Friday, December 31, 2010

The Best thing I ever paid money on

Buying the E-book was a very great step. I saw it in the show window in Carrefour almost three times before i finally said: What the hell I am buying it.

I was afraid that it would be one addition to my ''Technological Trash'' Collection ... you know the bunch of electronic stuff you buy and then you stop using after a couple of weeks?
So I took it home and kept the receipt in case I wanted to return it , but each time I took a round in the book that was already downloaded on it I was so amazed and weirdly happy!!

I downloaded on it all the books that I downloaded throughout the years from 4shared but never really read anything from them , and when I found myself reading on the bus I was like: "Praise the Lord!!'' ..I am finally reading any book that comes to my mind , paying nothing more that what I paid on the e-book.

I just stand in front of book shops show window and copy the names of the books ang do home and actually read them. It is light but bares a load of books that weighs hundreds of kilos - this is how a person thinks after travelling a couple of times with a bag loaded with pales of books-.

Now I feel that I lost my only shopping addition: Shopping for books , but is not it easier anyway?

I feel a bit sorry for the paper books and I love them and I will always be loyal to them , but this one is cheaper and times DO change. :(

Check this out:

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Why it feels so great around the house :p

So I have not mentioned my apartment for a long time here. It was a great experience , with its ups and downs -naturally- but I never mentioned my Italian cleaning freak roommate.

I did not fight with anyone in this apartment except for her because with her I lost my nerves many times. She is a kind , warm hearted person , she means well but has a very irritating voice tune and intonation specially when she points out an unpolished spot on the ground or the furniture.

She is a cleaning freak -an idea supported by the other roommates and guests- and because of her nagging I skipped all my cleaning turns , relying on her re-doing all what we do. Re-doing the dishes , re-mopping the ground and re-cleaning the kitchen.

So this week she is away in Italia celebrating Christmas with her family , and although its mean to say so , but I am so happy , I come home clear minded relaxed and worrying about the bickering she puts me through and the guilt she makes me feel when I leave an unwashed plate for the morning.

About selfish decisions

There are decisions that dont only affect those who make them , but also the people in their lives.
Recently I was treated like trash by a very dear friend of mine, I dont really know why, I even started questioning my feelings towards her and if she has in my heart the place I think she has, but as long as I am writing a post about it in my blog , then I think its important.

Sometimes I think that if she does not wanna talk then I dont wanna talk too , but I hate it when others decide for me. You cant just come to my life , stick around for 3 wonderful years and then leave for no reason , its just not your right , not your call , and am not gonna allow it.

Friendship is not a ball we toss around , its a series of ups and downs and as we enjoyed its ups we should also hold longer in the face of its downs. Maybe I dont care or love as I thought I love and care about her, but who ever said that relationships - any type of human relationships- are based on love? there are other things included ,,, something like the ridiculous amount of time we spent together , and all the smiling pictures we took , and the times we laughed together.

So if you wanna cross me off your list then you should talk to me. You should explain it and then decide and act on what you decide , but this coward ''break up'' does not work for me. Not at all!

24 rosas

I first heard this song in Konya -My Turkish/Arabs/Immigrants restaurant- there was not any customers except for me and it was blurring in the empty place...Diana Navarros Voice has a presence that you can almost see!! The tune is almost arabic and the pain ,, the feeling and the depth ,,, I just love it.


Vivo sin vivir en mí

y tan viva yo te espero,

que muero porque no muero.

Toma, yo te doy mi corazón,

te lo entrego prisionero.

No quiero querer,

pero quiero y te quiero

Veinticuatro rosas heridas de ti

¡Es tan dulce el amor que te doy

Son veinticuatro latidos de más

cuando sé que te vas

cruzando el espacio, despacio.

¡Ay, ay amor cómo me picas!

Esos ojos me complican

y me muero sin saber que muero.

Toma, yo te doy mi corazón,

te lo entrego prisionero.

No quiero querer,

pero quiero y te quiero.

