July 21, 2006

Bon jour

Oh the inspired titles: internet is expensive; i have little time for creativity;

I am in bordeaux even more baked and crispy after 3 delightful days in San Sebastian: it is hot hot hot: Now we are in Bordeaux which is very lovely and tomorrow we travel to the city of love: I am just starting to appreciate the wonder of this trip in the realisation it is drawing to a close and simultaneously getting excited about coming home:

Another thing: I have a new found fear of pigeons: They have absolutely no fear over here due i am sure to their sheer supremacy of numbers: in venice one took me on; i shoo shooed and it looked me straight in the eyes with disdain; whatever bitch; those eyes said: And then it flew straight at ,e and tangled itself in my hair: Now i am much more deferential:

This keyboard is crazed: gotta go

July 16, 2006


I just adore Barcelona. I think it has been my best city yet. Italia would be, and shall remain, my best country. But Barcelona is, well i have been here for two days and I feel at home. It is big. And crazy. And I had two separate groups of men accosting me today while i was sucking on an iceblock ¿you can imagine? but i just love all the architecture and the food ¿we went to the most unbelievable restaurant last night, it is going to get its whole own separate entry at some stage? and the Sangria and the trees and parks and the weird sculpture things every where you look and the Zooª Today i went to the zoo. I was tired of museums and art and yes, even Gaudi, and i went to the zoo while Sally went to look at Picasso. And i was teary eyed for quite a large part of the experience because it was just a thousand times better than anything we have at home. Some of the enclosures were quite cosy, sort of like our little cubble hole dorm room right in the heart of the city, but the animals were animated, and healthy looking, and they all had mates. And there were lots of babies. One of my standout highlights of this entire trip will be the hour or so i spent watching the dolphins. They did one of those shows, and i felt five years old i was so excited by it all. I dont think i have ever seen a live dolphin close up before. I am just ecstatic.

unfortunately, our stay has been cut short due to the fact that unless we leave tonight we cant get a train until thursday. So we are taking another night one to San Sebastian. But i am coming back here. I would like to live here. I want to take my kids to that zoo....

July 14, 2006

Why does a 'c' make a 'th' sound?

So I have been pondering the matter of language recently, having in the last six weeks been spoilt with material. Examples served up in my ponderings like some lavish international linguistic buffet.

On the metro to Ruzyne airport in Prague this morning, I was staring over a girl's shoulder, which doesn't sound as rude as it might in peak commuting periods, you don't get much choice. Over the shoulder, up under the armpit....

She was reading a novel, and it was all in Czech. Which just looks nothing like English. Is it the romantic languages, like Italian and Spanish? And German, I don't think that's romantic, it doesn't sound it when spoken. But, those languages all look familiar, even if they don't sound it when spoken by a native. This book did not look like anything i have read. And it just confounded me, sent me spiralling out on a weird out of body thought pattern about how she was doing something so utterly natural. Those foreign jumbled up symbols were being translated for her as she read, into, I don't know, it could have been some tacky Sweet Valley High equivalent.

I have learnt to walk around with a permanent apologetic or full beam smile on my face. Hmmm, actually I have probably learnt, harder, that sometimes five foot three and a bit, 50 odd kilos, and blonde hair needs to be counter balanced with a penetrating, suspicious glare. But when communicating normally the smile usually trumps. And "thank you" is obvious in any language. "Hey baby, wanna come for a ride" in Italian was also fairly self explanatory. "You are not listening to me" in rather vehement Italian, has also been dished up on my plate. A nice young Moravian boy I befriended on the train from Vienna to Prague taught me hello and goodbye in Czech, but in five hours I was spellbound by his life, how much he has seen and travelled, his gentle perspective on humanity and by the time we bashfully shook hands and parted ways, him to his mother's dumplings and me to a veritable banquet for a fraction of what we had been paying up to Prague, well, i had forgotten how to say those two words. And felt utterly rewarded for overcoming any language difficulties we had encountered.

The thing that I love the most, is that look, reflected on both parties, when you manage to communicate in two different languages, you in yours, them in theirs, and still come to some happy conclusion. Like the Czech man who gave me directions to the departures terminal at the airport when I made a swooping upwards gesture with my hand. That look. A little bit of pride, a little bit of phew, and a lot of, See. We aren't all that different really.

July 10, 2006


Well, probablÿ time i updated, although the czech keyboard is driving me nuts. The y and z have altered positions. it upsets my touch typing considerably.

As you can see i am procrastinating. Sally has rushed off to ring mum and joe as she has realised her cellphone isnt going to work here and is no doubt feeling as remote to the outside world as i have for the entirety of this trip. It is hard, especially when you are expecting an email and one doesnt arrive. Yes, i am sulking a little. No doubt he¨s broken a limb skiing over the weekend, but not like i have any way of finding out....

Our place in prague is beautiful, except it is right underneath a motorwaÿ overpass, but we are used to noise by now. We havent actually ventured into town yet, we had dinner and watched the italy, france final at a cool place just up the road. Had the most delicious mojito for pudding¨, and litres of beer of course, for very cheap. I am so gutted now that i didnt get little bro an italian shirt while in the victors territory. I will have to find one on the rest of my travels.....

So the procastinating, a result of the fact that i must venture miles out of town today to the airport to find british airways and ask that they reissue my plane tickets. But once that is done i am sorted again, clean slate if ÿou will. Guess i should get a wriggle on.

Internet, as is everything, is much much cheaper here, so i will try and update briefly each day. Much safer than a paper written copy.