless day without anything really happening to turn the tables. too much thinking, i suppose. some crazy shit happening at home right now, though. just dandy.

Saturday, February 22, 2003

had weird dreams, saw a foggy sunrise, got strange emails, talked to weirdos, made too many bad puns, played pictionary with freaks and scrabble with loosers (correct spelling), burnt some incense...

today's shaping up to be a wonderfully pointless day.

ps - anyone want to challenge me to another game of anything, give me a buzz. s'not like i have much else to do today.

Friday, February 21, 2003

shower monkey has been named gir. he's in therapy at the moment after having matt force him to do strange and unnatural things. but gir is getting better.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

i do believe i have found the best tortilla chips in the czech republic. certainly the best at tesco (and prolly prague) because their real snacky food like that is severly limited (unless it's chocolate).

i'll let you try some when you come visit me.
naqoyqatsi was like watching fantasia but without dancing animals. somewhat pretentious i guess, but really, what do you expect from it? didn't need to see quite so many "USA" tokens all throughout, but whatever. nice to just immerse yourself in pretty music sometimes.

knee shifted rather strangely last night. wasn't level-headed enough to be able to tell if it actually came out of place or just popped, but i think it came out. most likely due to the fact that i was sprinting to the theatre rather than catching a tram, which was oh so much fun, but prolly a stupid thing to do. strangely, however, it didn't collapse, hence my confusion. doesn't hurt today, at least.

and now, for something completely different, a gif care of mr mulder, for he has been bored:


a little early for it, but them's the breaks.

gonna see brazil tonight. tons of good movies playing this week out here. whee!

was any of this interesting? not really. i'm sure i'm sorry.
i now feel the need to flaunt the fact that today i got me a SHOWER MONKEY!!! it's very exciting. he's very cool. he's green and yellow and as-yet-unnamed, although i'm open to suggestions. in order to make your job easier, here's a picture of the dear:



that was taken when he first got home, before he'd gotten the guts to leave his safe plastic home that he knew so well. he's adjusting quite quickly though, he's already playing about on the bed now. silly shower monkey...
back in prague again. and there's a few things to write, and i just don't know what order to put them in. so we'll just go chronologically.

budapest was awesome, like i already said. baths were wonderful. people at the hostel were great. having somewhere temporary that somehow had the feeling of home to come back to each night was so nice. some interesting characters there. wandered around in the cold a lot. got told off for trespassing one day (but the door was open and i couldn't have known that it was private property, so!). saw statue park another, although the house across the way with their own private collection of statues of kings and whatnot was pretty fascinating. met a bible thumper on the way there who was oh so nice and friendly, and as i left the bus he told me that he knew that i was searching, but i should keep in mind that jesus said that 'i am the way'. "have a nice day now, y'hear?" he was sweet in his good intentions. {g} it snowed. it was sunny. it was everything. i really liked it, and i would love to go back there.

