Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hi, I'm Evan

I spent too long (it was about an hour, but still) on the header and layout of this blog, so I'm going to take the initiative to start writing on it, especially since David told some people about it and it's totally blank.

So, the scoop is that I'm going to Spain. My reasoning for this, as explained to my study abroad advisor in my mandatory meeting, went something like this:
Me: I want to study abroad because it's something international relations concentrators are supposed to do and I suppose it could be something of an adventure. I thought I should go somewhere that speaks Spanish, because it's the only other language I know. I eliminated most other Spanish-speaking countries because I wanted to be able to drink the water for the half-year I would be there.

Her: It sounds like you've thought this through quite a bit - more so than most people who study abroad.

Me: Really? That doesn't say anything good about me; it just means they have bad reasons too. Also, I'm worried I don't really speak enough Spanish. Brown says I'm proficient, but I can't really hold a conversation.

Her: If Brown says you're proficient, you're proficient.

Me: I'm not sure it works that way...
That was, perhaps, the most useful she has been, which isn't really saying much, because the only other time I heard from her was when she called me to tell me I signed up for the right program two months after I sent in the deposit.

However, now that I'm on my way, I decided to draft another list of reasons, ex post facto, of additional benefits of going to Spain:
  1. Now I get to finally check off that final box for membership in the club of East Coast Liberal Intellectual Elite - Having lived in Europe. It's always a drag to have someone tell you about the time they spent living in "Budapesht" and how the sunrise over the Széchenyi lánchíd really is the most beautiful thing in the world and you simply must see it if you have the opportunity. You assure them that should you, by chance, find yourself in Hungary someday before dawn you really will try, but it seems unlikely. Now I will have my own set of stories of Europe to tell back at them.
  2. I finally have the opportunity to lisp. I spent years of my life overcoming speech impediments so that I now can, in limited case, adopt the only one I never had.
  3. I will be living three blocks from the site of a major terrorist attack. Estación de Madrid Atocha was the epicenter of the March 11, 2004 train attacks that killed 191 and injured 2,050 Who knew the developed world could be so dangerous?
  4. I will indulge my love of the EU. The European Union is the coolest thing I can think of. It's just full of bureaucracy with little to no democratic oversight. It's probably the only governmental body in the world that can talk about "consolidation" and "uniformity" as good things. I plan on taking as many classes on it as I can. Also, I'll be there for Europe Day.
  5. Access to both Gibraltar and Andorra!
  6. If Spanish movies are any indication, I think I may really appreciate the culture. It seemed like most of them are intensely morbid and surprisingly political.
  7. Spanish people like coffee. I like coffee. It's a match made in heaven.

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