Tuesday, March 09, 2004

A bit long winded today

I just took my touque out of the wash yesterday and thought to myself, "It's weired that it turned out to be such a good idea to bring a touque along to Spain!" Actually, we took them along on the journey because our time in London was supposed to be quite chilly (and it was), but we got more use out of them in our rooftop bedroom in Alicante than we did in England. Going to bed every night was a whole process. Tuck the sheets in nice and tight from the night before (so that they wouldn't fall off in the night), repile all the blankets on the bed, find anything else that could add warmth (such as jackets, sweaters, and jeans that could be layered ontop of the blankets), and then change into jammies, put warm socks on, put the touque on, and crawl inbetween the sheets prepared for another night of 5 degree weather. It's somewhat different than just not turning heat on during the night-- at home, we always turned the heat down to 10 degrees, but the furnace never actually started up during the night. In Alicante, they don't have furnaces in their houses, so as the weather outside gets colder at night, the houses get colder as well, and for the first five mornings, we could see our breath when we woke up. It's one thing when you're camping. It's an entirely different thing when you're sleeping in a house on a bed.
My Buy of the Week: When we found our way to the Plaza del Mar, we bought some lunch in the grocery store -Tina opted for a huge round loaf of bread for 50 cent or something and some fake Nutella, while Joel and I purchased a huge container of croissants, some sort of huge chocolate covered pastries for dessert, and Guarana for a drink. I was tickled pink about the drink-- in first year, my dear dormie introduced me to this pop from Brazil, and I haven't had it since. So, when I saw it sitting there on the shelf, there was no choice but to buy it. Anyhow. On to the buy of the week. After we sat on a bench in the mall eating our 'lunch,' we wandered around and found the store which both my sister and my very dear friend Shannon found while in France -- "Jennyfer." Those of you who visited my room in the past three years will have seen the Jennyfer logos that I had around my room, and I decided that I had to buy *something* in this store bearing my name. I searched and searched, hopeful to find a shirt that said Jennyfer, but alas, no such shirt was to be found. What I came up with though, serves as sort of a three-fold souvenir- Socks! They have the British flag on the sides, "Miss Jennyfer" on the bottoms, and they're from Spain. (and whenever I put them on I think of Mare, who, when not calling me Niffer, refers to me as "Miss Jennifer.")
By the time I get back to Canada, I think it will be rather strange to be able to go into almost any building in town and *not* smell stale smoke. I thought it was bad in London, with people smoking in some buildings.... but coming back here really makes it seem like England is smoke free. In Spain, they smoke in the airports, in the buses, in the elevators, on the trains, in the stores (in the mall there were several employees standing in their stores smoking), in the university, on the beach, everywhere. Not only that, but they just dropped the butts on the ground, be it in the mall or in the university.... Completely different habits, I suppose...They still have the cigarette vending machines on the sides of the roads. The first night at the girls' place, Federica offered us a cigarette when she got them out for herself, and when we declined she said, "ah, si, si si. I remembered...I mean I forgot --you're from de Canada."
Wine, in Spain, is incredibly cheap. I'm not sure I've ever actually bought a bottle of it in Canada, but our first night in Spain we bought a bottle at the grocery store to accompany our meal, and the bottle ran us a total of 1euro. And it was pretty decent stuff--this is coming from the girl who really could not down half a glass of wine if her life depended on it two months ago... Well, I could, but it really does not look very elegant or sophisticated when you take a sip of wine, and as it goes down your throat, your head, neck and shoulders do this involuntary shudder. Odd, really, because I kept trying to like wine, but I could never drink it without that happening. I think that I have conquered that in the last month, because I keep finding brands that I quite enjoy! At first, when we ate at Flanigan's, I thought maybe I only liked the expensive wine. But after the 1euro and then later on that week the 65cent wine, I think my tastebuds are finally getting cultured! Let me tell you something thought, a day of five hours of walking, sitting in the sun for hours and getting sunburnt, and getting quite dehydrated, and a glass and a half of wine at dinner all lend very well to two very giggly girls in the evening. Any of those who have grown up with me will know that when I'm tired and sunburnt I can get into fits of giddiness on its own, so I'm not sure how much the wine actually added to that.
So, when we watched the news one night, waiting with baited breaths for the weather report, we were confronted with some images quite different from those that we were accustomed to in Canada. While covering a story about a US bombing on Iraq, I think, they showed very graphic footage of the streets while the bombs were being dropped: disfigured children being carried across streets by their parents, men and women burning alive in the streets, streams of blood running down sidewalks, and people being shot point blank. It's quite a jolt, seeing this type of footage-- not the usual explosion scenes that I used to see at home-maybe they showed this footage as well back home, but it's definitely something that I've never seen in the news before. It was gruesome, and went on for almost five minutes. I couldn't understand a word that the news reporter was saying, but all Federica could tell us was that they weren't happy with the Americans at all. I should guess not. It's interesting, because we know that our media filters everything that we see on the news, and we have to rely on them for what we see of the happenings in the world, but it's somewhat of a jolt to see what they're not showing us.
So, Smartin's birthday today, we're all going down to the Farmers Pub tonight to read 'A Woman of No Significance' by Oscar Wilde, and have a pint. I'm going to try cider tonight, apparently I'll like it. We'll see about that.
I have a house for next year!!!!! I'm so excited about that!! Well, *we* have a house, I should say, I'm going to be living with Kenny and Rebecca, my two bestest roomies, and maybe Osanna and Dianna. What fun! After just renting a room in someone else's house for four months this summer, and then three months this semester, it will be an incredible relief to feel like I can have access to the whole house. And I cannot wait to live with these ladies again! So, if I don't end up in Stratford for the summer, I'll be in Hamilton, I guess, living with Kenny once more-- the poor girl, she already had to put up with me all last summer, 24/7, but it excites me to no end.
Before I can get to the summer, though, I must get through this paper, so I'm off to learn about how Shakespeare plays with time in his histories. Cheers, you lot!

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