I love bon iver.
(photo by halex)
meredith 2012 is gonna be sooooo good. grimes.
my itunes is arranged alphabetically.
i love it when after listening to an artist it goes to someone cool. for example, tonight… tune-yards - tupac (changes)
the opposite sucks - miike snow - mika.
its happened more than once.
Casa Batlló, Barcelona
Since last time we spoke, this is what has been happening in my life:
Lisbon round two : Lisbon still stands as one of the favourite cities I’ve visited in Europe. Some people I meet say they hated it, but there is just something about it that attracts me to it.
This time, I was there for the Saint Antonio festivities, held on afternoon/night of the 12th June. This involved beer/sangria stands being set up every 5-10 metres in the street, crazy hats (in the shape of a sardine) and wigs (green hair/balding head), barbequed sardines, churros, a lot of dancing and a lot of people dancing in the streets until the wee hours of the morning (one portugese guy I met partied from 3pm until 10am the next day. The traditional part of this festival involves a number of poorer couples all getting married in a mass wedding, paid for by the church (?).
Met a really amazing group of people in the hostel, and we hung out the whole time. Took some beautiful shots, visited some new and old places, and enjoyed the beautiful weather.
Next stop was Lagos. Warning… DO NOT GO TO LAGOS AND STAY AT THE RISING COCK IF YOU WANT TO SLEEP. They were four of the most intense days/nights in recent memory. This hostel had this craziness, this intensity, unexplainable unless you yourself have stayed there. Every night is a binge of beer/sangria/shots (all 1 euro), which sees you go to three or four bars and end up in a club.
Booze cruise was a definite highlight, 3 or so hours spent on a boat in the clear blue ocean, drinking, dancing, visiting the caves, and getting into the Rising Cock state of mind (drunk). Post booze cruise, a few of us jumped into the ocean from a pier, went and brought some new dresses, and continued to party until our bodies said no more and bed called.
The days were spent in a state of complete exhaustion, weariness and dehydration. To try and counter the effects of last nights antics, I’d go to the beach, swim in the freezing cold ocean, and then proceed to snooze on the beach. Then afternoon would roll around again, and the common room of the rising cock was already in party mode, ready to repeat it all over again.
Some stories heard about this hostel in the last few weeks: girls/boys wetting the bed, a guy pooing on the ground of the room, girls spewing in sinks, a guy taking a shower fully clothed, absolute bitch fights between friends (in the “Princess Room”, someone spewing into a plastic bag in the common room, etc etc. Dirtiest place in the world. That’s not to say I didn’t have a great, if not exhausting, time.
Its just that next time (if there is one) I go to Lagos, I will be opting for a relaxing place (possibly hotel), where I can get my beauty sleep, go kayaking, surf and unwind.
Post-Lagos has been my body telling me how terribly behaved I was there, and I am still suffering from a cold/flu.
I stayed three nights in Seville, ate some pretty good tapas, did a walking tour, but mainly I just hung out in the rooftop pool of the hostel, letting my body relax and come back to normal. One of the only photos I took in Seville, was of a supermarket check out computer, that was propped up with four mini pringles tins. I am too lazy to go get my cam to put it on this blog.
This is yet to happen, but I am hopeful in the next day or so I will be up for exploring Barcelona, where I am flying to today. Have a week there and then plans for the next 5 weeks (which is all I have left) are:
27-30 June : return to Lyon, move out of room, send a box home, catch up with people and eat at my favourite places.
30 June – 4 July : MY BIRTHDAY… Go visit my friend from exchange Katalin in Zurich. Catch up with her.
4-7 July – Munich. Beer gardens, visit city, etc.
7-13 July: Berlin. Catch up with Brazilian friend who I haven’t seen for five years. Check out all of the sites. etc.
13 July – 25 July: PARIS with Court Watts and Flo. Rented an apartment for a week and then in a hostel. Including Bastille Day, Bon Iver at the Olympia, end of Tour de France, Disneyland, Versailles, etc etc.
