woensdag 22 augustus 2012

thinking big

Wednesday, 15:45. I'm sitting in my room, the AC on, the sound of birds and squirrels in the back of my head. I just got back from a run in our neighborhood. I feel fine. I still have a lot of reading to do for today, but for now, I take a break.

On Friday, I had my first exam. I didn't like it, at all. The exam software didn't work, there was no IP man around, so I had to run to the Registrar's Office and ask for a blue-book to write my answers down. Luckily, when I started reading the questions, I realized that I knew most of the answers. That's a good thing, isn't. I think I did just fine. It's a pass or fail grade, so you're in, or you're out. I can't imagine not being in - I have never been out before.

In the meantime, I have made my first friends and I have found my way to the swimming pool. We have this beautiful oldschool swimming pool, at the Student Recreation Center. Also, I have returned my new blue bike, and I have bought a secondhand one. It actually already broke on my first trip to school, the front wheel came loose. Now, I am looking for my third bike in three weeks. I guess that's a record.

A positive note: I have discovered some great new food. Honey oatmeal for breakfast, spaghetti & meatballs for dinner. I am still in love with the Bizon Burger, although I have eaten it three times already. I do have to ease on the cupcake cream, caramel sauce and candy. It is true: Americans eat all of the time. America loves food, and food loves America. Food is like always and everywhere available - at the dentist's office, in the Hardware Store or at the pharmacy. I think I will start making salads next week. Or today, as a matter of fact. 

This weekend, we hung out with our friends from school. It was nice. We're all from another country, so that makes us a bit alike. School is actually quite hard (and that's an understatement). We have to read every day, about a hundred pages, more or less. Actually, it is almost undoable. Still, we try. We try hard. I read before breakfast, during lunch, after gym, before bedtime. I read all of the time, and I still don't finish my assignments on time. As we have new reading assignments every day, one thing is for sure: I will not be bored for the next 9 months.

That's about it for now. I'm going to jump in the shower and start with my reading assignments for tomorrow. If I'm lucky, I might even finish this time.

zondag 12 augustus 2012

rollercoaster favourite ride

Sunday in Nashville. I woke up at nine with only one thing on my mind: I have to read those pages for Life of the Law, my first class tomorrow. It is now nine PM and I still haven't read a page. I did do a whole lot more: I got lost during jogging, I did my laundry, and I found my way back home.

About everything that could go wrong, went wrong today. I received my bike - I had ordered it online - but apparently, it came in pieces. I received two wheels, a lot of iron, a steering wheel and brakes. For about 4 hours, I tried to put the thing together. I failed. Luckily, a friend stopped by and helped me figure most things out. Still, my bike is a try-out version of what it should be - whatever that may be. It is blue, big, stupid and girly. Tonight, or maybe tomorrow, I will try to uninstall all elements and put it back into its box. Then, I have to find someone who can drive me to the store, so I can return it. I want my money back. After that, I will look for a cheap, boyish, second hand bike. Then, everything will be fine.

After I did, or did not fix my bike, I went for a run. I kept on running through the streets of Nashville, emptying my mind with a sweet and sunny smile. After all, the weather was great today: sunny and cloudy, just the way I like it. Then, I got lost. It didn't even matter - eventually, I found my way back home. So after being lost, I was happy to be found. I took a shower and I felt reborn, ready for my next stop: the laundry mat. I took my laundry basket, my purse, and my reading assignment for school. I opened our door, ready to take off, when I remembered that I had to take my coins. Coins: quarters you need to pay for the laundry. I did need a lot of them, so I had been saving them during the week. I took my coins, headed outside, but when I closed the door, a cat sneaked into our house - a black one, sweet and stubbern. I chased her, I called her names, I did even try to push her out of the house. Unfortunatly, she did not leave. So I decided that it was my turn to leave. I took my basket, I took my coins, and I left for the laundry mat.

Once I arrived, I realized that I had forgotten my purse - that is, my cellphone, my reading assignment, my candy (I always take candy with me if I go doing boring things) and my books. Luckily, I had my coins, so I filled up the machine, and got my laundry rolling. 

So there I sat and I waited, while my laundry was getting done. A random guy - a musician - started talking to me, the usual, "are you new in town?". In Nashville, everyone is a musician. If you want to figure out what people really do, you should ask them, "what do you do for a living?". Then, they appear to be truck drivers, delivery boys, consultants or "looking-for-a-job". Life's a funny thing, but I must admit that they are right: you are what you are, and you do what you do. I mean: you do what you do for a living, but apart from that, you can be anything else - a musician, a writer, an artist or a star. In Nashville, it all makes perfectly sense.

I might become a writer too, one day, so I can write instead of read, and do whatever I feel like doing. 

After laundry, I got home. I cooked, I wrote, I read my assignment and I uninstalled my bike. Now, it is after midnight, and tomorrow, I have to get up early for my first day of school at Vanderbilt University. I'm curious what it will be like, but I am quite sure it will be fine.

I wonder what happened to the cat, though. She must have let herself out.

zaterdag 11 augustus 2012

some times

I sometimes miss my family.

