Thursday, December 15, 2005

Spain 2005 Photos

Here are the photos from my time in Spain in 2005:

Spain 2005 #3

here is my last installment of pictures from my trip.

the last couple months living in spain was a blast... i'd love to tell you all about it, but i dont wanna type that much right now, so just ask me if youre interested. the pictures can kinda give you a story about what i did with my time there: trip to munich, salzburg, barcelona and a few hours in madrid. other than that i spent a lot of time in cordoba, and enjoyed it there a lot more, especially once i could speak and understand better than in the beginning.

now, i'm back in santa cruz for a few days then i'm off to UCLA to finish my last quarter of school... then i dunno, hopefully something fun.


and as always, here is the link to ALL of my shared pictures, in case you wanna go look at the other ones:

which was just updated with some REALLY helpful explanations of what each link contains. again, the picture of me in the red dress is NOT me.


Monday, October 10, 2005

Spain 2005 #2

Hey everybody?

It?s been a while since I wrote last, but here I am, writing. I don?t really remember what I said last time? I think just stuff about daily life for me here, so here are some stories of things that have happened cause the school, family, and daily routines have not changed a ton.

By now, I have traveled quite a bit through the south of Spain in the Andalucia province? to cadiz, algecerias, sevilla, granada, almodovar, saw gibralter? I also went to Portugal and morocco for long weekends too. brag brag. While I?m at it, I think I am going to return to Munich for a long weekend and visit Petra (and hopefully Amy vv is meeting us there), and possibly Barcelona and/or Madrid. I chose to not travel in the north of Spain because it will give me an excuse to come back and spend another extensive amount of time here? and I like to spend more than just a weekend in a city or region.

I don?t wanna bore y?all with details of all the sights I?ve been seeing here, but I would like to mention my trip to morocco, in a city called Marrakech (we also went to Casablanca for a night in transit). I went with Chris, Monica, Marissa, and Jessica (some of my ameri-pals here)? and to sum it up, I think Chris put it best: ?anything? absolutely anything, could happen right now, and I don?t think I?d be surprised.? And it was totally true.

The streets there were insane with donkeys, scooters (with horrible 2-stroke exhaust that made me noxious every now and then), dead animals hanging from vehicles of all types, taxis, cars, horses, people, bikes, wagons, chickens, etc. Some streets got too backed up and everybody would try to go at once; even the pedestrians would get in traffic jams. I saw vegetable markets with the food just sitting on the dirty, oily, old, streets, the butcher shops were just an old bloody room with the raw meat and organs sitting on a counter on the sidewalk? exposed to everything passing by (people, exhaust, donkey farts, etc). it was a total culture shock for me and the others, we knew what we were in for when we left? this kind of lifestyle was so much different than anything I had ever seen before.

Also, an interesting thing was that it seemed like the people there didn?t know what the united states were. They could NEVER guess where we were from? often times we claimed to be Spanish without questioning by the Moroccans. I got Japanese, Italian, everything European, and only 1 guy the whole 6 days guessed American? it was strange. Even when I would say I was from the US, sometimes they just returned with blank stares. Aside from the craziness of the way of life there, the people that we dealt with were generally really friendly with us? we were offered food by locals at sundown to celebrate Ramadan a few times, got a lot of stares but usually followed by smiles rather than maddog looks, and the orange juice and dinner guys were like our best friends, always happy to see us around, and would try and hang out with us while we ate.

The way you shop there is strictly by haggling with the shopkeepers, and we quickly learned that we really had to lowball them cause they started with outrageous prices. I got thrown out of 3 different stores because my starting prices were insultingly low (I just didn?t want the junk they were asking me to buy). Lastly, I was there during Halloween?so naturally we bought a lot of the Moroccan garb and dressed up as Muslims to celebrate, it was quite fun, you?ll see the pictures. I now have 5 turbans? or turbs for short.

The aftermath of morocco: I don?t really want to go into the details cause they?re kind of graphic, and generally? girls don?t like the discussion on the consequences of stomach problems so half of my audience would be ill-at-ease (except maybe Rachel and Kelli). But I think I got sick from the pigeon that I ate there? because they are equivalent to rats in my mind, and I imagine they carry diseases quite often?. I?ll send updates on my tapeworm periodically. All 5 of us got sick afterwards, and it?s been 2 weeks now and its still lingering a little bit, but whatever? I had a good time there.

