So reading through my last blog it seems I left you guys hanging in a pretty intense place. I wish I could say that things have gotten better with the program and all, but they haven't. Not really. No. This experience so far has proved to be challenging but in a way that I didn't anticipate. I thought that my biggest obstacle would be the adapting to the culture thing but I've experienced very little of that thanks to IES. The greater challenge has been finding my place amongst this insular group of Americans. To be honest, it feels a lot like high school. I fucking sucked at high school. I couldn't play the game. And I still can't. I can't handle the bullshit. But maybe that's just the nature of the corporative urban study abroad beast. It's loaded with bullshit. I mean, it's not entirely bad, don't get me wrong. They've organized a way to house me, to feed me, to educate me. But with the important necessities comes a boatload of bullshit. The experience I'm looking for can only be found independently. What I'm looking for will always be outside of the institution. I mean it makes sense. I've always hated being guided my the hand, cudgeled, pampered and flattered. I mean seriously, what's this shit? I'm an adult. I can go off on my own, discover things for myself. Aha, revelation-- misery exists within the system. I have get out and take control over my experience here. I'm capable. I'm a big girl. Fuck this program. It wasn't designed for me. I'm doing my own thing. So. there. Fuck. yea.
Alright, that's enough shit talk. Let's discuss happy things now, shall we. Like how beautiful this city is. Like how I discover new places everyday. Like how even the extremest of weathers the temperature comfortably fluctuates between the realm of a New York fall and that of a New York spring. Or how about my super cool language exchange partner, Lídia, whom I met for the first time last week, talking Spanish over coffee and exploring the uncharted nooks of the city. Or what about my trip to Berlin where I met up with the Chelak sisters amd lived under the generous, cozy, and loving hospitality Jamila's super cool parents. Berlin is another great city. An incredible contrast to Barcelona. When I was there, it was cold and rainy and raw. So much of it was still deconstructed, or under construction, as a result of what occasionally appeared to be remaining vestiges from the war. But from the destruction there has evolved so much life. So much art. Art that springs from the streets. From discarded scrap metal and other left over waste, the entrails of urban devastation. Artist turn waste and ruin into beauty and life and meaning. It's such an emblematic example of the transformative and regenerative potential of art and the artist. I found something so uniquely and secretly beautiful about Berlin. It's not beautiful like Paris which is all about the pristine aesthetic form and layout of the city. Nor is it like Barcelona which has la playa and the mountains and beautiful weather all year round. The beauty of Berlin is found in it's ability to survive.
Well, I have class soon so I should head on over and get my ass on the metro. I miss you and I'll talk to you soon! Take care!