November 08, 2002
i bitch about men in internet cafes
because i am filling in over 3 hours in easy everything tonight, i am getting to experience them all. the loud music players. the gaming geeks and the porn addicts.
unfortunately i'm seated in a row of terminals which happens to have a couple of the porn addicts on it as well. every now and then they look creepily at me and the other girl in the row and then back at the one terminal they're all using.
in turkey all the internet cafes outside of istanbul and goreme seemed to be populated by men downloading porn. in australia you just get so used to people downloading porn on home computers, and not within two metres of you.
at least in turkey they'd realise that a woman was there and they'd pretend to look at something else.
the unicorn tapestries
my mother has a print of the unicorn in captivity (new york). it is probably the first image that i can clearly remember.
[i'm desparately trying to kill time before i go to catch my train to switzerland so i'm geeking like i did in madrid when i was unhappy.]
an interesting review of the eminem movie, 8 mile.
i'm fascinated by eminem, and i actually wouldn't mind renting this video out when i get back to adelaide.
it is a very nice painting. overrated. but still very good. there was another da vinci portrait that i preferred.
this clay sculpture was very beautiful.
this was sexy.
the sound of silence
when aidan said good bye to me in granada, he warned me that after you farewell someone for a long time the room feels very silent.
in granada i didn't know how long it would be until i was able to meet up with aidan again. the room in the pension was very quiet, as i'd just said goodbye to aidan's brother james as well and it was only about 7am outside and noone else was awake.
so i listened to kid A. and felt very sad.
today on the metro we could both feel the silence come on. but this time it wasn't so oppressive.
i know that in about six weeks i'll be seeing aidan in poland for christmas. (!) and i know that i travel very well by myself.
so the silence wasn't so oppressive. but despite the sounds of paris around me, it felt a little quiet and i felt a little sad.
and tonight i can listen to my new ryan adams cd!
the paris list.
in a little while i'm going to head off to the louvre avec mon sac a dos grand et mon sac a dos petit. hopefully they'll accept them in the bag check.
then i get to go to the louvre until 6pm and then i have to fill in 3 hours looking after my pack without spending much money.
here's what i did in paris:
monday: walked around the marais and went to the pompidou centre, caught the metro back to the apartment, ate pasta, read and slept
tuesday: a chilled day of doing nothing and not having to go anywhere much until dj shadow! i sat around in my pyjamas, drinking endless cups of tea and read the french ikea catalogue. i have not been able to do that for the last three months!
and then i went to montmartre, thought of amelie and sat in sacre couer until i met up with aidan before the concert.
thursday: went to the musee de moyen age (musee de cluny), bought a ticket to switzerland, bought stuff for dinner, met up with aidan, rushed through the beautiful musee d'orsay and then finally got home and made a yummy risotto.
friday: left my rugs, first travel journal and some souvenirs with aidan, repacked my pack, listened to the amelie soundtrack, ate an omelette, drank some tea, caught the metro with aidan to st lazare station so he could catch a train for a weekend in normandy and caught the metro to st michel for recuperative internetting (i felt lonely being left in paris without aidan)
i fill in some time
this blog looks kinda interesting. and this poem captures occassional travel feelings.
November 07, 2002
tomorrow i'm going to got dump my pack at gare d'est and then i'm going to look at the louvre.
then i'm going to head off to interlaken on a train which arrives in berne at 04.15! and the connecting train doesn't come until 2 hours after!
(i'm going to be so freezing!)
america v. americans
one of the most frequent conversations that i have with americans i've met whilst i've travelled is whether i regularly get to see kangaroos in my backyard.
but surpassing that conversation is what i, my family and friends think of america.
to which i reply "well, there's america and then there are americans...".
this interview with author Mark Hertsgaard (The Eagle's Shadow: Why America Fascinates and Infuriates the World) covers a lot of the same things that i speak to my american friends about.
you aren't america, but you are an american. take a step back and look at how and why the world regards you in the light it does.
November 06, 2002
it is with confused feelings (pride, fear, amusement) that i now announce that i survived a pickpocket.
last night aidan and i were buying a drink after seeing dj shadow play, a weird looking little french guy came up and started demonstrating a tackle made famous by zidain, a french soccer player.
it's a tackle designed to throw the opponent off-balance, and as i was thrown off balance, the pickpocket started to tug my wallet from my jeans pocket.
luckily i caught him, and i was able to put two words from my french vocabulary into use.