7 Vidas and God: Surprising episode :)

In the link above you can watch episode 7 of season 2 from my favorite Spanish Tv Show ''7 vidas'' ....
I am posting it here because it was so different and it talked about a topic that has never been displayed in this specific way in all the Spanish Tv that i have watched ( I watch a lot: Talk shows , news , Series , Soap Operas , cooking shows and even real Tv!).

The topic of God , or believing had always been one of the most funny topic in Spanish Tv. Its usually used in a mocking contest , that even me , being the believer that I am , it still makes me laugh!!!

They are always making fun of Church , of the Pope , of The Vatican , of praying , of prayers of believers , that it reached a point in which I no longer paid any more attention to it.

In "7 vidas" there is that character "Soledad" who is an old lady known for her strong character, her adventurous life, her rebel personality and of course her disbelief in God or any superior power.

In this episode a friend of Soledads dies ,and she starts thinking about death , how she is getting closer to it and that she will eventually reach the point in which she will if knowthere had been a God or not. She goes to church and goes on and on and on with the priest asking him questions that drives him crazy and then she decides to figure it out on her own. The surprising thing is that she at the end of the episode says that she started liking God!!

I never expected that from a Spanish media production!!! I watched a couple of episodes later and they did not talk any further about it ,, but who knows what happens next :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Planning for Madrid:OMG

My friends and I actually started planning for our longly awaited trip to Madrid.

This is so big .. so big to me!!! I have passed through Madrid when I came back from Barcelona, but I only saw a bus stop and a couple of buses hehehe ,,, I have been to Spain two times , all in all I spent in Spain 8 months and yet I have not been to the capital and I have a lot of thoughts running in my mind all the time.

I posted a picture of Las Cibeles de Madrid ... a very ''post me I am touristic'' kind of picture , and if traveling has taught me a thing then it taught me that the ''postcard worthy'' monuments are not always the thing that stick to a travelers memory. So for now , tis picture will do it , but when I come back you never know what the picture would be , nor what would be the ''Image''.

Two Days at Home

For the last two days I have not been out. I dont know how it is on the street. I got my roommate Rasha to get me a sandwich yesterday , and today she cooked with Lubna. I spent the entire two days on the couch knitting a scarf and watching T.v and of course blowing my nose , coughing and falling in some horrible naps from which I wake up because I am suffocating.

Maybe there is not much people like me , but I enjoy having a cold and sitting around doing things with my hand not at all with m mind.

But still , I look at my monthly Bus Bono and feel like I lost two days of being ''out there'' so enshall tomorrow I wil dedicate my time to wandering around bus stops and reading in the bus trip.

Wish me Luck :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Deep Breath

Do you remember this?

well the other day I was still going with my house hunt - that seems endless!- and I found this ad

and as I scroll down I found out that its the same house that I could not get because I arrived late. Now its back on the market and I contacted the advertiser and he got back to me - after 5 long days- and gave me a phone number , I called him and we set a date.

I went to the house 15 minutes earlier than the date, and the guy - his name is chemi- showed me around the house.

I was so overwhelmed that I forgot to take pictures. The house is a three floors big house that over looks Arco Elvira, the first two floors are occupied by the chemi -the owner of the house- his wife and little charming daughter Alegria -spanish for ''happiness''- and the third floor has three rooms , a kitchen - an american bar! I dont like that but anyways- a bathroom and a patio full of plants , a garden with a table and seats over looking Arco Elvira and the lower part of Albayzin neighborhood. My room - supposedly- has a bed and a built in closet and an underground heating!

Then we sat down to talk , and he said stuff about the roommates ,, he pointed out that they love to share and cook and that I will have to be helpful with them , and he said: This is not a students apartment , this is a house where people share their life!! I could not be more stunned!! I told him about my experience in the ''spanish student apartment'' and how impolite things were around there on terms of sharing a life. I told him that i am a language student and all what I want is talk and gain the language. I told him I wanna mix with his family and friends and he was welcoming.

