zondag 30 september 2007

and we thought L&W had poor organisation skills…

the first week has passed, and yes it’s been a couple of days so I have to put you up to speed again! it’s still really bloody amazing and fun around here in Aber! the weather‘s actually been really nice and warm the last couple of days. apparently our prayers were answered and Belgium enjoyed the beautiful rain, but I fear that this won’t last much longer though, it’s Wales! the very bright side is the kind of sunsets we are witnessing, breathtaking! I didn’t take a picture yet, but soon you’ll know what I mean. and jealousy will kick in again dear family and friends, you can’t can’t fall in love with aber at that time of day.

I’m still just loving my flatmates, the atmosphere in the flat is amazing and the cooking is so delicious (I think the only boy in the flat is actually the best cook, congrats Daniel! your wok style is fabulous! but we girls are pretty good ourselves, of course). it’s only the 4 of us, but I actually don’t mind at all. we eat together, cook together, go out together and are addicted to Coupling all together (I admit, I introduced them and now they can’t resist it anymore!). we’ve had some really good nights so far, I actually had fun all the way.

the plan was to explore the pub life and then decide where the best atmosphere is at. so far we’ve been to Varsity, not really much special but nice place to go hang out in the afternoon and have some coffee (‘cause no Inne, they don’t have Starbucks here! that’s how ‘in the middle of nowhere’ Aber is!). then there’s the Academy, situated in an old church, quite popular but also a pub that closes quite early, pure waist of building ‘cause in Belgium a place like that would be packed if you would just place a decent DJ at the pulpit (preekstoel)! a place that we enjoy if it’s not to crowded and to filled with drunk British guys throwing up in the bar, yes unfortunately we experienced this, is Downey’s. Peer Pressure is the only club here that stays open all night, but of course there’s a price to pay (5 quid!) and music can go totally wrong. the Lacross team meets up at Scholars but that’s the only reason why you should go there… smelled like piss and the beer is crap! Union Bar is on campus, so we only go there during the day to rest in the comfy couches. and then … our favourite place at the moment… The Bay / Y Bae! a pub with different rooms, a black room with every night a DJ, a basement that’s open during the weekend where there’s DJ as well and the best news: open till late! this is apparently a very popular spot and is packed practically every evening. we went there on Wednesday, and we met some of our local friends, that we met on Sunday, so that meant we were at the right spot at the right time, score! and yesterday Emilie and I went there again and we met some other people and ran into other people that we met on Sunday as well! so partying isn’t bad so far!

but of course, some of you will probably frown a bit by now… or at least you should. because well, I’m actually here to study! but no worries, that’s gonna turn out fine, eventually… my uni mates in Belgium probably don’t think it’s possible, but administration here is even more crap than back home! apparently I’m not registered for my modules (courses) yet, so I already missed 2 screenings. my classes are: film and cultural identity, classical Hollywood cinema and American popular television – I know, how cool is that? those are like hobbies… so the screenings are just basically moments where students watch movies in a classroom. I missed ‘Millions of us’ and ‘Casablanca’. the good news is that the professors don’t really seem to mind since they know very well that the organisation of classes is a very difficult thing here at Aber Uni. I can catch up easily though. last Thursday Emilie and I had our first class, film and cultural identity. it was just a small introduction, but I thought it was really interesting, so I have high hopes for the next couple of months. examination is a bit different as well, essays replace our ‘normal’ exams. I have no idea how that’s gonna work out, but I’ll keep you posted.

next to those classes I’m also taking 2 dance courses, just for fun of course. Jive and ChaChaCha are taught in one class, those who know me know I always wanted to dance stuff like that so I’m so excited. and the other is Contemporary Dance, which will be very interesting as well if you ask me.

and then, the best news so far this week: again, those who know me know that I’m kind of into music, and that I loooove going to concerts. well, my closest friends already had to hear me complain and nag about the many wonderful concerts that are going to take place in Belgium, Brussels even, when I am … in Aberystwyth of course. I must have done something bad to offend or mess up my karma big time or something. one of those artists is the wonderful, amazing and fabulous Jill Scott. but, I found a solution: 2nd of December I’m going to London to one of her concerts there, and hopefully Noukie will join me there. probably you don’t really want to know this or think this is relevant, but I don’t care, I’m so happy I can go to a concert of her, again! yesssss! (it still doesn’t make up for missing Amy Winehouse, Baloji and Kanye West, but let’s not remind me!)

well, this was it. check out the pictures as well, taken on Friday. I’ll get back to you soon!

those who respond: cheers guys!

kisses! camille

ps: ow yeah, of course most British can’t even come close to the appropriate pronunciation of camille, so I’m Camil… but if I catch one of you saying that, know what’s coming next!

pictures of us going out on Friday

People in the pictures: Korean girl Julie and Korean guy Kim. My flatmates of course. And what do you know, they even have Hollanders in Aberystwyth! Maarten is the 'rules don't rule'-guy and the other one is Simon, British flatmate of Maarten.
And just for the record: you can see a picture of Daniel showing his moves. Honestly, our dancer boy has hiphop moves...! you wouldn't believe it!

woensdag 26 september 2007

First pictures have arrived !

