Stranded In The Southland

Friday, May 20, 2005

Wandering Around Spain

Well, as usual, I didn't do much preparation at all for my trip. M. was very busy with work, so she really couldn't give much input, and experience has shown how futile it is to make plans without M., no matter what she says.

My Spanish professor was an extremely friendly and pleasant fella, but he sure wasn't very rigorous. My Spanish is awful. (Yeah, I could've remedied this with enough work on my own, but the point of taking the class was to get a little extra motivation and help to do it right.)

M.'s Spanish is pretty darn good, but she's trying to let me get a word in edgewise and work on mine. Hopefully with a bit more coaching, I'll be able to get by.

So far, we've been down to the Museo de Bornemisza Thyssen, which houses a collection of art stretching from 14th century altar pieces through Pop-Art stuff. It was kind of fun watching the transition from the one to the other, and trying to find common techniques and ideas in the pieces. OTOH, I wonder if the collection wasn't driven by the desires and preferences of a family, rather than the idea of providing a general overview of anything at all.

Oh, well, I enjoyed it, and the nap that followed, and the octopus dinner after that. This place is pretty bearable. We'll see how a feel after a month of this, and maybe just after the bullfight (I think I got rooked on tickets) this evening.

Fashion Faux Pas

Woo hoo -- I've started in on my summer traveling. M. and I are going to spend a month in Spain, but we stopped off first for a couple days in the UK.

On the plane over, I watched a brief news clip about "Yob culture" which was somehow tied in with hoodies (you know, hooded sweatshirts?). Once I got over there, the op-ed pages were full of fulminating about the evils of the hoodie!

Yow, I wear a hoodie almost every day. Just about every guy in SF, where I used to live, wore one. I love my hoodie.

M. and I spent the day walking through London, where I felt like a complete twit wearing the hoodie. Sure, anybody can see that I'm a middle-aged, balding, bearded compu-geek, and not a dangerous gangster kid, but it still felt strange.

Of course, to be honest, I saw a few other hoodies out there, but I'd always lean over to M. and whisper, "Look, another fellow thug!" It really kinda sucked. Why on earth would my favorite slacker-wear become such a marker for criminality!?