The thing is - there is always a thing and a but- that the girls want to meet me before accepting me, which is so rational of course , but this only means that I have to wait for them to come back from their family houses after the holidays and then we could see if this is gonna work out or not.

I dont know ,,, I loved the place although I am a little cautious ,,, I dont want to get my hopes high and then get my heart broken again!

I just hope that the best will happen ,,, enshalla

Monday, December 27, 2010

In a day like today last year

In a day like today last year I fulfilled a lifetime dream and actually went and see the mosque of Cordoba.

Many things have changed inside me ever since. Mainly about ''Islam Marketing''.
Maybe then I did not see it as ''Marketing'' but now I do , and to make the best publicity I am doing a lot of reading and listening and almost nothing of talking.

My Islam needs me , but in the smartest and the wisest means.

Happy December 27th :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Catalonia: Is it the destination?

Before, a metro plan used to freak me out. I dont know , I always thought that the metro is an evil place where people want to rob me. And looking - only looking - at a metro map made feel lost already. But when I went to Barcelona something major changed inside me , Its just like what they say in an ad on the bus stops ''hay paises que engrandecen el alma'' >>> There are countries that enlarge the soul. And so was Barcelona to me.

I have not talked much about for reasons I have explained in an earlier post , but ever since I came back I have felt so good, so strong and capable of anything. I think to myself: If I could find my way in Barcelona's Metro then I can do anything.

And so I started to search for Master programs in Barcelona and I came across this program:

Its a translation and cultural mediation program that lasts for one year in La Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.

I sent it to my Profesor in Jordan , Dr.Hussein and he said ''its magnificent'' and I talked about it with my mother -although she is the biggest fan of Granada- but she loved it immediately.

There is a text I wrote in Arabic in my notebook about why I DO NOT WANT TO study master in Granada , enshalla I will post it here soon ... I just feel great about it , although it needs a lot of money and a lot of hard work but I am ready for it. I am even ready to learn Catalan in no time and become one of so few Arabic/Spanish/English/Catalan translators.

Look at me in this picture ... dont I just fit in!!!
Metro de Barcelona

A problem of a lonely child

Lubna , Rasha and I had been having continuous sleep overs for more than 5 nights. We would bring our beds close and sleep the three of us after spending hours of talking and laughing. Then the next day we would be hanging out in the center , go back to Lubna´s place for a cup of tea and end up sleeping there.

We got so used to being around each other. I feel an uneasy thingy when we are separated. I would look for time to go sit in the bar and talk to the waiters like I always do , read the paper , read a book in Spanish or write something in my notebook , but with us being the tribe of penguins we are I just feel its hard to ''take off''.

This has been interrupted with the Navidad arrangements , each one of us is invited to a different place and the chain of sleep overs is breaking , but this is not the first time in which I get so used to having company around me in a way that stops me from doing my things.

I always thought about it as a ''lonely child'' thing. Being a lonely child I have always been clingy to the friends or the family that would stay over,,, you know , the people who would hang around just like sisters do.

Uhhhhhhhhhhhh .... I think , I just wish , enshalla I will have a lot of sons and daughters of my own , that we will be having a big family sleeping over ALWAYS!!

Why I never Brush my Teeth?

Today I finished my toothpaste tube. I have been in this country for 4 months now!! Yes I have, and I only went through one tube ... this is a shameful thing about myself but what shall I do? Ever since I was a child I hated brushing my teeth , sometimes I would not say good night to my parents so they wont have the chance to ask about my teeth brushing!!

I always say: Well this time is different and i will be so responsible starting from NOW

So NOW I start ,, lets just hope

Cena de Navidad

Tonight I went to Christmas dinner at my friends Farah house. They picked me up from Paseo del Salon and I went there where I got to meet her family , the cat , the two dogs and the house.
We had a good dinner and we talked and laughed , I was so happy to see Pilar again after all that time , and I talked with her about Barcelona.
She told me stuff in Catalan and asked me about my plans for the coming years.
Two weird things happened tonight:
one: Sometimes - although I am in Spain- but hen I leave my house and my circle of friends and mix with an actual Spanish audience I feel surprised!!! My voice in Spanish surprises and the flood of words that I am capable of letting go out of my mouth is just astonishing!! When I think about I just feel like am looking at a miracle, that my mind is capable of decoding all the signs of a foreign linguistic system and merge into it ... and also makes me realize how few I hang out with Spanish people while I am in SPAIN for Gods sake.

Second: Farahs mom was so kind to me and I really loved her , but knowing that she was a Muslim for 4 years and being today in her house for a Christian celebration is just weird. You know , I just wonder how would somebody try Islam and bale ... bale and go back to being agnostic not even going back to being a religious Christian ,, you know what I mean? I am not judging her or something but its something that cant be discussed in a Christmas dinner table.

All in all I had a blast and Yes , Christmas time is a time of miracles .... No one is left alone

Thursday, December 23, 2010

علبة التبغ... حنا مينة

مضى وقت طويل منذ آخر مرة تمكنت فيها من إتمام نص مكتوب حتى نهايته. كثيرة هي الكتب التي رميتها من منتصفها لأن شيئا فيها أو فيّ قد غاب و أخذ معه كل رغبة في القراءة ، كتلك الموجات من طفوتي التي كنت أغرق فيها مع الكتب حتى قراقيط أذني.

منذ اشتريت الكتاب الألكتروني و أنا أقرأ كثيرا ، في الحافلة بالذات و بينما آكل .. أستبدل ساعات هراء الكوميديا الأمريكية ببضعة أسطر قيّمة و ها أنا اليوم أدون هنا - بشيء من اعتزاز خجول- بأنني اتممت قراءة أول كتاب إلكتروني لي ، و هو علبة التبغ من تأليف حنا مينة.

هي قصة طويلة من 37 صفحة ، تحكي عن صحفي سوري ملاحق بمضي نهاراته في غرفة ضئيلة مستأجرة على سطح عمارة في بيروت. تتحرك كل الأحداث في مربع واحد و مع ذك يوجد في الصفحات السبع و الثلاثين الكثير من الفكر و التأمل و مراقبة الغرباء و استقاء الأمل منهم ... بالصبط كما هو حالي هنا.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Andaluz Accent: A fixed fact so just live with it

Yo nunca perdí el acento,
mi viejo acento del Sur,
y aunque muy lejos me encuentro
hablo y pienso en andaluz
porque me sale de dentro.

Déjame hablar como quiera,
que me exprese a mi manera
lo mismo que lo haces tú;
habla tú como prefieras
que yo hablaré en andaluz.

El nombre de Andalucía
tiene en mi pecho un altar
y una pasión encendía
que no podrás apagar
porque esa tierra es la mía.

Tu tierra me dio cobijo
cuando del Sur me alejé,
luego el destino bendijo
que fuese mía también
cuando nacieron mis hijos.

Mi acento es de Andalucía
y no lo pienso cambiar
porque a la vez cambiaría
mis señas de identidad,
mi vieja filosofía.

So ... How do I put this in a way that does not show how pissed I am?

Ok , I am a foreigner in Spain , but when I first came to this country , the first land that I stepped on was the land of Granada , I speak as the people of this city speak. It is not only that I got it automatically but I mean to speak using it, I love it , I love how it sounds , Something in my heart melts when I speak with it , when I hear myself and when I hear others using it.

When I started learning Spanish I watched a TV series that taught me half of what I know in the language, there were several characters from Madrid and one character from Sevilla ,,, She spoke the accent of Andalucia and I liked it so I picked it.

I picked it and it picked me and this is the way it is. Dear northern friends: I dont care when you say I sound latina , or when you laugh at me when I talk ,,, I dont really care , I just love it and love how connected to my Granada I feel when I speak this way ,,, so get lost and Habla tu como quieras yo hablare el andaluz ...

There is gonna be a following post about the difference between the accents , how do they sound and where o they come from.