trained to bratislava to pick up my visa. and the only good thing about it is that the czech visa people can never make me cry again. course, after all the mess i've had, i'm rather sensitive with it and it doesn't take much to make me upset if it's regarding a visa, but first, it was over twice as much as i'd been told. and then i was going to have to wait an extra four hours to get it which meant that i'd miss the train i wanted to catch. wasn't too upset over that, but it was still a pain. but when i asked if i could come a little earlier in order to pick it up and still make the next train, first the fellow was just snarky and mean and told me that i could leave whenever i wanted, but if i wanted my visa today i had to wait until 2 o'clock. which pissed me off, but fair enough, i'd just have to hope that everything worked out perfectly to catch my train. he started to leave, i called to him and asked if i could have my change. 5sKc, probably about 20 cents canadian, but after he'd been acting like an ass to me the whole time it was the principal of it all - i wanted my change. he pretended not to hear me, i repeated it. he pretended not to understand. i told him how much i had paid. "you want your 5sKc, do you? what do you do with your money if you study in prague?" i had no idea what he meant. he repeated it. i told him i didn't know what he was asking. he said it again, so i started to explain i didn't have any other slovak money but suddenly i clued in that he was basically attacking me for coming from a "rich" country and studying in a "poor" country and complaining because i was paying $50cdn more than i planned on a visa, complaining because i'd already spent so much other money in order to get this final visa, complaining because i wanted to catch a train back to prague and return at a reasonable hour, complaining because i wanted a measly 5sKc back. but before i'd even said more than two words he snorted in disgust, grabbed a few crowns, and threw them in the dish towards me and turned and walked away. and the whole time his boss was standing there watching all this and watching me, and saying and doing nothing. and that was it, i was so upset, i just tried to keep my head down as far as possible until i got out of the embassy and found a bench to sit on, and i couldn't help but cry harder than i think i ever have. which is frustrating, because it was crying out of anger rather than anything else, but it was still crying and i felt like a stupid over-emotional girl. and i know he got off on it, too, which makes it all the worse. but with all that, he had my visa still, he had my passport, and he had my money. i had nothing, and i'm sure if i'd just gotten up in arms against him, he'd have found some way to revoke the visa or something. because he's in the position where he can, and i can do nothing more.

this whole visa thing is so stupid. the people who are good people are the ones that have to go through all this mess, and the people who wouldn't ever be issued visas still manage to find a way into wherever they're going, so in the end it's just the decent people who suffer. and it's also annoying because when the czech republic joins the EU in a year or so, there won't need to be visas at all anymore for canadians, so the country's having a heyday trying to squeeze the last little bit of money out of people before they can't do it anymore.

at any rate. so i was on the bench still trying to get meself under control and still not quite succeeding when a woman came up, told me she'd seen everything that had happened, that the guy was being an absolute asshole, and could she and her husband treat me to coffee. i tried to turn them down but she insisted, and i realised that it was better sitting with some other people rather than waiting for time to pass by meself. and it turned out that they're wonderful people - friendly, interesting, smart, funny... it was perfect. he's actually romanian but he's applying for US citizenship for the passport {g}, and she's american though originally from jamaica, and both of them have travelled a LOT and had so many stories and opinions, and both of them have had more than their fair share of demeaning experiences, be it with visas, governments, police, whatever. so we talked about everything, and had a good time bonding over discussing our reactions to prague and to czech people and everything. i couldn't have met better people at that time.

and then they even gave me a ride home at the end of the day, which was far better than taking a train home alone that would have taken me more than twice as long.

so that was the weekend.

yesterday was fun too. did nothing. did more nothing. went and visited liz and did nothing together. had a (much-needed) nap. got up in time to go see Uncle Saddam (so incredibly snarky. loved it.) and another documentary on Kurdistan (shorter. obviously pulling on the heartstrings. not to say that the whole situation still isn't tragic, but yes.) that i'd had the good luck of finding out about at the last minute. yay free stuff at the Roxy! unfortunately they were having a discussion afterwards that i'd have loved to have stayed for, except for the fact that it was going to be in czech, and it would have been pointless for liz and i stay there. so we felt conspicuous as we snuck out. both films made me feel quite sad to be human, though, letting the world still be so fucked up. we debated going to the massive attack cd release, opted for mcdonald's (i know it's evil, i've only started eating it out here and i don't even know why, i feel very very guilty, but...yes.) and on the ride home we met some off-duty palace guards who decided we were worth hitting on. considering that their general requirements are "female? english? not ugly?", this wasn't a huge surprise. it was still fun trying to communicate, considering how little english they knew and how little czech we know. i was rather proud when i figured out one was asking us "kam jdete?" {g} anyways. and we got little greeting kisses from them, which is just damn fun. still have yet to follow through on our plan to kiss the palace guards when they can't do anything about it, but we have time. anyways. so we got to flaunt that a little when we got back home.

it was a good day.

and that's (sorta) it for now.

and now i have my visa.