Emilie and me at the seafront being so cool
And yes, I already bought my Aberystwyth sweater, you just have to have one of those, so nice and cosy!
My Alexandra Hall, the building where my flat is at!

Some nice seafront views...

This is my room, VUB friends will recognise some stuff :p!
My first fantastic room mate (she wants to let you know she didn't approve of this picture but I found here pink little pony just to funky !)
My other flatmate Daniel, cool as ever!
The victim of tonight, the last flatmate so far Heleen, who had to prepare dinner tonight. We're heaving beans :)!
The best view ever is found at Aberystwyth :) (everybody jealous by now?!)

dinsdag 25 september 2007

windy, rainy, tipsy and slutty...

but most of all: pretty amazing

hi ya everybody!

this is my first fully English blog message, so have some sympathy would ya!

and sorry that you haven’t heard from me earlier, but Internet in my room just kicked in after numerous of frustrating talks with my computer.

first I’ll give you a brief (or in other words: kinda boring) description of my situation here. I live in a flat at Alexandra Hall, which is a seafront residence. that means that when I step out of the building, I’m right in front of the beautiful sea. this flat has 7 rooms, of which there are 4 occupied so far, 2 bathrooms and 1 kitchen. there’s Emilie, also a communication sciences student, but one year ahead of me at the VUB. there’s Heleen, another VUB student, languages. and last but not least Daniel, a business student from the university of Hasselt. so far – let’s hold our breaths although I’m quite confident about the future – we all get along incredibly well. we cook in turns – those who know me know that I love AND hate this because this means that I only have to cook 1 time every 4 nights, but this also means that I have to cook 1 time every 4 nights for other people who actually can cook so that’s quite stressful! but it’s a good thing in the end. my first night cooking went really well, I was so proud of myself!
but so, that’s my housing. Aberystwyth itself is a small town in the middle of nowhere where sheep rule the world, with very charming houses, shops and amazingly enough a lot of great and different kind of pubs. of course, a lot of the pubs close at 11.15 or a bit later if you’re lucky, so that’s quite shocking to us who are used to leaving for parties at 12 at the earliest!
I signed up for 3 courses at the university which has of a bigger campus than the VUB. my courses are: film and cultural identity, classical Hollywood cinema and American popular television. and yes, I think it will be as cool as it sounds. those last two consists of 2 hours of just looking at films or television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Desperate Housewives and afterwards discussing them. honestly, how cool is that? courses start on Thursday, I’ll let you know how they are!
that’s it for basic information, here’s the good and juicy stuff J!

the title kind of says it all : ) ! as expected, the weather here is quit windy and rainy. our first night out we got back in completely soaking wet! we Belgians have no right of complaining. umbrella’s here, pure waist of fabric! of course, we didn’t care, we just got back in from our first home party with actual welsh and british people that we met 2 hours ago at the beginning of our little pub tour but who invited us to their rooms – after spending the entire day with international people who we didn’t even have to ask for their name since we were all tagged with cute little labels (not! we feared that we were gonna play name games but fortunately it didn’t come to that) we enjoyed this very much. our first contact with real locals was far from disappointing, really friendly lads and ladettes. of course – this is part 3 of the title – a couple of them spend more time on the toilet then reasonable and were handling their tipsy’ness.
when emilie and I decided to continue our pub tour and go out yesterday evening, just the two of us, our suspicion was confirmed: some locals just want to get wasted when they go out, and not just wasted ‘cause you might think that’s not such a big deal. let’s say you already see people incredibly pissed at 9 pm (= 21u)! and I think the tipsy people out rule the not so drunk people. so again, Belgium is hardly like that!
and then, the worst, the most incredible and unbelievable of it all: the slutty way of dressing. I want to make sure that I don’t offend someone by saying this. of course not all girls dress like this. but… a lot of them do and are nothing compared to what we in Belgium define as slutty. trust me on this one Belgium family, friends and everybody who wants to know: we have been surprised but most of all shocked. hotpants, miniskirts (and not like my miniskirts, they’re nothing compared to the british ones), tops that uncover more skin than they cover up, stiletto high heals, and god forbid NO JACKETS! I don’t understand how come they don’t freeze their ass off, but hey, if they can cope, good for them I guess! and just to say: we presume that if you would compare the average weight of locals girls compared to Belgian, there would be quite a difference if you understand what I’m saying… Inne was right when she told me said she felt like a nun when she went out in Oxford. I understand completely! Emilie even subtlety talked to some girls about this when paying a toilet visit, and they were very friendly: they said she didn’t look like a nun, only a little bit. but no way that I’m copying their style, I’m sticking to my roots!

