Published: March 8th 2012March 8th 2012
Well, first, enjoy the sort of random array of photos I have; there weren't really any that go with this blog, but since this post has some sort of funny stories, these are just some fun pictures from around Cádiz.
Since Carnaval has ended, Cádiz and I have gone back to our normal, daily Spanish lives. I don’t know if I’ve ever actually chronicled what a normal day is like for me.
Well, usually on the weekdays I wake up and either a) go to school or b) go for a run/go to the gym. I like to get my work done early in the day so I have afternoons free to do the many things that tend to pop up and need to be done. This week my “task” for my free afternoons was get everything together to get my license renewed for my 21st
birthday. In order to do that I had to go to the copy shop here in town to get my current license, my passport and my DNI (Spanish ID) photo copied.
“My I please get two color copies of each of these please?”
“I can’t do
The Buses in Cadiz are BioSystems Engineering friendly!
“I can’t do color copies.”
“Oh. Well, I think these need to be in color. Do you know where I can get color copies?”
“I don’t do color copies, I will get fined. We can’t do color copies. If you want them go home and print them there.”
I wanted to sort of just stand there for a few seconds and let her reflect on the fact that she works in a copy shop and I am in her copy shop, and she is telling me to go print off my documents at home. If I had a printer at home, why would I come to your copy shop?
“Black and white will be fine then.”
The my Mom suggested that I get a signed form saying that I couldn’t copy my documents in color in Spain because it is illegal, but I’d rather not revisit the copy shop lady so I had my resident director here sign it instead. It reminded me of the time I went to Wal-Mart when I was 16, I found a movie I liked in the $5 sale bin, but it was rated R
My Favorite Plaza :(
This is my favorite plaza, its currently under construction, but its supposed to be done in two weeks...
and I forgot that you have to be 17 to buy those movies. I went up to pay and she rang it up and asked for my ID.
“Oh, yeah sorry I forgot. I’m not 17, I’m only 16, its ok, you can just set it aside.”
“Well, can I see your ID?”
“But I’m not 17.”
“Just, do you have your ID? Can I see your ID?”
So, I handed her my ID.
“Oh, you’re not 17 I can’t let you buy this.”
Then she printed off a slip telling me that I wasn’t 17 and she would not sell me the movie. I try not to go back to Wal-Mart either. (Sometimes they get me though since Clemson doesn’t have a Target. I know Heather, I know. I’m not proud of it either.)
Another part of getting my license renewed was having an eye exam. It’s a pretty easy little exam; they just check to make sure your eyes work looking forward and to the sides (aka peripherally). When she got to the part of the form for peripheral vision she Google translated it and
then said, “Oh, we don’t usually check that here.”
AHA! That is why people never see me coming on my runs, or on my bike, or when I am walking, or when I am just standing there. Spaniards are trained
to look directly ahead; finally an explanation.
Task number two for the week was that Carly and I decided it was time to investigate what exactly we would have to do to get internet. Our resident director, Teresa, sends out a lot of e-mails and usually late at night after the cafés close since she is a student too, and it’s possible that Carly and I may have missed one or two meetings because of this. She strongly suggested
we look into the whole Wi-Fi thing.
We had been really hesitant though because the family has kind of hit some trouble financially. Pepa’s store isn’t doing very well. Actually, the store is for sale. Pepa and her sister Mari used to run the store together, however about a month or so ago Mari left the store because it wasn’t doing very well, and she recently got married and doesn’t need to work anymore, leaving Pepa
alone. Right now especially tourists are slow and the economy in Spain is so terrible no one is really shopping for knick-knacks like Pepa sells. So, she is going to try to sell the space and she will go on “el paro” for a period while she looks for a new job.
Selu explained that el paro is like welfare, or more social security, I guess. When you have a job you pay money to the government, say 1000euros a month, when you become unemployed the government helps support you with the same money you have been giving, but only with a portion of it so about 400euros a month. However, now Spain is trying to pass a new law that persons who receive el paro will also have to work a job. So, theoretically, a person could be working in a factory, get laid off, and receive el paro, but the government could place them back in the same factory working the same job, only they are only receiving a portion of what they earned before and it is no cost to the owners of the factory. On the surface it seems wildly unfair, but Carly pointed out
He is my favorite of all our pets...he's currently sitting in Coco's (the chihuahua) bed.
that while it does seem unfair, it is incentive for the unemployed to become employed, instead of having people who are on welfare and can receive money from the government but never feel the need to find a job. I suppose either way you do it, receive money without working, or receive money for community service everyone will find some problem with it.
Either way, Carly and I had our own problem to solve: Wi-Fi. I had been paying attention to mail flow for a few weeks and finally figured out that Pepa receives her internet through the company ONO, so Carly and I paid them a visit to see how much it would cost to change the internet to Wi-Fi. We didn’t want to do it if it was going to cost Pepa more money. Last semester she told Natalie and me that she wants to get Wi-Fi, but it’s just so expensive, and she would have to pay someone to come and set it up and she just couldn’t do it right now.
It turns out that all you have to do is buy a 30euro router and you don’t have to pay anything
The culture Erasmus students bring
Art work courtesy of one of the German Erasmus students!
extra. It’s pretty clear that Pepa simply never went and actually asked she just assumed that this would cost her lots of money. We explained the situation to Pepa, Carly and I split the cost of the router and about 10 minutes after I got home I had the wireless set up and checked my e-mail. About 15 minutes after that Alba came home, didn’t know what the router was, was mad because her desktop is broken and the router didn’t fix it and just unplugged it. Wi-Fi gone. I heard her on the phone with Pepa talking…strongly…about the “thing” in her room and Pepa must have told her it was our Wi-Fi, but instead of coming out and asking us about it she just unplugged it and went to bed. Needless to say Carly and I were not happy campers.
“Don’t they teach you not to touch what’s not yours? My parents taught me that when I was four. It’s one of the ones that stuck.”
So, the next morning I spent 2.5 hours trying to get Wi-Fi to work on my computer, Carly’s computer and the laptop Alba brought home from Pepa’s store. Can
Carli (my pair in my old rowing boat) and I always wanted to start a paddle boarding team at Clemson. Maybe this guy would be our coach! :)
you guess which computer was the reason it took 2.5 hours?
The computer Alba uses is actually Mari’s computer she bought for the store, it has Windows Vista on it, but the actual computer looks like it’s about 12 years old. This is the problem. Mari probably went and got a cheap used laptop and the tech store and put Vista on it. Windows Vista has the ability to receive Wi-Fi signals, when you click on internet connections it asks you if you want to connect to a wireless network, computers that are 12 years old do not have adapters that receive Wi-Fi signals. So, I explained this to Alba.
“No, because this says I can connect to wireless.”
“I know, but that is just the Vista program, I think your actual computer might be too old to receive Wi-Fi signals. You need an adapter. ”
“No, Mari just bought this a few years ago.”
I gave up. I asked her if she was fine plugging in the Ethernet cord when she needed to use the internet and she was. She said she would call a tech guy. I figured that was a good idea, I really wasn’t getting anywhere.
Well, the struggle is behind us and Carly and I came out on top. Wi-Fi!! To commemorate our grand achievement and my frustrating Saturday morning we named our wireless network “CarlyyDevin.” Password: carlyydevin. Now every student that comes through the house will be like “Who are Carly and Devin?” The ones who got you Wi-Fi, that’s who.
So, here, I present to you, the first ever blog brought to you from the comfort of my very own bed :) Couldn’t be more excited. Carly and I agree it was the best 15euro either of us had ever spent. The only problem is that got me thinking of the last 6 months I have been here and usually buying at least a cup of coffee (1.50euros) every day in order to use the internet in a café, plus the little Wi-Fi bubble I bought which costs 3euros for every day that you use it and I’ve recharged it with 50euros three times. Carly and I figured it was better for my sake that we just leave it at that and not think about the tally. Well, I guess I’ll save money this semester, huh? Plus, I’ll save time since I don’t have to wait hours and hours in coffee shops. There were days I was waiting for important e-mails or something of the like and would just sit in the café until I got them because I didn’t want to have to keep walking back. So oddly enough having internet in the house actually lets me get out of the house more to enjoy Cádiz.
Well, I guess that’s sort
of an overview of my daily life, I suppose it more of the stuff that comes up that makes life here more interesting. Never a dull moment. :)
Love you and miss you all!