Monday, February 17, 2003

very confused right now. for very many reasons. like, why do i have bruises on my theighs at equal heights, when i can't think of what would have caused them? and how have i lost two socks, but not the same pair?

it's the deeper issues that are actually bothering me though. oh well. 8 hour train ride to think about things, coming up.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

i like budapest.

i like my hostel. it feels like a house, not a hostel. people here are more like family. some of them have been here a severly long time now.

i like the people i've been meeting, save the kansasites and the new york-ites from the program that i ran into at the train stations. but they're long gone. and i'm meeting people who are actually interesting now.

heard a story about someone's friend who was disuaded by her parents from learning sign language in university, despite how much she wanted to learn it, when they threatened to take away any financial and other aid. and then a few years ago she had a child, who for some reason was born unable to hear anything. so now she had to learn it, and she's so happy to use it all the time. bizarre.

and then discussed the teachings of buddha and the road to enlightenment after dinner. after i'd already spent part of the day naked at a spa, getting a damn fine massage.

i like budapest. i like it a lot.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

i think i smell like garlic today. which is rather peculiar, because i haven't had any of it in a few days. maybe my mind's just going wild today.
well, amazingly, the kolej had things fixed in a day. so rah rah kolej! browsers still don't work, but everything else does, although i found out that it's not just me, everyone here can't use browsers. very strange. at any rate.

random text messages:
"as i was saying, they weren't that kinky, they merely had sex in the refectory dedicated to the virgin mary while heloise was dressed as a nun."

it made me laugh.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

very pissed off right now. some idiot went psycho and destroyed the network box at the kolej. the same idiot also destroyed his room a few days ago and lost it and threw his wallet and shirt and shoes into the river and was escorted back to the kolej by police a week ago. but that was alright, if a little scary, but at least it didn't screw the rest of us over. but now he's gone mental and messed us all up. dunno how much damage he did, but at the rate that things are repaired in the kolej (and considering the length of time it took to get internet in the first place there) i'm not holding my breath. may just end up without the net for another semester. which really messes up some of my plans to do research projects rather than courses (i'm sorry, i work better at night and alone in my room, not stuck to the opening hours of the computer labs at school surrounded by people). and just generally pisses me off, because i rather like being able to email and keep in touch with people late at night. but maybe it'll be fixed by next week. stranger things have happened, i'm sure. (or not.)

still. the fact that this psycho is living with the rest of us right now... are people not screened before they're sent to foreign countries?
apparently i can't get away without paying for internet afterall. today explorer won't work. oddly, icq, cuteftp, kazaa, and telnet still do. i think it's something in IE's dns settings though (says the girl who knows absolutely nothing about the internet in the end). luckily, i know people who send me strange programs and let me surf through their computer back home in coquitlam. i really have absolutely no idea how this is working, but other than the annoying lag, it's just the same as normal 'net. really really bizarre.

anyways.

today brent left us. or rather, ultrabrent left us. he decided that he much preferred "ultra" in front of his name. so ultrabrent left for budapest. none of us knew he'd be going there until we were at the train station and saw which trains were leaving when. at the oment he's probably still on a train. fun times for him. the whole situation could have been terribly heartbreaking, except for the fact that we were lucky enough to catch the Happy Tram on the way down. see?



all red orange and yellow, and truly the paxil tram. oh such joy! but we'll still miss ultrabrent.



with such a sexy face as that, wouldn't you miss him too?

Monday, February 10, 2003

i'm in the process of trying to amass as much kitschy gameshow/elevator-esque/60s70s-easylistening-type music right now. but not quite easylistening. like along the lines of the spanish flea, love is blue, girl from ipanema and everything in between. i know that's little to know definition, but i have no clue what to call all that. but if anyone has any suggestions or recommendations, lemme know. just looking for cheese at the moment. cheese makes me happy.
i keep hearing "forever in blue jeans" as "reverend bluejeans". it's creating some strange images.

i think i may be able to have all my courses in one day. which means many other days of leading a pointless existence each week.

