2da semana

Whenever I go someplace new, the second week is always  better.  I’m still not always entirely comfortable and my Spanish isn’t that great, but things are getting better.  I decided I’ll do my last week in Sosua, because then I can have the beach right outside my apartment.

It’s important for me to have women friends around me because I just don’t trust Latino men (which I partly blame on Romeo “King of the Douches” Santos)

Case in point:

Pretty typical of his videos.  He just wants your girlfriend and he can have whatever he wants because he is the KING (of douches.)

Also this was the first song that played in my dance classes this week hahahaha.

Soooooo here you can see the “beach” that graces my front door.

 There’s a street in the colonial zone with a lot of this art. 

Good ways to celebrate Easter weekend… Have a festival where people can swim in blow-up pools and make a Jesus out of sand!  Also have a rock concert for Jesus in the night.  Seriously I’ve never seen a religious rock concert outside of youth group activities.  It was interesting.

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Arrival

I went to bed at 7 PM, which was great at the time, given how incredibly tired from 21 hours of travel I was (SERIOUSLY Fargo needs a direct flight to New York, that would be amazing).

So now it’s 3 AM and I feel well rested.  

ANYWAYS. I am officially in the Caribbean, Southside of the Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo).  Had a nice conversation with my taxi driver in stunted Spanish, with a lot of over-exaggerated facial expressions and gestures.  My Spanish classes start tomorrow at ICC Language Institute

I am staying about 30 seconds away from the ocean, with a host family consisting of Doña Christina, her daughter, and 3 grandkids.

Doña Christina speaks no English, and she’s the one I’ve been communicating with mostly.  I don’t speak Spanish very well, but usually I can get my point across.  I really really like her, despite the language barrier… Can’t wait till we can actually talk fluidly.  I told her I’d make her pizza, but dangit, I didn’t bring any pizza spice 😦 . Could be difficult.  I think after these four weeks are done, I will be at level two or three.  I’m about halfway through level one, WHICH MEANS.

I can once in a while get past tense right, or I can say that I am going to do something.  But other than that I have to speak almost completely in present tense.

I don’t have house keys yet, and I THINK she said I will have them tomorrow. Not too sure about that.

If I walk around I can hear Bachata music freaking everywhere and I love that.

There aren’t really buses here.  According to this website, basically what I have to do is flag down a mini-van called a Guagua.   I am scared to do that, because my Spanish is so so so so poor right now.

It would take about a half hour to walk to my language school.  But I’m awake anyways, so I could conceivably go, and watch the sunrise from the beach (if I don’t get hit by a car.)  But then I still need to get back at the end of the day.  Hmm.  I guess I’ll wait till the Doña wakes up, and ask her.  I need keys ASAP.  Necesito los llaves.

I’m not doing too badly though, the other girl I rode with in the taxi who is also going to this school only knows “Hola.”  I hope she makes it tomorrow.

 First view of the Caribbean!

Hmmm not my best photograph.  View directly outside of my house.

Minor Updates

Hiding out in a Hostel, to get a break from being in the house.   (Mustache Hostel in Kailash Colony, New Delhi, it’s very nice if you wanted to know)

Just finished my first Hindi lesson which went supremely well.  I was riding some mild euphoria at finally getting out, doing something, learning something.

Finding out about all these cool things I could do, but seems I’ll have to branch out on my own IF AT ALL POSSIBLE.

Ahhh it’s been so hard to do anything.  We were going to go to Agra yesterday to see the Taj Mahal, but his dad pronounced it “too foggy” and said we couldn’t go.  So his friend went without us instead.  We spent the day at home.

I really get frustrated being cooped up like this.  I’m starting to get snappy with him, and I really don’t want to turn into one of those sitcom wife-types.

I found a place that has salsa dancing on Tuesday nights, but his mom already said I can’t go out dancing because it’s too dangerous.

Aiiya.  I told him I won’t come back to see him in India till he moves out of the house.  I think I mean it.  Never thought I’d be relieved to finally get back to Fargo, but it’s sorta looking like that.

Anyways I just bought a round trip plane ticket for Bangalore so I’ll be going there in two weeks.

___

Also:  I have almost one hundred percent decided to do El Camino this summer.  (This is a pilgrimage in Spain.)

Considering buying a smaller camera.  My nikon D700 that I bought in high school is VERY HEAVY.  I need something more low-key.

here’s a Punjabi song for you.  12 saal – bilal saeed

Brussels

Have you ever wondered what’s so good about Brussels during the Holiday season?  I’ve got two words for you:

Christmas

Market.

(Also waffles.)

Okay just to clarify I’m not in Brussels anymore, I’m in Delhi.  Which you should know already.

Anyways, now to experience the magic of Belgium.

 Part of the main plaza

 For some reason the Christmas Market has very strange carousels, with such delightful steeds to ride as this ostrich…. and a giant cockroach.  Very steam-punk macabre.

 MMM 🙂  I can almost smell the gluewein. Or however you spell that.

 So we rode the ferris wheel, and as we’re getting on, I realize it’s the same one I rode during Tomorrowland… Not that huge of a coincidence, since Tomorrowland is quite near Brussels, but it made me happy.

 People from Brussels go to the Christmas Market for two reasons… to drink.. and to see the FUNNY CHRISTMAS ICE MONSTER! HAHAHHAHA.  I”m laughing just looking at it. so funny.

