„Erasmusă” cu dor de casă

Archive for Ianuarie 2008

Ok, blogul asta avea sens atunci cand eu eram Erasmus si eram departe de casa. Era un fel de declaratie a mea – mi-era dor de tot ce insemna Romania si pastram, prin acest blog, o parte din Romania cu mine oriunde m-as fi aflat.

Insa acum? Am revenit acasa, nu mai sunt Erasmus, Romania nu mai tre’ sa fie cu mine virtual, ca doar ma-nconjoara… Cum facem? Tocmai m-a palit. Ma duc sa chibzuiesc!

Anunțuri

So I had them. These days I must get the results, so if I happen to dissapear suddenly and never hear about me again, then be sure it’s cos I so ashamed I failed and I cant possibly face the world again. No, I am really not joking at all, failing them will simply crush me!!! And yeah, it’s so possible.

So I was writing here at the beginning of October about the classes I was taking in Bruxelles, wondering if they are as aproachable as they seem. In fact, they werent! Since the classes were always understandable and quite ok, the exams were crushing! Like any other student, only before an exam (and even more after) you realize what the hell was that subject reeeeally about and understand how u were supposed to study during the semester.

Well, let’s take them in order:

French – with Stephanie Fievez

So she is a student as well, and for her stage she had to teach someone and be observed. And our school needed French classes for the four Erasmus students. That’s how we ended up together every Monday and Wednesday evening in that warm classroom at the second floor of the damn far away building at Mérode.

The test was on grammar stuff and we had an oral part as well. Oral was fine, even though I was summarising the book I had to read (Amélie Nothomb – „Stupeur et tréblements„) in the hallway, on the stairs. But the written part… God help us all. I passed, though.

English – with Paillet

Cool classes. We used to read press articles (mainly from The Guardian and The Observer) and then extract the social/economical phenomenon and analyse it. Me and Anna had the lowest grades in our class at the exam, even though Paillet said our English is really good. Even him was very surprised we couldn’t gather more points, since everybody saw we were helping everyone around us at the exam.

I know the answer, though. We had no idea how the hell this belgians evaluate the knowledge. For me and Anna everything about that test was new. The approach completely different from all we knew and, even though our English was good and we studied, still this was a first test and had no idea what on Earth we were supposed to do. Yeah, Im looking for excuses maybe.

But Paillet was awesome. He even told us at the end it was a great pleasure for him to have us in his class and that he really enjoyed our debates and the way were were always involved in the conversation. Of course we were, this was the only class were we weren’t completely frightened to open our mouth (‘cos they speak English there, for God’s sake!), scared we might make a complete fool of ourselves.

TV-Video – with Van Malderghem

The whole class was kinnda fuzzy for me. I didnt get it from the beginning, but when I finally got the point it started to make so much more sense.

The exam was approachable. We had to compare the scripts of two movies and I think I was able to express what I knew. Cos I’ve been studyin for it, but for these abstract analyses it’s always difficult to take it out, especially in a foreign language.

Anthropology – with De Meyer

Two (2) huge syllabi to study. The first one approachable. At the second one I was already prayin’ God will save my blonde ass. While reading the „resumé” I got my hope back. By the time I was writing my own summaries Darwin was my best friend and Facebook my rescue every hour when I needed touch with humans. How lame is that???

Had a problem or two understanding the questions at the exam, but the English teacher that was supervising was kind and sweet, as usual, and helped me understand. Then I wrote as well as I could. Sadly, if I fail I’ll be twice as dissapointed – once ‘cos I failed, doooh, and then ‘cos I failed after really doin’ my best. But let’s acknowledge our limits, right?

Sociology – with Moens

Coolest subject. Loved it from the beginning and went to every class ready to be fascinated by two things:
– Moens’ way of explaining so abstract stuff in order to make anybody understand
– the actual theory

I loved about this class that the subject was crystal clear. I understood everything from the class, and at the exam I only had to read and memorise some important info, never had to stop and figure it out.

The bad surprise was, for me and Anna, that we had a press article. OK, we knew it. It was supposed to be one of the subjects – press article to analyse from a sociological point of view. Seemed pretty ok as an idea, but when I first read the article on the exam paper I felt like my whole world was crashing. Not this subject, not this one!! I was so sure I got it and Im finally gonna do fine, why do I have to lose it now, at the end?