hurrah.
"Did you like Switzerland? Did you get to Konstanz? I had meant to give you some information, in case you were going to Konstanz,-- to check in the one Lutheran Church in the town (all other churches are Roman Catholic), and see if you can see my name in the records of baptisms which the churches keep. However, at that time, my name would have been quite different. My Dad had changed his name to a French equivilent: "Hauterre". So, I would have been baptised with the name of "Maria Evangeline Hauterre". When we left Germany a few years later, to emigrate to Canada, the family had to have all new documents made, in the original German version of the name, and so my present birth certificate says "Hochland". Of course, the name has since been anglicized and is now "Highland".When I was there, the church was closed for two weeks of holiday, and so I never had an opportunity to check this out."

this would be why i couldn't find any record of her. i knew they changed their name once, didn't know about the french bit though. they changed their name a lot. i'm starting to wonder about my grandfather. never knew him, but he almost sounds neurotic at times. weird.

oh well. i tried with what i knew, i'm sure that'll be appreciated at least.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

i need to find something worth doing. something worth existing for. liking writing a book that no one will ever read. or making a stupid film for my own amusement, like the ones rebecca and i always thought about but never got around to doing. or finding some photo project and actually finishing it for once. or finding some subject i can learn everything about and feel fulfilled. reading and hearing about all these people who are full of inspiration or are doing things, even the people who are lost and confused because they don't know *how* to do things.. at least they have something they want to do. and while i'm hardly terribly unhappy without knowing what to do, i would like something.

i feel guilty being here.
What?
1. Time did you get up this morning? 8am. after only 4 hours of sleep. actually, earlier. no alarm or anything. my body hates me.

2. Is the last thing you drank? screwdriver

3. Does your shirt say? invite

4. Song are you listening to while answering THIS question? something off of pink floyd's Meddle. dunno what track, the whole album's 1 mp3.

5. Time do you get up on weekdays? when i wake up, lately.

6. Time do you get up on weekends? same thing.

7. Do you like most about yourself? ability to meet people easily enough

8. Do you like least about yourself? ability to avoid people almost as easily if i don't like them, not giving them much of a fair second chance if i have reason to hate them at first

9. Is your idea of shangri-la? makes me think of the rutles

10. Are you thinking right now? about ed, as that's who i stole this off of

11. Do you like the most? sitting at a beach watching the sun set

12. Is your biggest piss off? people who can't see beyond themselves

13. Is your favorite instrument? piano. or accordian.

14. Color is the floor in the room your sitting in? brown faux wood

15. Do you want out of life? satisfaction in whatever i do

16. Deodorant are you wearing now? deodorant stone. ::shrugs:: although i keep dropping it, so it's slowly shattering to nothing. must stop this habit of butterfingers.

17. Do you see yourself in 10 years? lord knows.

18. Was the last place you've driven? the studio in tsawassen

19. Do you like to go most? the beach. especially when it's empty.

20. Is the last place you slept? the hard bed in the kolej! it's better than the train. {g}

21. Would you rather live, Long Beach or New York, why? dunno. long beach, BC maybe? it's a beach. although i think i'm still a city girl at heart.

22. Are you going friday night? this week? BED! next week? dunno yet. possibly budapest, haven't decided yet.

23.Is the last place you want to go on earth? disneyland/disneyworld/etc.

24. Are your happiest memories? random moments with friends. often during road trips.

25. Are your saddest memories? really don't know.

26. Was your first home? ranch park, coquitlam, BC. nice big yard. good climbing trees. lots of fruit trees/bushes. i miss palmdale street.

27. Do you want to be right now? physically or metaphorically or what? couldn't really tell you. could say who i'd want to be *with*, but don't so much care where that is.

28. Did you go to elementary school? of course.

General Q and A . . .

29. Do you like reading? course

30. Are you reading any books right now? through the looking glass, le petit nicolas, and umberto eco.

31. Do you eat meat? yup. wish i could do without, but i'm sorry, i like it. feel terrible about it, but it's true.

32. Do you drink milk? in canada, yes. in most of europe, yes. in czech republic, no. tastes gross here.

33. Are your parents divorced? ...i really don't know right now. technically they're going through the steps, but everything seems the same as it always was. ask rebecca, she knows more about what goes on than i do.

34. Do you like music? just slightly

35. What's your favorite music genre? HAH! {g}

36. Do you have an opinion on sexist social standards? course

37. What is your favorite punk band? dunno. punk's relative, isn't it?

38. What is your favorite school course? communications courses. and women's studies. and arts. and dinosaurs. oh, there's too many.

39. What does the gym teacher in your school look like? dunno

40. Do you like snow? hell yeah!

41. Did you like snow? always have

42. Do you agree with fighting? verbally or physically?

43. What's the funniest thing you heard today? random insanities between maggie, lida, vlasta, and poonam i'm sure. s'nice being back in the kolej.

44. Do you think it's better to totally understand an art form you create or not understand it at all? i honestly don't know. especially after the art brut museum. without understanding, you're completely winging it, doing whatever you feel like without rules or guides. but with them you can supercede them. so i don't know.

45. If it was the last day of existence what would you do? damned if i know

46. Do you watch television? hardly at all

47. Are you positive? nope. O negative, if i recall correctly. though i could easily be mistaken on that one.

48. Are you afraid of dying? i don't know. don't think about it too much. more afraid of leaving people and things than the dying itself, necessarily.

49. Do you believe in fate? i'd like to think i don't. but i think i give it some credence. unwillingly, but it just happens.

50. Punk or emo? depends on the band. more likely emo.

51. New wave or indie rock? indie.

52. Mario kart or tetris? TETRIS!!! especially N64 tetris.

53. Vinyl or tape? vinyl. btw, ed, i have some presents for you... {g}

54. Hard toilet seats or soft? never given it too much thought. though between warm and cold, i feel so much more comfortable on a cold seat...

55. Ying or yang? ying sounds nicer but in writing, yang looks nicer. or maybe not. they both look a little strange.

56. Black or green? mmm...wearing green but no black. they both have their merits. unless it's food. then green's prolly a little better, though not by much.

57. George Bush or Adolf Hitler? no comment

58. Ska or reggae? reggae

59. Fire or lightbulbs? surrounded by candles at the moment...

60. Pancakes or toast? pancakes with fruit. although never a fan of fancy breakfasts really. gimme oatmeal or snow porridge any day.

61. Life or death? hmm....

62. Socialism or totalitarianism? um.

63. Xmas or Easter? christmas. there's snow. ideally.

64. Anarchism or libertarian socialism? um. interesting quiz.

Who . . .

65. Was the last person you called? brentos

66. Is your best friend? jodi

67. Taught you to ride a bike? i have no clue

68. Did you last eat with? maggie, matt, brent (from edmonton), and lara

69. Made your last meal? me

70. Washes laundry? me

71. Do you admire most? couldn't tell you. everyone has their merits.

72. Called you last? brentos

73. Is your favorite singer? don't make me choose. although today been rather captivated by the singer for Holden.

FINISHED!
sorry it's so long. you don't have to read all that if you don't want to, though. {g}
so i'm back in prague now. and it's snowing quite lovelily. everything's white and i love it. got back last night, but first there had to be the requisite wander-around-and-see-people-and-suddenly-realise-how-many-people-you-missed-and-missed-you-when-you-didn't-expect-it-and-realise-how-much-you're-going-to-miss-leaving-everyone-for-good-at-the-end-of-the-semester-even-though-it's-too-far-away-to-worry-about-it-yet. haven't met the new roommates, i think they've gone for the weekend because they're still not here today, although the fridge has nothing but stolen yoghurt from breakfast and one carton of juice and a few different bottles of various alcohols, and there's a half bottle of the ghetto absinthe (another already empty full of cigarette butts) and a bottle of wine on the counter and nothing but nutella and crackers in the cupboards, so needless to say i'm feeling a little wary of who i'm living with. at least, whether, when i buy food, if it'll be there for me to eat or if it'll disappear soon enough. oh, and did i mention the "yay delaware!" magnet on the fridge? yes. i'm a-scared. but brent from edmonton (as opposed to my brent - never known a brent in my life and now i know two. craziness.) is here visiting right now, and he's just as cool as i figured he would be, and him and matt and maggie together is awesomely fun. and after the first night back in a bed that's mine, even though none of my stuff is properly unpacked, now catching up on the internet stuffs.

