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,