27 July : ARRIVE HOME EARLY MORNING.
happy days in europe.
weather - fairly average. one day of rain.
crowd - lively. relaxed. non wankers
music – fantastic. really good mix of bands, which I think is also why the crowd was so chilled. highlights – m83 (front and centre, got guitar pick)
thumbs down to death cab.
venue – parque da cidade. massive park just out of the city, next to the beach. would have been lots better if weather was good, but still, fantastic natural amphitheatres, good sound. last day was held at casa da musica – porto’s house of music. that was a masterpiece of architecture. saw jeff magnum there.
gang – fun times. amber, harry, grace and trev… plus a friend of amber’s she met in Ireland (angie). some solid pump-up times prior to going there.
alcohol – relatively cheap. 3.50 for a big beer/big sangria. even cheaper smuggling vodka in. Bin city - top drinking spot.
total rating – top marks for a top weekend with good friends, tunes in a cool city (could you want much more than that?)
slow dance - airports
Anybody has been overseas for an extended period of time knows this feeling…
You’re happy travelling, in fact, you’re loving it, but you’d give anything to go home for one weekend, to enjoy one of mum’s home cooked meals, to take a bath, and to see friends and family.
But once that time comes and you are at home doing these very things, the novelty of it all quickly passes and you realise that things really haven’t changed that much. Your mum still does her spaghetti bol the same way, even if she might have tweaked the sauce after reading some hot tips in Women’s Day. Your friends might have new boyfriends or girlfriends, but in essence, they are the same people you left behind. The biggest change might in fact be the new telly the family got installed while you were away…
After a weekend of enjoying these things, you think to yourself, yeah, cool, I’ve had my dose, I’m ready to be on my way again.
Well for me, the last week has sort of made me realise this is the same anywhere around the world. I just finished up eight days in Quebec, Canada, going back to my second home where I spent a year living in a host family about five-six years ago. And you know what, things were basically the same.
Sure, my old host family now live in a new house three blocks from where we used to live, my host-sister is no longer the seven year old I once knew but is now twelve, and the family have decided to add another little one to the family who is now four.
But in essence, my host dad is still the warm and caring person he was when I lived there. His jaw still cracks when he eats. My host mum still loses her shit while watching tv series, and knows how to have a laugh and joke, scaring me half to death when she barged into my room last night in revenge for kicking a footy into her back yesterday. The cat (fat fat Caramel) still malts everywhere, Rosalie is still kind and sensible, and St Georges de Champlain is still rocking with Dairy Bell icecream joint.
My group of friends have dispersed a little, studying here, there and everywhere, but we were still able to hang out like old times. My second host family were as familiar as ever, and it had me thinking, has it really been three years since I’ve seen these people, I would swear it was last summer.
I find it quite comforting to know that you can return somewhere after such a long time and feel so at ease, just like you used to be. Knowing that these places aren’t really going to change that much, except that everyone is getting a bit greyer.
It’s comforting for two reasons. For one, you can feel comfortable leaving home and seeing the world, knowing that when the time comes you will slip back into life very similarly as you left it before. And then you have the other side of the coin, which is that you don’t need to be travelling and seeing everything RIGHT now, because chances are it’ll probably still be there when you have the time (and probably more importantly the money).
Anyway, enough of the sentimental/serious stuff… To list off a few memorable things from my third trip to Canada:
- seeing my friend’s contemporary dance concert in montreal.
- eating poutine again, which is chips, gravy and this squeaky cheese, which has surely made my body ready (read: blinding) for the beaches in Spain and Portugal.
-catching up with two AFS friends, Agnes from Hungary and Firat from Turkey, who now live in Montreal.
-being silly with Lau Lau, the quebecois version of my sister, at Dairy Bell, in the car, in the house, playing tricks on her dad.
-going to Quebec city with Pascal, Rosalie and the two students they are hosting this year, Ploy (Thailand) and Andreas (Austria)
-cooking marshmellows in the backyard, swimming in the pool, sunbaking.
-dinner with the girls and then the cinema.
- exploring montreal and confirming that it is more hipster than melbourne.
- the smell of Grand-mère (the town where I went to school, not the smell of my grandma)… smells like wood.
- seeing the student protests in Montreal. massive.
- practicing my quebecois accent.
So… Plans for the next month or so…
Back to Lyon on a red-eye flight tonight. Justice concert tomorrow. Party party party in Lyon. Park times on Sunday. Death cab for cutie concert on Tuesday. Spain on Wednesday.
Rough plan of attack for Spain:
Madrid > Salamanca > Porto > Lisbon > Lagos > Seville > somewhere > somewhere > Barcelona.
Needing suggestions. Where to go/what to see/where to stay. facebook me them or email me. ta.
PHOTOS TO COME.
agnes + me… 5 years later.
absolutely massive student strikes/protestations happening right now in quebec. they’re protesting against the 75% rise in university fees over the next 5 years, also against a new law introduced this week which sets strict rules for public demonstrations and student groups that organize gatherings, with big fines for violations.
I caught a bit of one on friday night, absolutely nuts. today marks day 100.