figured the easiest way would just be to post the daily updates sent to Those Who Must Know Immediately Should I Die. easy, except that for the entire last week i didn't have the time online (or the money to pay for it) to email anything, so i should prolly put my parents' minds at ease and let them know i'm here safely again. oh, and it's my brother's birthday, or was yesterday, and i meant to email him but didn't get around to it (actually, couldn't on his birthday) so i should email him too. actually, i got a hugely long email from him as cheerful and goofy as could be, which, if you knew the david that i knew, you would be completely astounded. replete with a completely stupid joke built up to be so much more, the sort that i love! the david i knew was sullen and depressive and never talked to us much at all. s'shocking. but nice, actually. but i digress.

a month without real internet access and i become a rambling mess when i'm back online. {g} oh, it's good to have internet access at my fingertips again. and music! i can listen to music again! must remember that going without a discman can prove to be incredibly difficult, especially when you've bought music along the trip and it just sits there useless in your bag until you get home.

so! here's what i've been up to. mostly posted as they were written, possibly some additions/edits here and there. i'll have to post all the random little things that didn't merit mentioning later. the little things that just made the day worthwhile, little images or events. so here goes:

oh! first, spent a week in northern germany. snow. swimming in a mineral water pool. went to amsterdam for a couple days. saw some nifty museums. loved the city. met a nice brazilian enraptured by me but who wasn't after sex, but a girlfriend, which was the stupidest thing of all, as i was leaving the next day. silly romantics. he bought me gluhwein though. yay gluhwein! went to the rhineland in germany waiting for the kneebrace, though had 'net there. nice living in a small village doing nothing. debating possibly going back there if i have to waste a month when i finish school before going back to canada. learned more german there than i have anywhere else because the children didn't speak english. big selling-point of glees right there.

but then (cut and pasted):

still not dead.

knee is still in one piece. rah rah brace!

extra notes:
january 24
currently in: paris
weather is: clear and mildly cold
hostel is: alright. not too skuzzy.
luxembourg was small. cute. pretty. did i say small? hotel was swanky beyond belief. annoyingly so. i wasn't allowed to bring up the extra tea to my room, but they'd send room service with it. i declined. they insisted. i declined. they insisted. olaf declined for me and we left. spanish food for dinner last night. mm mm good. olaf is way too nice. train to paris was pretty. hopefully southern france is nicer, though - paris is just a big city. meh. hopefully people-watching tomorrow.

january 25
currently in: paris, still. going to montpellier tomorrow, methings. TGV train. w00t.
weather is: beautiful until 3ish, then sprinkling the rest of the day.
hostel is: upgraded to status "good". me like.
paris bets better depending on the company you keep, it seems. spent the rest of last night speaking french with someone from marseilles. discussed accents. spent half of today with a nice bavarian. saw the catacombes, notre dame, children with sailboats, silly tourists, found french music. one band's similar to stereolab, but *better*. which gives *some* people no reason to hold their frenchness against them before they even hear the music. spent the later afternoon outside the louvre. was mobbed by pigeons. was offered a free bed to sleep in by a sleazy frenchman who thought it was a good idea to pick up people he figured were 15 years younger than him. got to practice french some more, at least. watched people playing football (soccer) and rollerblading and skateboarding near l'hotel des invalides. spent the evening time with a friendly norwiegian. compared tales of bodily injuries. i think he won, althouh i got points for breaking my arm badly on monkey bars. no pompous americans today. much better day. fun times. yes, mr mulder, you can be a slut too, if you like.