<< non, non, non monsieur! >> elle dit tres forte.
i've finally been able to check my new mail by geeking up and running ftp through internet explorer.
unfortunately i can't reply to you yet!
so mum, please can you pay the $220 for me, thankyou very much,
and thanks to both you and ed for the letters. if i wake up early i'll give you a call. (it's actually cheaper for me to ring you).
karah... oooh goss! so interesting! that's was very strong of you. on the other hand, one shouldn't be afraid of reverting to physical violence if necessary.
sarah et al. if you want to send me a package right now (today or tomorrow! or maybe monday next week (111102)) i can pick it up in Prague. the address is...
tell me if you do send me something so that i can go and pick stuff up!
i'll email you all later. (if my mail server ever gets working!)
adelaide's metro is a sexy place
imagine my surprise when i entered www.transadelaide.com and was barred access by easy everything because the website contained the barred word sex!
someone back home, could you go check out the link and tell me whether there is indeed sex on the "other" transadelaide site? am i right in guessing that the public transport system of adelaide is staffed by transexuals and transvestites?
in time and in tune
i'm not sure if it's because i've been away for live music for about 3 months now (i knew that i missed seeing people play, and i've even missed going out to real clubs where there's just mixing, but i didn't realise that i'd missed it that much.), but even for me, it was one of my best live experiences.
he had two cd turntables, two technic 1200s, a sampler, a keyboard and an amazing video display.
occasionally he'd put in samples of other peoples' beats (eg. blackalicious) and as it was dj shadow, there were many video samples. but he was pretty much doing live remixes of all his work (old and new) and mixing various tracks in together.
and the video display! he had this guy c.o.d. working with him, it was in time, and when there was a video sample in the track, you saw the visual of the video as well.
you wanted to dance, but at the same time you wanted to just stand and watch the absolutely sweet technique!
and at the end... well that's a pretty cool and funny surprise.
November 04, 2002
life in france
aidan and i keep on swapping stories of how improved our lives are going to be when we return to adelaide...
aidan: i'm going to be so organised and that will mean that i'll be able to relax and have free time when i need it.
and THEN, i'm going to use alternative forms of transport, like the bus system and walking and my bike.
and THEN, while i'm on the bus i'm going to be able to use it as thinking and reading time.
and THEN, i'm going to rediscipline tristan (aidan's dog) and i'll train him out of all the bad habits my mum's let him relapse into.
pippa: i'm going to do all the things that i've always wanted to do, but have been too lazy to actually start and finish. i'm going to walk up mt lofty regularly with pete and i'm going to go to yoga once a week and i'm also going to try to swim once a week.
and THEN, i'm going to catch public transport too (as my car's getting sold) and ride my bike places.
and THEN, i'm going to make a patchwork quilt with mum and setup a darkroom and take photos all the time and have regular crafty sewing days.
both of our lists are extremely long winded and full of hope about how cool and perfectish our lives are going to be.
my list also includes:
oh, and i'm also going to get a new job (possibly not directly related to computing, my skills are a little too stale at the moment) and i'm going to kick ass at university and get good enough marks so that if i felt like it, i could do postgraduate study. but first i have to finish my current degree.
nanowrimo went well for the first day (in florence). i made my target 1600 words, but it should be noted by y'all that those 1600 words didn't make much sense. i was using the first person and switching tenses all the time and it seemed like a glorified rewrite of my journal.
so on the 2nd i wrote nothing.
instead i spoke for hours with aidan about my last two months, and he spoke about his last two months, and i marvelled at the teeny tinyness but well put together apartment that he's staying in. (his flatmate szanja has the best taste in stuff and reminds me at different times of luella, karah and amanda. even better, she works at the louvre and in a teashop.)
and THEN we metroed into town and walked through a very rainy but cliched paris (the seine! notre dame! joan of arc's statue in notre dame!), and ate chicken and baguette under a shop awning while drinking beer.
and THEN we went to a club called battyfos which was in a barge on the seine. we couldn't decide between leaving before the metro closed (00.20) or staying up until the first metro (05.00) so we ended up walking through the rain to catch a night bus.
and we also took the metro across paris in the search for an exhibition which was closing on sunday, we never made it, but i saw some amazing double rainbows across the sky in front of the super modern buildings of la vilette.
which was followed by a movie (the bourne identity) with two of aidan's paris friends.
will i sit down to write some more novel?
the way i see it, if i can write 25000 words (half of the nanowrimo target) over the next month, that is a pretty cool effort. i don't have chapter summaries or even a list of things to write about, but i see nanowrimo as an opportunity to write something apart from my journal, this blog, or a university paper.
