I woke up at 9:00 am, made myself some breakfast and coffee and settled down in my favourite spot in the living room to write. The weather was colder today and my motivation to step out was far lower but I had to go collect my rental contract from the renting agency and collect the router from Vodafone store close to the agency. I had not only gotten better at reading maps but I was also a little bit more familiar with the roads leading in and out of my flat. I easily found my way to the rental agency. They didn’t speak english and I couldn’t understand spanish. I tried to call out for help (IESE whatsapp group) but none responded in time.
At that moment I realised that you need to struggle to survive to learn a new language. But that could wait for now as I luckily found one guy who spoke english in the agency and used him to translate. I returned home and said goodbye to Melanie who was travelling to Brussels to meet her best friend. I was craving rice. Max joined me for lunch with some pasta he’d made for himself. We decided to head to school post lunch just to figure out which bus to take, where to get on and off, etc. We’d to walk about 500 m to get to the nearest bus stop which took us to school in 10 minutes and we had to further walk up a hill for 10 minutes to reach the campus.
It’s the most beautiful campus I have ever seen. It has been done up so tastefully. It has this pretty little turtle pond in front of the south campus. Max and I walked around the campus and discussed our career plans while we were waiting for the admissions office to prepare our documents. We talked a lot today and I realised that we are so similar in so many ways. Cultural difference is a glorified term for differences in lifestyles influenced by geographies, social capital, etc. This subtly influences the way we perceive social etiquette and maybe also, toilet designs (I’ve been wondering how toilets came to be designed differently in different countries – what does it say about that race – hopefully a blogpost someday).
On our way back to the flat, I took Max to a nice cafe with wifi that I’d seen earlier during the day and we decided to plonk there for a bit working on our assignments. Max had to leave in 30 minutes as he was running out of battery and but lucky for me, I have a Mac. I was there for 3 hours during which I completed the pre-accounting course partially until I got very hungry. I got home and made myself a snack. Max and I tried to hack into a few wifi networks in the building but in vain. So, he decided to go back to the cafe to work on his NIE, etc. and I decided not to head out tonight to meet the Indians because I was really tired from all the walking and just wanted one good night’s sleep.
Something that I missed to pen down in my previous chapter is how it’s quite funny that there is always a conflict regarding the kissing convention. The Brazilians greet by kissing you on only one cheek while the Spanish do two cheeks. I also learnt that the French do 1-4 depending on which region they come from but Maxime and I never exchanged such pleasantries since we’re both socially awkward children. It’s quite hilarious to watch the awkwardness when the Spanish and Brazilians greet each other. Mexicans, Americans and Indians rather just give a proper hug. Some people just prefer a handshake but I don’t know if it’s their personal preference or a reflection of my preference that comes off too strong. However, I’m yet to observe and contribute more to this greeting theories. And yes, I am a cheek pecker too now. Also, I seem to have a picked up a strange accent from nowhere and it just won’t stop!