january 26
currently in: montpellier, southern france
weather is: cloudy, warmer, bit of sun today
hostel is: meh. but this seems to be a poor place, so's no surprise.
creepy french guys = 5; nice french guys = 1; nice quebecois guys = 1
but i spent the afternoon with the french guy. from normandy, but studying in montpellier. only spoke french. really liking this speaking-french.
still sick. prolly heading to bed soon even though it's only 8pm. s'wrong, this being holiday time and all, but coughing too much to stay up. oh well.

january 27
currently in: avignon. as in, pont d'avignon. can't get that song out of my head.
weather is: windy and clear
hostel is: strange. no locks. but secluded. a little worried for my things, but i'm assured it's good, but still. whatever, nicest showers i've seen in
awhile. must do laundry soon. chatted with quebecois dude this morning. hung out around montpellier. felt a little lonely for awhile. text messages are always nice when you never see a person for longer than a day. met an aussie. he was leaving too, so we're semi-travelling-together now. if i disappear, look up John _______ from sydney. s'his fault. can't be too many of those. hung out with the local drunks in the park before my train left, talked about spain, was given a place to stay if i go to granada from the one-legged man. the puppy was cute. train to avignon, wander about, meet up with john, wander some more. thrills galore.

january 28
currently in: nimes
weather is: sunny, and either windy and a little cold, or quite lovely.
hostel is: same as last night. still concerned.
on the bridge of avignon, we danced, we danced, on the bridge of avignon, we danced there on the bridge.
actually, i didn't, because it costs. but there's a really nice garden nearby. city's quite pretty. bussed to pont du gard today. quite magnificent roman ruins from way back when. go look it up. beautiful there. just sat on the hill for awhile. bus to nimes. wandering around some before returning to avignon again. hopefully all my clothes are still there. prolly going to aix-en-provence tomorrow. hopefully there's decently-priced lodging. hopefully get to do laundry tomorrow too.

january 29
currently in: aix-en-provence
weather is: beautifully clear, cloudy later on
hostel is: a hotel, actually. hostel's closed. hotel's 17€. not bad, really.
the aussie and me have parted ways. there was a terrible fight, which resulted in irreconcilable differences, and we refused to speak anymore.
either that, or he wanted to see arles and i wanted to come here, so we regretfully parted ways and hoped that maybe we'll run into each other in a few days. you decide. i like aix-en-provence. everyone said i would, and it's true. it's a bit pricier, but oh well. nice atmosphere. finally saw a french film. no, there were no naked babies (or people, for that matter) in the french film. just for those of you who think that that is the qualifier of if a film's french or not. you know who you are. the rest of you can laugh at those who think it. i like being surrounded by french.

january 30
currently in: aix. stayed the second night. totally worth it.
weather is: beautiful again. but real cold today. cold being above 5 degrees, but it's unusual for here apparently.
hostel is: same as before. good. cold weather = free fridge on the outside windowsill. rah!
explored markets. found p'tit nicolas books. found books called "unlikely exploits" by philip ardagh(?), similar to the lemony snicket books but with flippancy instead of melancholy. not sure if they're a ripoff or a decent set of stories. got the evil eye from the bookstore worker, even though he was standing there reading books too. freak. anyone heard of them? had tea and fresh paella. met the same algerian twice. pretty
much figured out my itinerary i think. not so sick. still no text messages. except from the blind czech guy. at least someone likes me.. heading further east tomorrow. leaving france next wednesday i think. a boo hoo hoo.

january 31
currently in: cannes. unfortunately.
weather is: snow this morning in aix, clearing this evening
hostel is: nice. friendly.
didn't want to be here at all, the place is dirty and noisy and way too rich for its own good and it's really not that pretty at all and i had absolutely no plans for coming here but every decision i made today was the wrong one and i ended up here. fed cheese to rich kids that live here though, so there was my good deed for the day.