 St. Catherine Church makes a nice backdrop.

Right as we began making our way back through the main plaza, a light show began!  The eery music fit with the overall mood of people from Brussels (seriously I’ve never seen such dour Christmas spirit).  But the best part was when everything lit up red and Kate yelled “WE’RE IN HELL!”

Current plans:  I have a Hindi lesson scheduled for this Monday and Friday.  Also, I booked tickets to Bangalore for mid-January, to meet up with my Desi friend who hosted my friend and I in Liverpool (via couchsurfing.com).   I love getting the chance to meet up with people I met on my previous travels. 

Also Bangalore will be a WELCOME BREAK from Delhi. 

Valencia

The good thing about the end of my trip was I only stayed with people I already knew.  This saved me from the burnout.

Hitched a ride on blablacar, (an amazing rideshare website mostly for Europe).  My driver accidentally picked up the wrong person…. asked her if she was Amy, she said yes.  Turns out she was a sex-worker.  whoo hooo. They realized that pretty quickly and came back to the bus station to get me.
Valencia.  Had to cut my time here in half because my boyfriend informed me that he’d be in Paris in four days.
Went to the “Bulls in Silla” festival.  Also spent a lot of time on the beach, and practiced Spanish.
My friend Isa, who I met in Thailand, hosted me.

 PAELLAAAA. Best Spanish food. Ever.

 View from our apartment. Ocean.

 (Conversation in Spanish)
“Come over here! She’s English!”
“She’s NOT English. She’s American.”
“Well… Same thing. She speaks English.”

 Sunset on the lake.

 Sunrise the next morning on the Ocean.

 So basically the bulls just run through the town and everyone jumps behind the bars (in red here) when they get close.

 Except these idiots.

teraaaaaaa hone laga hoooooooon

well I’m getting ready to leave for India… and I realized I still haven’t fully blogged my Eurotrip.  Will do that this week (or try).

Going to be performing Salsa at the nursing home with my dance instructor (if all goes as planned! fingers crossed so hard…).  I’ve  been trying to get myself up enough to do that for about a year. FINALLY.

Today I’m buying my first set of luggage.  Figured its about time.

OH MY GAHHHH I’M GONNA BE FLUENT IN HINDI.   (Well one hopes).  Everything I’ve written today has an escape clause.  Man I’m bad at committing to things.

Whoops haven’t finished my Euro-trip blogging

London is only awesome if you are rich, or don’t care how much money you spend (which amounts to the same thing in my book).

London for me was a black hole, draining my cash at horrendous rates.  It was also pretty cool.  I need to learn to let go sometimes.t

 I love LOVE taking pictures of cops, but it also makes me nervous.  So many street performers in London.  And the greater Europe.

 My travel buddy being touristy :p

 I met people from Spain, Germany, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Nepal, France, Slovakia, Poland, India, etc…. and I think only ONE SINGLE BRITISHER.  Basically the whole world is slowly being funneled into London.  I was bargaining in Camden Market with the above dude for a shirt.  Got it for three pouinds (had to throw in an exitfest bracelet though)

 Practiced my Hindi with a Delhi-ite!  Also go to Brick Lane if you want AMAZING Indian Food.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam was the beginning of finding my traveling groove.  I freaking like that city.  Also did my first walking tour here.

The thing about “free” walking tours is you don’t really get a three hour tour for nothing.  They expect you to pay and if you don’t tip you will (and should) feel like a terrible human being.  Plus this tour was SO informative that it was definitely worth the euros.   Our tour guide was intensely knowledgeable.  Amsterdam is full of History (I know that’s a very American-in-Europe thing to say).

I love walking tours.  I try to do one in every city I go to now.  The best one was Amsterdam’s, but I hear the one for Brussels is even better.  Liverpool’s was the worst one, we left halfway through.

The bikes in Amsterdam are scary.  They don’t care about pedestrians so be prepared to jump out of the way often.

 Hostel Life, a 12-bed room, one shower.  At 2 AM our first night Everyone was yelling at the guy in the bed next to me because he had music on and he wouldn’t use headphones.  He got kicked out eventually.  I find if you are in a co-ed room, people (dudes) will say something if someone is being loud. But if you are in an all-girls room no one will say anything.  Two people banging in my Barcelona hostel literally woke EVERYONE up.  And they wouldn’t stop even when I said “Could you NOT have LOUD SEX  right now!?!? Co-ed rooms are the way to go.

 Best place for a church… in the middle of the red light district.  Guess the sailors would go to church the morning after visiting the girls and try to buy their way back into heaven.  Priests were more than happy to accommodate.

 Amsterdam is very rich… was a huge port city where the East India Trading company was located.

Central Station.

why am I so angry today this is terrible.

I’m getting real fecking tired of feeling like a second class person because I don’t have any aims to be successful.

I’m happy (most of the time) so for GAH sakes why is that not enough?  I’m tired of being embedded in the college part of town.

I don’t like most of what a “successful” life entails.  Getting richer while those around you get poorer eff that.  Why yall’s need so much money.

Why do I feel like I can’t swear on this blog.  Because it’s linked to my facebook. gahelkjr.

Wine Slow

Bought plane tickets, Minneapolis — Belgium, Belgium— India.

Should I just move out completely and teach somewhere in Asia?

I feel like I’ll just keep postponing it and next thing you know I’ll be married and unable to do anything..

Music for you: