Friday, February 11, 2011

Sans Shutter.

The lack of a camera is bugging me now. I walk the streets all day, and imagine what I can do with a camera, full of juice. The statues call out to me; they want to be shot, they want to see the beyond the corners they haunt through Facebook or Flickr, yet I cannot consent them. They must wait.

I got lost again today, on almost the same street. I saw the same church at Tafelstraat, and walked past that same row of cafes. Something there attracts me. I guess it's the quiet atmosphere even though it is in the middle of town? A random question. Why do we not have European styled buildings in Singapore? The most we see are white colonial buildings, none of the brick and mortar I see here in Maastricht. Gracia once said it was because of climatic reasons, and it was not practical to have buildings with thick walls in Singapore, simply because we do not need them. What then of the aesthetic aspect of it all? It certainly feels great being immersed in a town where all streets are cobbled and buildings look like they are a century old!

Kai and I had an Italian lunch at the Markt today. I ate a Spaghetti Carbonara while she had Funghi Pizza. Authentic, would say, but I think we both felt a little cheated because the man in the shop shortchanged us of the 20% discount we were supposed to get by €2. Being an exchange student here is a constant struggle because everything costs too much, and ING Bank is not acting fast enough for me to get my cash locked up with the Visa Office!

I had my second AIS lesson today, and spent a bit of time mugging the first chapter of the textbook in the UM Library. There was a huge rush in trying to get our textbooks in order these past 2 days, and we ended up photocopying all our textbooks from the library because it was much too expensive for us. The PBL system seems to be posing quite a problem for us, since we have never been used to actually preparing for lessons and speaking up so much in a small group for tutorials. I guess it is also good exposure for me to learn to speak up and stand up for my own views and opinions. Frankly, I think I might have had an easier time in my tutorials as compared to the rest. Then again, I haven't had Consumer Behaviour yet. I heard it's a killer.

The rest of today was spent once again in the library, accompanying Geraldine and Jessica to print their Macroeconomics and Strategy textbooks. The story of how Chew swapped courses is another epic tale in itself, too long to be put in words here.

Finally, we went for an exchange students Welcome Tea, where we behaved totally anti-socially by surrounding a table and ravishing the nuts and tacos in our own little circle. Then again, none of us were feeling especially sociable. Stress is starting to pile up and I guess everyone was thinking of studying more than anything else.

Before long, it was time to go home again. This time, I am quite glad to be back here. There is tonnes of preparation to do, and an upcoming Brussels trip to plan, so off I go now, until next time!

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