To make it more clear – for a foreigner, no matter how much they read the newspapers during their stayin’ in a foreign country, it’s almost impossible to understand some media phenomenon since they don’t have a media culture related to that country. This is formed in years and not only by reading newspapers. Journalism students know exactly what I mean, especially the ones studying at FJSC. So for me it was a terrible moment to try and figure out, by reading a piece of news about some politician writing some note, what was the sociological phenomenon there and analyse it in the political context of Belgium. I think I said enough with that. Im still hoping I wrote enough for the other subjects, since this one really scared me.

Multimedia I – with Abel Carlier

Had to draw „une arborescence” which could stand as a base for a DVD giving the public or the critics possible entries in the movie Brazil. Did you understand that? Me neither. At least at the beginning. But I went to Carlier’s office after classes almost the whole semester and he was really nice to help me out with everything, giving me ideas and explaining some more stuff.

So I knew exactly what I had to do for the exam. Let’s just hope I did it well and it’s not like those other times I said I did/understood smth good and, in the end, realize I screwed up big time.

Droit des médias – with Simon De Coster

I was sayin’ before this was my favourite, but most scarry class. The new thing is that right before the exam he asked me to go to him and told me he had found his name on my blog. Now I don’t know if I should suppose he’s been Google-ing his own name (yeah, we all do that, let’s just admit it!) or searched for IHECS (since my blog appears as the second result or smth like that), but he found it. Of course, that post was in Romanian, and he didnt understand what I was sayin’ there. He asked me to translate it in English or French as well and I said I will.

Dear Mr. De Coster, I am truly sorry I did not get the chance to do that yet. I promise I will translate the post I wrote about you as soon as I find the time. Thank you for understanding. Desolée!

Ok, the second cool stuff about this teacher is that he has a Facebook profile! And he already added me, Anna and Tereza as friends! But not like those Romanian politicians that create blogs and pay their PR to post boring stuff there. This De Coster is actually adding applications and joins groups (the funniest was „Simon Pierre De Coster has joined the group J’installe toutes les conneries de facebook sur mon profil„).

So going back to the exam – it was as we were expecting. Pure pain. We were supposed to read the newspapers during the whole semester and apply the theory by answering multiple choice questions „sur l’actualité belge”. Just picture a bit our faces (mine and Anna’s) when we started reading the questions. No, first try picturing them while we were sooooo studying the theory, concentrated on covering all of the laws we were talking about during the classes. These looks on our faces were still human at this point, hope was visible. Now let’s try imagine those frightened eyes while reading the questions. Then try hear the sound of the papers rubbed to each other while we were trying  to find at least one question to give us hope.

Taken one by one, they seemed more approachable. He even added some funny answers to eliminate the possibilities – for instance for question 3, the answer d) was something like „I hate this class and the teacher, it’s too boring for me”. I wonder if any sane person checked that answer. Once my mother told me to be careful with really cool and funy teachers, they are the toughest. Now I know.

Should I come back and debate the „media culture” argument I was exposing while talking about the Sociology exam? It’s quite the same thing. I’m hoping God is up there for us right now.

We get borned and educated in a family. But our family is the brick of the society. I personally believe the society determines the individuals, just like in the Determinist theory I was studying at Sociology. So since the family is somehow determined by some sociological patters and ways of thinking, each of us is built by everything surrounding us. Like Rimbaud said, „I am the others”.

My point is that we are completely and deffinitely attached to our culture in the Anthropological view. Media culture is just a part of this culture, but completely integrated. My media culture is purely Romanian, of course. And you dont gather the information only from the newspapers, but also from people around you, social environment, television, observation and so on. I would love to be so open minded and smart enough to have such a large view over the world that I’d be able to understand contexts, integrate ideas into their cause-effect process and be able to explain them. That was Droit des médias, Anthropology, Sociology, Belgium, Bruxelles, O’Reilley’s Nua’s, Anna, Erasmus all about.

It wasn’t necessary my purpose (at least not a conscient one), but it became a wish at some point while I was discovering the world. And have me this thirst (in Romanian the expression is more plastic) to know more, to discover more, to understand more. I guess this Erasmus thing is the best thing that could happen to any student.

Am venit acasa! Dupa 6 ore de asteptat avionul pe Zaventem in Bruxelles iata ca am ajuns. S-o luam, insa, cu inceputul.

Last days in Brussels

Ultimele zile in Bruxelles au fost o nebunie totala. Mi-am terminat cruntele examene (despre care va zic imediat in postul urmator) si am inceput pregatirile de plecare. Am tinut-o din party in party pana in ziua plecarii, cu nopti complet nedormite si zile de alergat dupa cumparaturi.

