Since the last entry, my schedule has been something like this:
Paris, Paris, Paris, London graduation, Madrid, Madrid, Madrid, Cordoba/Seville, Seville, Seville/Granada, Granada/Toledo/Madrid, Madrid, London... Some thoughts:
I didn't get to see some of the people that I wanted to see, like Cordelia, for instance; all I saw of her was 3 seconds of her congratulating me on my LLM prize as I walked back to my seat after shaking hands with the Director (?) of the school. I sat next to Michael, a guy in my Comparative Constitutional Law and Terrorism classes, and kicked myself for not getting his contact to stay in touch after the ceremony.
We were given a card with our names on it, along with any additional relevant details about our degrees, and we handed the card to the announcer as we walked on stage. We had to wait for the announcer to announce our names before walking across the stage to shake hands with the Director, after which we walked off, back to our seats. It was three seconds of hand-shaking. He did not present our certificates to us. Even better, the LSE has a tradition of not wearing the silly cap on stage, about which I was quite glad because I looked really bad in it. I mean, look at this:
I felt rather sheepish when I stood in the half-darkness of the unlit side of the stage and waited for the announcer to announce my prize and my degree classification before announcing my name. When my friends asked why I didn't tell them that I won a prize, I said honestly, "Because it's embarrassing." It just feels wrong to brag about such things, somehow.
I was disappointed that I didn't see Dr K, considering he was my favourite professor (though he did say that he won't be in London until January). I didn't see any of my professors except Prof Gearty. The post-ceremony reception was quite stupidly split into two different venues, so I didn't get to see a lot of people. It was just not what I was expecting, and in this regard, my NUS graduation ceremony felt more meaningful, somehow, even though I did tons better at the LSE.
I skipped the graduation dinner and headed straight to the graduation party at midnight. It was supposed to be held in a dingy, crappy club in Old Street (Aquarium). I say "supposed" because barely anyone turned up - apparently most people went home after the dinner and drinks. It was annoying as I was looking forward to a good party which didn't happen in the end. Still, it was not a complete waste of time; I talked to Shokooh (friend from Iran) and Trish (girl from Singapore) a bit, and I very fortuitously saw Toby. I stuck around long enough to still be around when he arrived and it was great talking to him, even if I did nearly fall asleep when he was talking about some law stuff. (In my defence, it was past 2 am and I was really tired.)
Something annoying happened just before I left. Someone tried to get handsy with me and when it was clear that I was not interested, he said, "You really like the new boyfriend, huh?" The truth was that I was not into this crap anymore but it was too much effort to say it, so I just said "yeah" and got out of there. Bouncer at the door tried to hit on me and even came to the bus stop where I was waiting to try to get my number. I politely told him to buzz off and felt slightly less threatened when I saw that the French guy from my programme was also at the bus stop.
It was freezing cold that night. I had to take two buses to get home. On the second bus, someone threw up on the bus and we all had to get off when the bus driver discovered what happened. It was disgusting - I suddenly heard this sound like a drink was being spilled on the floor, but when I realised that this guy in front of me was puking, I quickly got down to the lower deck. He puked on his friend and a random girl who sat in front of him. Thanks to him, I had to wait for another bus in the freezing cold which definitely left me very unamused.
Madrid was boring for the most part. Puerta de Sol is amazingly full of people. French is my favourite Western European language by a mile (apart from English) and I was genuinely surprised by how bad the Spanish were at English; they might have been worse than the French in that regard. I was quite pleased that I managed to say "yo no hablo Espanol" to this guy in Seville when he tried to get me to do a survey. He said something back to me - probably 'Really? You just spoke Spanish' - but I obviously didn't understand a word, and so simply looked at him blankly and said 'sorry' before walking off.
It rained heavily and relentlessly in Granada when we went for the city tour. A real shame - the city was gorgeous. The Alhambra (?) Palace was gorgeous as well.
I am so sick of looking at cathedrals and religious things; they all look the same. The palaces are getting boring too. Castles, on the other hand, I am still not sick of, though I suppose that is only a matter of time too.
Also: I have fallen in love with Paris rather definitively. It's still no London, but how nice it would be to live there for a few months.
I went to The Jazz Cafe with Paz, Paz's boyfriend, Paz's friend, Paulo, Paulo's lady friend and some others on Saturday night for an 80's/90's night. IT WAS SO FUN. I didn't like the 80's stuff that much, but the cheesy 90's pop stuff - Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, Bewitched - was pure gold. It would have been perfect if the club had played Britney, but alas, it was not to be.
The crowd was quite old at first with people there that looked like they were my parents' age, but unsurprisingly, the younger people started streaming in and the older ones leaving as the night progressed. There was an annoying guy near us whom I had to keep ignoring, and a guy who was an amazing dancer and whom unfortunately mistook my appreciation for his mad skills for something more. The dancefloor became a sticky, murky grey-brown mess towards the end of night. At the cloakroom, the guy that I had to keep ignoring said to me, "You hot motherfucker!" Thanks...I think.
Arnaud is back. :)