I also saw a soccer game here (well, in Sevilla)? it was pretty fun, although we were never able to find our seats. Spanish stadiums are not marked with gate numbers, row numbers, or seat numbers, but we did have 4 assigned seats? strange. Anyways, it was between FC sevilla and atletico Madrid? and it was really cool to see all the crazy fans there. They have chants like we do, but they sound much more melodic. It sounded like a choir of 10000 people when the crazy end of the stadium would do their thing.

As for my Spanish? it?s getting better. I?m sure my accent is still pretty bad, but things have gotten a lot easier for me since the last time I wrote. I?ve made a few more Spanish friends, and try to hang out with them as much as possible a) cause its fun, and b) cause it helps me get better at speaking. One of them knows English about at my level of Spanish, so we help each other out and practice a lot. Although I?m sure it was ugly on my end, we are able to have interesting conversations about philosophies and crap like that. I also am more comfortable at home now too? I hang out and watch TV with the family, and talk to them about random things, ask for advice on where to go and whatnot. We all understand one another much better now, so I don?t have to think of my conversations before I start them.

I had a few interesting experiences here with the language too? one night, Chris and I were talking to 3 Spanish girls and we were exchanging insults in Spanish and English. For some reason, I thought of douche-bag so told them about it? but then they asked for its meaning. I said it?s ?a thing? but also just an insult, but they wanted to know what the ?thing? was. I don?t think they have them here or something, but the girls were pretty entertained and disgusted when Chris and I tried to explain what it was? the first discussion took 1 hour, and we?ve had 2 more since. One of the girls said she?d like one for a Christmas present, but we told her that she was mistaken. They then told us to bring a picture of one, cause our explanations weren?t sufficient? so that?s my homework for the day. Another story, is one of my friends invited me over to her house for her friend?s birthday-ish party, so I brought Chris along with me. I mentioned that I had been sick earlier, and my friend asked if I went to the doctor, and I said no, I don?t really like going to the doctor. She asked why and Chris said ?bend over and cough? but in English? so this required an explanation in Spanish, involving pantomiming the action. At this point, all 12 Spaniards in the room directed their attention at Chris and I, while we had to explain that when boys get a physical they have do drop their pants and cough, while the doctor does his thing. They were absolutely mortified that this happens on a yearly or bi-yearly basis, and thought that doctors in the states were kind of perverted. One of the guys chimed in with a comment on how it?s a score if the doctor is a female. Right.

Anyways, I realize I have written way too much? hopefully you were able to make it down this far. If you write back, I have been pretty good about responding (sometimes gotta give me a few days), but I enjoy hearing from people back home. My friend loaned me her laptop for the weekend (yeah, I?m in my living room watching a western in Spanish with my ?mom? and she just asked me if I have eaten horse. I said no, and she tried to convince me to do it because the water we drink is dirtier than the water horses like), and I figured out how to steal internet on this computer, so I posted a bunch of pictures of my experiences in morocco, la tomatina (huge tomato fight), and my time here in spain. They have descriptions that are sometimes helpful, sometimes stupid. Keep in touch,


Spain and Portugal:


Tomatina and Valencia:

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Spain 2005 #1

Hi everyone-

I'm not really sure when the last time i wrote was, but to fulfill a few promises, here is a little update on the ongoings going on over here in Córdoba:

I have been living in an apartment with a student from UCSD and our Señora, Ana. Pretty much, i just moved in with a grandma, cause she just hangs out at home and talks to us when we're around, and makes us extravagant meals for lunch and dinner. Breakfast, on the other hand, is a strict regimen of 2 pieces of bread with jelly and juice. The nutella is usually refrigerated and is impossible to chip away with the flimsy butter knife, so its a lost cause. Her daughter lives on the floor below us and eats with us at every meal as well... and they are both really nice and helpful when we aren't able to saywhat were trying to. Lunch doesnt happen til around 3, so i am always starving afterwards, and the food-coma takes over my body quite frequently. Dinner isnt til around 10 as well... which is actually early compared to most other people i know. Spain is a really late country... i stayed out til 615AM the other day and it was like going home from a bar at 1130 back home.

School so far has been absolutely ridiculous. Ive studied a tiny bit cause we had an exam, but including that, i've probably had to put in 3 or 4 hours of outside work into my 24 units of class. No complaints coming from me though.. ive got one more quarter of engineering back at ucla that will surely be an asskicker after this. They are interesting classes; i'm taking grammar, international relations, and history of spain... all in spanish. My comprehension of the language is decent now, but my ability to respond still needs lots of work. One of the problems is that we have classes with only americans, so many of our friends are other english speakers so we dont always speak in spanish here.