(This is my brother, right before he got married)

vrijdag 10 augustus 2012

daddy's girl

My daddy is my hero. I might build a statute for him, one day.

He left this morning, in a cab, to the airport. Now, it's up to me. Again, that is. I have been here a few days by myself, before he stopped by to help me settle. To say hello, and wave goodbye. He did help me a lot. He helped me choosing a bike, building my desk, my bookshelf and our table. It was so nice to have him around, those first few days. We had dinner in a lot of places, we walked through the city, we bought cervezas and watched the Olympics. Almost every evening, we went downtown, for more beers, live music, icecream and chips. We did have some fun, my daddy and me.

At this time, he will be landing in Philadelphia. Later on, he's going home. I better start making some new friends, before I start missing him too much. No, I will be fine. It will all be fine. I have friendstime on the menu for tonight, and tomorrow, and on Monday, school starts. It will be fine. Breathe in, breathe out - life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. I think it's time for some laundry, now.

I'm a daddy's girl.


By Parker Fitzgerald

donderdag 9 augustus 2012

shopping for dummies

Shopping in the United States, a first. Almost every product exists in normal, light, diet, organic and/or sugar free. You would think every one of them is almost the same, but no, they are definitly - not. I tried looking for my favourite coockies, my favourite lemonade, my favourite butter and crême brulée. Unfortunatly, I couldn't find any of them. Luckily, I did find a whole lot more. Everything here is new, different and exciting. I already tried coockies and cream, sugar and spice. I ate sirlion steak and bizon burger, sweet mustard dressing and house pimiento cheese. I wonder what all of that is doing to my weight, but as all measurments are in pounds instead of kilo's, I wouldn't and/or couldn't care a bit.

This morning, I went for a run. In an unknown area, around Belmont University and 12th Avenue South. I must admit that I liked what I saw. In Nashville, you see a lot of cottages and country style houses inbetween grass and greenery. Almost everyone I met during my morning run, nodded a friendly "goodmorning" or a sweet "how do you do". Although I've only been here for a couple days, I immediatly felt at home. People here talk so easily and in general, they are very friendly. It's what they call the "southern hospitality" and it applies to almost anyone you meet. After lunch, I went seeing a dentist - for free. "You're new in town girl, take your time, here's my card, if you ever worry 'bout your teeth again, feel free to stop by!

Later in the afternoon, I headed back for the cellphone store (T-Mobile, that is). My cellphone had stopped working ever since they changed the settings into the US mode. European-minded, I started blaming the cellphone guy (Chris, that is) for whatever he had done wrong with my phone. Several sweaty minutes later, I found out that I had just ran out of money - there was nothing wrong with my phone at all. I apologized, in thousand languages (read: in English). I didn't even have to bother: cellphone guy started laughing his ass off. End good, all good.

In sum: people do have a different mentality over here. They are far much nicer than we could ever imagine them to be. Most of all, they are friendly for no reason. They enjoy being friendly and their smiles infect upon everyone around the area. I smile, you smile, we all smile. We treat eachother with respect and in turn, we are being respected too. We may be different but we are equal, we are equal even though we differ. I like that, I do. I am sure that I will learn as much on the streets of Nashville, as I will do at University. And that is, probably, a lot. Looking forward. Living in Nashville, part II.

zondag 5 augustus 2012

Nashville, TN

I like this town.

First, I thought it was like a desert. Hot, sweaty, humide and dry. With temperatures around 35-40° degrees, people stay most of the time inside. In an airconditioned room, ready for take off and landing. Streets are empty. You do see a lot of cars, but I don't have one myself. Nothing else to do than to walk those empty streets, to the law school, the library, the bank, and back. I managed to open a bank account, I ordered a new cellphone and I already took care of some admission papers. Today, it is sunday. I decided for myself that it's time to rest.

Yesterday, I had dinner at Jacksons Bar & Bistro in Hillsboro Village. The food was amazing, and I must admit, that's a first in the United States. Apart from the casual burger and steak, I most of the time agreed with a downtown salad. This time, almost everything on the menu seemed sophisticated, refined and healthy. I'll definitly go there more often.

My roommate, Yesenia, is sweet and sunny. She's 5 months pregnant and thus expecting for November, around Thanksgiving. I'm curious what it'll be like, having a baby in our house. Eventually, it'll all fall into place, and for now, it is very nice living together. Our apartment has wooden floors, white walls and roman blinds instead of curtains. It has a light, cool atmosphere and the airconditioning is working perfectly. Later on today, I'll go to the mall, to buy some extra furniture and coocking stuff. I hope I'll find everything I need.

I already ordered a desk and a chair on the Internet (www.wallmart.com) and I'm hesitating to buy some clothes as well. With the heat, all possible shirts and dresses seem awfully warm, but then again, going outside almost naked is no option either. I'd better save my money for all necessary items I still have to buy, and that is actually, a lot.

That's it for now. Have a nice day, talk to you soon. Take care. I'm sure I will do too. 

Country Boys