I hope you enjoyed this weeks’ episode. feel free to respond. I’ll get back to you sooner now than the last time.

if anyone wants to contact me, my british phone number is: 00447942759872

good night, and good luck!


ps: mussel, thx for my first non-parental phone call!

dinsdag 18 september 2007

Welkom - Welcome !

(See below for a shorter english version for the Nice-Brighton-Oxford people!)

Familie, vriendinnen, kennissen, nieuwsgierigen, ...
welkom aan iedereen op mijn Aberystwyth blog!

Zoals de meeste onder jullie wel zullen weten, is het aftellen begonnen - nog 3 dagen en ik vertoef in ongetwijfeld nog koudere en grillerige oorden - en komt "de dag" dichterbij ... De dag waarop ik dit belgenlandje voor welgeteld (maar!) 76 dagen vaarwel zeg, de dag waarop ik met heel veel pakken en zakken zal aankomen op mijn bestemming na 1 zee en 1 land doorkruist te hebben ... de dag waarop het allemaal zal beginnen.

Terwijl ik druk in de weer ben met al mijn benodigdheden en mindere beNODIGdheden (lees: mijn dierbare tweevoeters: schoenen) bijeen te zoeken, mijn witte en gekleurde was van elkaar te leren scheiden, mijn strijkkwaliteiten te perfectioneren, mijn mooie botjes te leren poetsen en nog een snelcursus "koken met een wok" te volgen, wou ik jullie toch al laten weten dat ik met het nieuwe academiejaar dat voor de deur staat, mij het goede voornemen heb genomen een blog te starten EN te onderhouden. Ik kreeg namelijk geregeld - of soms tot vervelens toe - de waarschuwing zeker iets van mij te laten horen. Ik ging akkoord in de ruil voor onder andere belgisch roddelvoer (hiermee doel ik in de eerste plaats op mijn (voornamelijk vrouwelijke) bachelorkameraden van de fantastische communicatiewetenschappen, waarvoor op voorhand mijn dank!). Aangezien het nogal cru gezegd idioot zou zijn ettelijke malen hetzelfde te herhalen, heb ik jullie allemaal de weg gewezen naar deze blog.
Hopelijk vinden jullie hier al wat je zocht.
Ik ga in ieder geval mijn beste vingertjes voorzetten om jullie up to daten te houden van het leven als universiteitsstudent in Aberystwyth en toerist in Great Britain.

En zoals iedereen mij wel gezegd heeft ("doe dat daar goe he!") bij het voorlopig laatste gesprek in den lijve, ik ga uiteraard mijn best doen om het daar goed te doen en jullie niet teleur te stellen. We zullen is zien wat die Aber Uni studenten voorstellen gezien door een VUB-bril (of tegenwoordig: lenzen)!

Aan de (communicatiewetenschappen)studenten: veel succes met het nieuwe academiejaar! Vergeet niet te feesten tussen al de profiel-twijfels door!
Aan de andere Erasmussers: eveneens veel succes. Hopelijk kennen jullie snel de weg!
Aan de familieleden: geen nood, kerstmis vieren we samen!

Aan iedereen: bedankt om mijn blog te bezoeken!

Dikke kus, Camille

PS: Indien geen al te zware bezwaren worden gemaakt, is het mogelijk dat in de toekomst deze blog grotendeels in het engels verschijnt, want uiteindelijk is het hele doel van mijn "reisje" engels leren! Zo kan ik alvast oefenen voor de vele essays die ik uit mijn mouw zal moeten schudden!

AND THEN NOW: the english translation for all those wonderful summer school friends I met along the way :-)! (Sorry you guys it's gonna be a bit shorter!)

Welcome to all of you as well! I didn't forget you, but I hope you understand that an english AND french translation would be a bit over the top, although of course it would be so much better for my and - some of - you their french, especially since you all speak and understand english just fine as well!

The countdown has begon, 3 more nights will be spend in my belgian bed and the 4th in Aberystwyth Wales, at Alexandra Hall near the seafront - oh yes, if you travel or student abroad, make it worth it :-p! I hope and plan to see some of you (Natie and Josie, you're first, and then hopefulle Louisa and of course last but not least Sophie!), and hope and plan to talk to the rest of you frequently. This blog is my way of keeping in touch. I will definitely write in english a lot as well, or maybe even always since I have to prepare for all those essays and let's not forget, improving my english is the whole point of this trip.

And I just want to say quickly: everybody from Nice, vous me manquez! gros bises!
And Katja and Manca: rada te imam!

Big kiss and huge hug!
Talk to you soon!