I have made some spanish friends here through the friend exchange program thingy here. Chris and i have been sharing our friends, so we get to hang out with locals twice as much!!! its a lot of fun, and usually pretty helpful, but i think they will eventually get bored with our childish conversations unless we start advancing pretty soon. The other day, we explained the game ?duck duck goose? and went over the different noises that farm animals make over dinner... it was pretty exciting. As far as the other californians in my program- theyre pretty much all really nice, except for the inevitable idiots... going to school is a lot of fun, cause we get to hang out during recess. Yes, we have a 30 minute recess. I still hang out with chris a lot (ugh...) and we've become pretty good friends with these other 4 girls in the program.

During my free time here, i can be found doing... some things i guess. The city is dead during the siesta (naptime) between 2 and 530 in the afternoon, and this means that one of the best options for us is to take a siesta as well. Sometimes, ill go outside and play soccer or basketball with some friends. Honestly, moving here has made me feel like i'm 10 years old again... my mom does everything to take care of me in terms of food, chores, and talks like i'm a baby, then when i'm bored i go outside and play. Also, i probably dress like a little kid to all the people that live here. I try to go shopping sometimes, but i have been held back by the fact that i cant find my shoe size in this country... and the shoes i was backpacking with before the trip are not hacking it anymore. Once i find some that fit me, ill be able to get some clothes that i can wear with them and look a little less like a tourist... even though i'm about 7 inches taller than most guys and i have red(ish) hair. Hopefully when i return home, ill have some really sweet tight pants with v-neck shirts that would make some people question my sexuality, and make others think ive been euro-fied.

Ive travelled a bit on the weekends too... i went down to the beach town of Cádiz for a weekend, where we failed to book a room beforehand, so 6 of us ended up sleeping on the beach for one of the nights... i didnt think taking a shower in the ocean would ever feel so good after something like that. I also just went to Portugal for 5 days, and it was really nice there... 4 of us rented a car and toured around the south for a few days, and then went up to the capital, Lisbon. I was impressed with all of the places i went there, and would love to be able to spend some more time there. Also, i just got back from Gibralter... which is a little province or colony or something of Great Britain down on the south coast (i saw africa), known for being a gigantic port city, and for having lots of monkeys... sounds cool, huh?? well, i didnt get to see anything there cause i forgot my passport and had to just hang out at the border for a couple days... woohooo! Whatev, it wasnt so bad, we had a nice hotel.

Anyways, this is pretty long so far... i think ill end it here, even though theres plenty more for me to talk about. If you dont already have it, here is my contact information:

Cody Badger
Camino de los Sastres
No. 5-5-2
Córdoba, España

Cell# : 00 34 680 953 935 (dial this from the US)

Hope everyone is doing well back home... hope everyones having fun at school again! Unless that is, you dont attend school anymore... then hope that work is cool too. Keep me updated... i hear theres a fire in LA!!? Feel free to write me cause i found a wonderful internet café that plays some pretty amazing music... i am listening to an elevator version of ?wonderful tonight? which followed some cher power ballad. And yes... roommates, i have heard eternal flame, careless whisper, and daniel here.


Saturday, September 3, 2005

Eastern Europe 2005 Photos

Here is a bunch of photos from Eastern Europe in 2005:

Friday, September 2, 2005

Eastern Europe 2005 #2

hey selected recipients-

the main purpose for this update is just to give you a visual on how i´ve been doing. thats chris (left), me (center), and stephen (right)... but dont hold me to that cause i sometimes get left/right wrong, and by sometimes, i mean always. also... we may or may not have bought euro-shorts and actually worn them. we did, i mean... how else are our upper thighs gonna get super tan??? and the first time we wore them, there were at least 3 different groups of women laughing at us so loud, it was as if they wanted us to know. NO MATTER WHAT WE WEAR, ITS NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR THESE PEOPLE!!!

anyways, other than that, there isnt a whole lot to update. we finished up our jolly time in croatia riding around on some boats going to some gorgeous islands, windsurfing, playing frisbee and lounging on beaches, and it made me wanna learn to sail, so i could do all that on my own. the whole coast of croatia was gorgeous and seemed devoid of american and british tourists, it was pretty cool to experience the strange looks for speaking english naturally and wearing shorts that arent capris or speedos for a little bit (this is also true of the places i went before this too)... i definately plan on going back, and highly suggest those of you that like to travel do the same.