Dos banderas dos idiomas : A Spanish conflict

This is an interesting song that I came across today while looking for Flamenco songs.

It tells a conversation between a child and his father , where the child asks his father why does people in Barcelona call him ''The Andalusi'' although he was born in Catalunya, and why do his family in Andalucia calls him the ''Catalan'' when he goes to visit them in summer.

This is one of the conflicts that may - if it proceeds- change the face of Spain as we know it. Catalunya that wants its independence from Spain in order to become a ''country''!!

I heard about that before , actually I heard about it from an angry Andalusi girl from Cordoba who told me ''shame on them'' the Catalans are the sons of the Andalusis who immigrated because they did not find jobs in Andalucia, and now there sons are negating Spain and asking for their own country!

I talked about the topic with a waitress -my information resource in Spain- and she said that its a growing movement but its not gonna work anytime soon. She said that the Catalan government depends on the government of Madrid , and it could not survive without it.

To be honest , I never read a book or a fine article about the case so I would no be saying much because I did not investigate, but I feel represented by the song eheheheheheh because I feel Andalusi in a way , so if I end up studying in the Uniiversitat Auntonoma de Barcelona I will be with dos idiomas doas banderas ...

I just love this country ... all of it!

Why cant I keep my mind off him?

When we were in Malaga the last time something happened ,, something really simple and almost happens everyday. We were asking passers by for the bus we should take - as always!- and so we started a very casual and normal conversation with a guy on the bus stop.

Then he stated the usual questions: where are you from? why are you here? your Spanish is so good - oh thanks , do you like Granada or Malaga better? and so ... nothing special.

I say to him out of pure innocence: you look familiar , he says: where have you seen me before? I say: on TV , you look like a guy in a series called ''Aqui no hay quien viva'' you look like the guy from the gay couple , and he laughs a nervous and loud laugh and says: but I must clear it up: I am heterosexual. lets say for now I am. ... the conversation took the usual curves: oh , am sorry I thought you are from Morocco ,,, how are things in Palestine? is it as bad in Jordan? ...

Then his bus came he waved and he went away.
Nothing special of any kind... then why he keeps passing in my mind and I wonder who he was and where he might be , and what else ''is'' he? ...


This song sums it up:
I saw your face in a crowded place
and I dont know what to do
because I will never be with you
I dont know If I will see her again
but we shared a moment that will last for ever

Adriá Collado
did the role of Fernando Navarro
Aqui no hay quien viva

Why is it taking for ever for me to blog about Barcelona

I have noticed. It has been a long time since I came back from Barcelona. I came back 14 days ago and up till now I have not posted nor written about it in my paper diary.

I wondered for a while: Why is that?
I even said to my co-travelers -while still being in Barcelona- that this time I wont be able to post ''some'' pictures from the trip, I will just have to post ''all'' of them and talk using hundreds of words about each one of them , but when I got here I felt weird.

As its said in Spanish "Perdi las ganas" ... I lost my writing appetite...
I was down for a few days , I cried at some points , I felt so lost and overwhelmed , I even said that to my Mom - I never tell her while she is not around that I am in a bad shape, she would just feel sad and guilty not being able to do anything to help me- .

I felt -in a very unexplainable form- homesick!! I missed Barcelona ,,, It was a very big thing for me , something I waited for for a long long time , and when I was finally there I was running all the time catching buses , trains , metros and entrance tickets. And the 18 hours I spent in the bus coming back to Granada were enough for me to go through the memories again and realize what a big thing I have just had done.

I miss Barcelona and I have a big feeling that my story is not over with that city ,,, I know that there are other episodes for me there , but I am taking my time to post so the strings that tigh me to this episode will last longer.

I picked this picture because this is the thing that captured me in Barcelona: The smoothness of people on bikes navigating a plain -still- deep and amazing city.

Remembering those days

Maybe I have posted this song before,, but now I am posting it for a different reason.