November 02, 2002
come pick me up
my favourite new musical find while i've been away has been ryan adams (i downloaded some songs while i was doing my pre-travel cd burn sessions).
i cannot say enough about him, his songs make me want to sing along, out loud... (oh for my car and a long drive home)
and now i find that he's touring europe while i'm here! but it seems like our dates don't coordinate....
je suis sur paris!
i'm finally in paris!
it was never part of my plan to come to paris on this journey, but with aidan changing his place of study from uppsala to paris, there was no reason for me to not go (especially as i'd now have a cheap place to stay).
so here i am. last night i caught a train from florence (via milan) and made my way through darkness.
immediately i was put to the test as i'd been given a couchette with three french speaking people. none of them seemed to own a watch, so i was desparately trying to remember my numbers in french so that i could tell them the time.
it's raining in paris. but i was expecting that and arrived decked out in the cool green leather jacket and red leather gloves that i'd bought in florence.
aidan has taken me on a mini walking tour of the city and i've had a panini (the french equivalent of a toastie).
and books! during my time in turkey i was starved of bookshops. even if the books aren't in english, i still like looking at them. in italy and now in france i am overwhelmed at the many well stocked bookstores all over their cities. not only are their translations of english language authors, but so many exciting looking books by non-english language authors!
October 16, 2002
and then about ten days later i'll be in paris!
where to kiss in paris... (hint)
August 23, 2002
the next morning aidanīs brother james arrived in bordeaux as well.
this is a blurry picture of james at a terminal in the barcelona easy everything
after coffees and showers for him we found out about the bordeaux wineries that we could go visit and we hired a car and went driving.
oh. bordeaux is beautiful, but a very poorly laid out and continually under road repairs kinda town. (i suppose it is a very old town. so iīll forgive the place. but all the roads seemed to be torn up!)
we drove to a beautiful village called st emillion. itīs at the centre of one of the bordeaux wine regionīs appelations. for every 8 persons who live in saint emillion, there is one specialist wine store.
we tasted wine there and drove around to some more wineries.
[oh, i enjoyed the day, but i must add that it was james and aidan's idea to spend two days wine tasting]
and later on we had pizza and wine on a lawn in st emillion. the weather was beautiful.
and then we drove back to bordeaux and james slept and aidan and i sat in the stairwell of the hotel looking at the hands in the clouds and talked.
the next day we booked our ticket to barcelona for that night and we drove around tasting more wine.
i must admit that i did get kinda bored.
initially i was tired. in the couchette on the train, two spanish women seemed to speak all night. and i woke up at every stop and the cooling wasnīt working, and when it was working i froze. so i didnīt sleep very much.
i changed my clothes in the train station, but declined the idea of a 3 shower.
after about two hours of waiting in a train station i finally met up with aidan.
he has longish hair again and a tan and is skinnier and looks so much more relaxed than he was looking in adelaide.
and things are still the same. i still like him, he still likes me - and we're going to keep on being separate and independent of each other until we return to adelaide and see whether we still like each other back in our hometown. that is if we both return to adelaide.
and that is all iīm going to write on that general subject.
after coffee we walked in the warm bordeaux sun until we found our hotel. with our backpacks on.
when i took my backpack off, my shirt was completely saturated. sweat was dripping off me.
and my feet hurt.
iīm glad that i didnīt pay 3 for a shower!
showers, changes of clothing and then we walked around bordeaux and i had my first, real, live (it had legs) french baguette.
then we had grown up dinner and slept. i really do mean that. we slept. and weīre two mature independent adults.
well maybe immature, but still independent and separate.
August 16, 2002
bordeaux - ace
my spontaneous trip to bilbao will go down in history as unsuccessful. but iīm hoping that my trip to bordeaux will be much more successful.
i decided against that and decided that we meet up in bordeaux. we can always go to barcelona from france. and at what other point in my life will i have the opportunity to reunite in france with my boy after 7 months apart?
so today i trekked over to the atocha renfe and then chamartin station to book a ticket. i very carefully wrote out the necessary information:
chamartin > bordeaux
and i was successful in getting a ticket for 56 with a cochette for the night in question.