i went to venice for the 3rd time, and showed chris and stephen around, but lost us in the little alleyways a couple times, so we just and to eat some gelato when our energy was wearing thin. also, im sorry to say that i was one of those idiots who lets the pigeons climb on their arms in st. mark´s square... but theyre just so cute and irresistable, those pigeons (nature´s flying rat). since then, weve been here in valencia with lindsay, amy, and michelle (some friends from LA)... hanging out at the beach, wandering around the city, shopping for short shorts, taking siestas, and such. we also went to la tomatina a couple days ago... for those of you that dont remember from last year, its the huge tomato fight in the street here in spain. again, one of the craziest things ive ever seen in my life, it leaves you feeling somewhat disgusting (i think i still have tomato in my ear), but lotsa fun regardless.

im going to cordoba, the city ill be studying in this year, tomorrow... and ill send out address and other junk then.

anyways, i should get going... keep in touch,


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Eastern Europe 2005 #1

hello friends and family-

i have been travelling around for the last 3 or 4 weeks with stephen and chris, and here is a condensed version of my trip... some of you may not care to read due to jealousy (jball) or laziness but whatev. also, for those of you who dont know, im going to be studying abroad in spain for the fall semester, so come visit. also, please forgive my ungood writing, i blame the keyboard... and my poor knowledge of the english language.

right now, im in split, croatia... its pretty here, we just came into this internet cafe from wandering around a palace built in 304 AD (thats old) and before tha playing frisbee in the adriatic sea... its a rough life. we rented a car 4 days ago and drove up the coast of croatia stopping in a few very small towns on the way. we decided to stay in one, and we ended up staying in this family's apartment (thats the easiest accomodation here) with them and they were very nice. we were the first americans that they'd had there, so they were interested in hearing about our life. the daughter (a senior in high school, and had a crush on us) wanted to know all about being from california like the huge sandy beaches, surfing, if its like baywatch at all, etc.

we began our coastal journey in dubrovnik, croatia and it was ridiculously amazing. there are over 1200 islands in croatia, and we went to one of them... whats that like .002 % maybe? anyways, chris, stephen and i decided we were going to move to one of the un-inhabited (habited??) islands and have a solar powerd water evaporator, a grape terrace, a huge slide going into the adriatic sea, and of course a floating doner kebab stand with a turkish guy there to serve us 24 hours a day, because they are delicious. so far, this city is one of the most beautiful ive ever seen, the only thing is its a little too touristy for me. we are planning on going to the very island that odysseus went to when he was seduced by the sirens, but dont worry, their powers have nothing over us.

before this, i was in belgrade, serbia... where i visited nevena (my friend from high school for those of you who dont know). it was really cool to see her again, mainly because we didnt think we ever would... and the city was kinda crazy, there were signs of the wars that have been going on recently, like buildings that had been bombed out by NATO and whatnot. it was really interesting talking to some of the locals about what went on. other than that, the city looked depressing and sad in some parts cause they havent really been keeping up on its looks, but we had some delicious and delectable food and had fun walking around and talking with nevena and her friends.

before serbia, chris, stephen and i were in budapest, hungary. i am hungry right now. i forgot how to spell the hungry kind of hungry today. it still looks wrong. anyways, that city was also really cool... definately one of the top few on my all time list of cities. they call it the paris of the east (i dont know how accurate that is cause ive never been to paris), but it seemed like a romantic place i guess... lots of just cool looking streets and buildings. we were there for 5 days and had a grand ol time doing some stuff: cave spleunking, sziget (europes largest concert, we saw KORN!! YESSSS!!!), and hungarian baths- the most relaxing time youll ever have at public baths. i could imagine there would be some pretty nasty ones, so maybe thats not saying much, i guess just wait for the pictures.

and before that, we were in london for 20 hours and visited my friend cassie during our layover... tehy had a bbq in our honor (or just because), and there were some spanish folk there, and chris and i realized we were going to have a tough time when we get to spain.

before leaving the continent, we stopped in montreal for 3 days to visit my friend mary (who i met last summer while travelling) and see the city. i was really impressed with that city too, maybe because i wasnt really expecting much for some reason. but she was a very good host to us and took us all over the place... had many debates about the use of the phrase "eh?" by canadians, and they tried to convince us that they dont use it. pshhh.

i hope eveyone back home is doing well... i am running out of time here, so im gonna go but feel free to write and ill write back. also, if youd like a postcard, and i dont know your address, send it to me and ill send one. maybe.


PS dont you hate it when people go abroad then start using the word ciao in big stupid emails like this?
PPS congrats for making it this far.