february 1
currently in: nice
weather is: clear and sunny. little cold. everyone says it's supposed to get warmer tomorrow.
hostel is: pretty good. last night's turned weird. showers didn't work after a certain time and the lights all went out. all on timers. very strange. creepy.
climbed the castle in cannes and looked out at the island where the man with the iron mask was held with a guy from texas last night. much nicer. still don't like cannes. but that had nothing to do with the fact that i didn't want to be there. i'd have disliked it anyways. met phillipe, 71, looks 51, on the train to nice. he offered me a place to stay at his friends, but i couldn't take him up on the offer. not if i wanted to go off on my own. nice guy though. saw monaco and monte carlo. w00t. watched the sunset on the beach. nice is cleaner than cannes, i do like it more, think i'm still more a fan of where i've already been though. ah well.

february 2
currently in: nice. last day in france. i think.
weather is: beautiful
hostel is: decent. leaning on good
saw modern art museum. fan of nikki somethingorother, wrote her name down for later. spent the rest of the day at the beach with peter rabbit the bramptonion. and had a good dinner. and it was all in all a wonderful day. he's off to barcelona tomorrow, i'm off to switzerland. maybe bern, maybe somewhere else. still not entirely sure. but you always meet the good people when you can't stick around with them. doh.

february 3
currently in: lausanne, switzerland
weather is: sunny in france, rain in lausanne
hostel is: big. empty. costs too much.
trained from nice to montreux, but nowhere to stay, so backed up to lausanne. too expensive but too late to bother anywhere else. doh.

february 4
currently in: bern
weather is: snow!
hostel is: nice. friendly.
stole a spoon. yay me! explored lausanne. befriended an optometrist who let me leave my big heavy back there for the morning. he had a cute dog. saw fucked up art (l'art brut). chatted with garbage men driving by. trained to bern. heard the ketchup song played on accordian by a busker. chatted with an american studying in salamanca, spain and another in lugano, switzerland. everyone travelling right now's either a student or working out here. s'nice.

february 5
currently in: bern
weather is: sun & snow
hostel is: same as last night.
wandered bern. played in snow. purposefully avoided the bear pits. s'not fair for an animal to live trapped all its life. listened to an organ player practicing in the cathedral - when he was good and when he had mistakes. read Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire cover to cover. caught up on world affairs because everyone at the hostel was watching CNN. strange things going on.

february 6
currently in: well, switzerland...
weather is: SNOWSTORM!!! and sun peeking through depending where i was.
hostel is: the train
spent the whole day wearing the big heavy bag cuz just never got around to finding somewhere to leave it when i got to cities. original plans to meet up with a random swiss person for the day were scrapped - he had to work. trained to interlaken. wandered in snow. caught snowflakes in my mouth. knee shifted in a bad way, though didn't collapse, yay brace, though did make me decide to go take the train somewhere rather than walk around in the snow some more. s'a shame. trained to konstanz (bordertown between germany and switzerland), where my mother was born, in hopes of finding her baptismal records as a gift for her. saw cows being herded and small swiss farmtowns that made me happy. talked to churches in konstanz, found no record of her. so instead she's getting a roll of a day in konstanz as a gift instead. shh! no telling her! trained overnight to...

february 7
currently in: wien and praha
weather is: cold and clear and sunny
hostel is: home!
arrived in vienna 8am. wandered a bit. had been told that the tourist trams are 1 & 2, take those, see a bunch of the niceness of the city. did that, had the tram ticket already. sat in various gardens and parks because it was nice out. went and spent the rest of the day in a cemetary. famous people are buried there, but didn't see any graves, just went because i like being in cemetaries. although felt bad when an actual burial procession went by, me in a bright yellow jacket and jeans and rainbow mittens with a huge backpack on, them all dressed in their fancy dark mourning clothes. figured it was time to leave. train to prague where i wasn't met by people because i'd told them the wrong station, scrounged for enough change for the metro because i'd just seen a ticket-checker walk by and didn't dare risk it, got home eventually. and voila!

love, sarah :)

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

still alive. in switzerland. whee.

updates by sunday. if this even publishes properly.