When I listen to it I remember the days when I worked in the magazine. I dont know why do I keep remembering those days now, it just hits me every now and then the ridiculous amount of happiness I possessed by then.

Life was perfect , even though I was always whining about things and not feeling it was as PERFECT as I realize it now.

This song and a bunch of other songs that went side by side with that era , just take me away ... I feel relaxed , and the tornado of thoughts inside my head just vanishes.

Yes, by then things were hard , keeping my mind on what I SHOULD do not what I would LIKE to do , keeping my mind of the fights with Najeeb - who is now my Guru- but now when I look back I see that those days were perfect and I would never be the person whom I am if it was not for them.

Does the same apply for the days I am living now?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New Banner

Mes que un club ... More than just a club ... much much more

El piso ...

I should state this clearly and openly: I am let down by this accommodation mess I have been through.
When I first found out about the scholarship the first thing I thought about was living in a nice apartment with native spanish girls. I looked all over the internet , I mailed a lot of people , and I had the hope that the roommates of one piso - spanish for apartment- would accept that I rent their room and they will talk to me before I come on skype , and then when I arrive we would just have to put the names on the faces -actually- and start the year here on a good foot.

I had the disappointment after the other while looking , and at the end I had to live with arabs and italians , not speaking any spanish all day. This is my destiny and I accepted it , and although it was not my plan but I could actually see the bright sides of it.

I started looking again for the second semester. I was passing by a container where a girl was sticking an ad , I talked to her about the piso in the ad and she said she would call me. She did and I went over to see the piso and the roommates. I looked for a little while and I liked the girls , the place and the magnificent location close to Arco Elvira.

I was supposed to pay the insurance tomorrow and move in February, but tonight the girl called and said that she did not know that the other roommates have already took the insurance from another girl and that she is so sorry.

I got the call while having the blast of a trip in Sevilla. I could not help but be disappointed. I understand that its Gods well and its the best for me , but I just felt that this torture was lengthened a bit more ,,, maybe I will have to keep looking for an extra week , or two or month ,,, who knows I might go home before staying in a place here and feeling like home.

Please God ,, Please ,, Please ,,, Dont let me down

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The way it is: Facts and nothing more

Just watch this video.

Its something that I avoided thinking about for a while now , but there is no way around it. This erasmus life would not work for me as long as I dont drink , party all night go to discoteca and be sexually available.

I hate to put it in this vulgar form but this is the way it is. I feel refused for being who I am, and here I am not saying that Spanish people are mean or racist, but I know for a fact now that for them I am a person they know and they dont - maybe cant- consider me a friend.

Really , why would they like to hang out with me when I would not go with them to the discoteca and the botellon. While I have an ethical system that differs a lot from theres?
I love who I am - I chose it for Gods sake- and I am not whining about the cultural difference , because its there no matter what , but the thing that really bugs me that most people would just keep thinking that ''she is an arab , maybe she is dumb , she is oppressed , she does not speak Spanish , maybe she is shy to mix , she is a virgin heheheh , she is silently judging me, she thinks I am a bitch because I share bed with my boyfriend , nooo there is no point of talking to her'' and instead of taking the chance and actually talk to me , people feel its way much easier and more comfortable to continue with the prejudgments they already have.

This is the case. It used to annoy me , but now I just look for what I came for ,I wanna learn Spanish not to socialize and if I will have to do it without the help of any friend then I will do it , watching Tv, listening to radio , talking to waiters and chit chatting with old people on the bus stops.

I gave up on the youth. Sorry!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The easiest answer that sometimes slips your mind

I love this video ,,, Its simple , smart and attractive. Sometimes when I am in the midst of a conversation the simple arguments just slip away ,,, this one is great ,,, watch

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Off my chest

After almost a month of thinking I decided today to tell my parents about the trip am planning to take to Barcelona.
I was worried that they might get worried , and I wanted it so bad that I was not ready to take a no. I told them and they hardly made one question about it!! God I hate it when this happens!!! But anyway I AM GOING TO BARCELONAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA :)