Friday, June 28, 2013

If we had blogs in 1997: In which the student whines about being poorer than the other students

In this installment from my 1997 European journal, I lament the fact that I have such a tight budget. It should be noted that it's about a month into our semester. The newness of it all has worn off and people are starting to get a bit homesick. These are pretty pathetic entries, but they do show how extended trips can cloud your view of a situation. Sometimes when people go abroad, they leave at the time when they are feeling homesick and don't get to know the joy that comes to you once you get past that point. Once again, spelling, grammatical, and factual errors have been preserved.

22 Sept 1997 written with a European 1, as are the rest of the dates of the entries

I feel so at peace right now. I've been away from the problems of the world for a month now. I saw a USA Today for the first time in two weeks today. The Yankees clinched the wild card birth. I hope to see a few games on NBC here. It seems like there are no problems in this country. I do have a problem with the cliques. People seem to be getting on each others nerves now. That's probably normal; I hope it goes away soon or people start hanging out with different people. Yesterday evening was cool. Robert came back after skydiving. Kristine & I ate Mac & cheese then our family made salad and bread and pepperoni for us. We talked for awhile. Our dwelling is almost finished. It's like an apartment. Yellow m&m's here are a different color yellow than American m&m's. Absolutely brilliant insight...

26 Sept 1997

It's Friday night and I feel so incredibly alone. Everyone left for the weekend. I really feel like crying. I'm really sick of the people here.They're so shallow and all they want to do is drink. It's not fun. We've been here for three weeks now, and I bet 50% of the people have drank every night. I just wish one person felt the same way I do about the whole thing.

Last night at Scott's was not fun. I felt totally fine until the Miami students got there. They're all snotty and obnoxious, and I am ashamed to be an American when I'm around them. I think the people of Differdange hate us. They're always so unfriendly. I said bonjour to a man and woman today and they just mumbled and looked away. And the lady at the desk at the polyclinique today basically told me I was rude for not going to the reception desk to register first, saying "It's ettiquette." I didn't know; how was I supposed to? And last night on the train Craig said, "all of us are spoiled - we're in Europe so we have to be spoiled." It made me so mad. They don't have to worry about how much money they spend, and I can't even go anywhere this weekend because I can't afford to. I can't afford to go out every night like they do. It's not fair. Aww...poor baby...

27 Sept 1997

I love writing numbers the European way, for some reason. Today I walked around Luxville for about five hours. I found many cool things. I found Mesa Verde - it looks pretty cool. I saw a disco ball in the window. There is no sign outside for Subterranid. It must be a cool place. I found a discotheque called the Black Diamond, a cinema, a very cool shopping district, and some souvenir shops. I saw the Grand Ducal Palace, and also found a cool CD store down the street from Mesa Verde. I wanted to get back before dark, so there is still a lot of the city I haven't seen. Maybe I can go on Wednesday after we get back from field study.

Now I am trying to keep my mind off the fact that I am totally alone. Actually the family just got back. Too bad I can't watch t.v. with them, since I have no idea what the people are saying. U2 is helping to conquer my lonliness. I wish I had my guitar. I hope study tour goes well. I'm tired of this shell - I hope I can break it this week in time for Berlin. Berlin - techno capital of the world. I hope we can find a cool techno club. I'm just full of hope. The world turns, and we get dizzy. It's making me go in the wrong direction.

Eventually, I did feel better about things, about the students, about my money situation, about staying home. Sometimes I had to go on trips alone because I was on such a tight budget and had to plan around such a budget, which meant cutting things out or doing something uncomfortable like taking an overnight train to save the cost of a hotel or hostel, measures that didn't appeal to other students. I rarely went to restaurants, instead surviving on cheese and bread and salami and sausages from the grocery. And I learned Luxembourg, its capital city and some smaller towns, when so many students went away every weekend and rarely spent time in the country.

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