M-am despartit de Anna fara sentimentalisme, desi eu sunt foarte emotionata in general cand imi iau la revedere. Simteam ca nu s-a terminat aici, ceea ce e bine. „To be continued”, as they say. Am tinut un chef de zile mari inainte de plecare si m-a impresionat enorm numarul de oameni care s-au strans sa ne spuna la revedere. Mi-am dat seama ca am reusit, totusi, sa ma integrez!

Chuck mi-a dat ideea sa fac o lista cu first-times = lucruri pe care le-am facut pentru prima (si probabil singura) data in viata mea in Bruxelles. Buna idee! Iat-o:

– am vazut o gheisa pe strada
– am gatit in fiecare zi timp de 6 luni
– am mers cu motorul cu 160 la ora, desi credeam ca mergem cu maxim 100 si mi se parea chiar light (iar eu urasc motoarele si, in mod normal, nu m-as fi urcat pe asa ceva nici platita. Nu stiu nici acum ce-a fost in capul meu)
– am primit un lap-dance de la un Chippendale adevarat (si nu am platit intrare in vreun club pentru asta!)
– am folosit expresii precum „en fait…”, „c’est chouette ca!”, „le cas est chiant” si altele, pe care probabil ca n-o sa mai am unde sa le folosesc prea curand de acum incolo
– am petrecut 48 de ore invatand incontinuu pentru un examen (desi si in Ro stateam deseori nopti intregi sa invat, de data asta a fost diferit pentru ca efectiv nu mi-am intrerupt invatatul nici macar ca sa mananc)
– am mancat mancare japoneza de care de obicei nu ma ating, desi am mai fost in restaurante japoneze (dar am zis hai sa incerc, totusi!)
– am reparat un calorifer (reparat e mult spus, l-am desfundat doar)

Si apoi…

Back home

…apoi am ajuns acasa. Pe aeroport ma asteptau cei mai buni prieteni (Johnny, Carmen, Eri si Irina) si parintii. Cu flori. Si cu zambete. Carmen era acolo si ma asteptam la asta. Nu stiu, m-am cam invatat cu binele si ajunsese sa mi se para firesc ca prietenii sa fie acolo no matter what, dar Bruxelles-ul m-a invatat ca nu e chiar asa. De asta am apreciat mai mult ca oricand acea primire.

Am alergat trei zile prin Bucuresti sa imi rezolv cu actele de venire in tara. Ma holbam ca un copil la tot ce se intampla in jurul meu. La masini, la trafic, la cersetori. Imi venea sa fac poze la orice. Am inca sentimentul ala ca n-am vazut in tara mea ceea ce este cu adevarat de vazut, pentru ca tot ceea ce ma inconjura mi se parea firesc. Doar o iesire prelungita din decor m-a facut sa vad lucrurile mai departe de simpla lor aparenta.

Am stat de vorba cu un homeless nebun. O baba m-a tras deoparte si mi-a zis sa nu ii mai raspund. Eu insa eram obisnuita sa raspund politicos oricarui stalker sarit de pe fix care ma abordeaza, ca in Bruxelles nu scapi de ei altfel. Am pozat zapada si masinile in trafic. M-am minunat de ceea ce misca in jurul meu ca si cum abia acum descopeream lumea pentru prima oara. Ma simteam in sfarsit acasa, eram in stare sa vad in orice mizerie a Bucurestiului care, in mod normal, m-ar fi scarbit, ceva extrem de misto si de familiar.

Romania, bine te-am gasit!

Romanie, pazea! Vin acasa. Si las in urma atat de multe incat imi dau lacrimile. Banuiesc ca asa este normal, totusi.

Anna a plecat ieri, asa ca am o stare din aia de om lasat singur pe lume. I-am facut cu mana cand se indeparta si am fluturat o batista folosita de ea, ca asa ii promisesem si doar atat am avut la indemna.

Azi le vad pe fete ultima data (ba nu, c-o sa ne vizitam, c-o fi si-o pati…), termin bagajul si fac curat. Eliberez zona. Urmatorul la rand. Sper sa se prinda repede cum e cu usa de la baie, cu robinetul de apa calda si cu fumatul pe terasa. Le-as lasa scris pe un biletel galben, undeva sub saltea, pe care sa-l gaseasca cineva care sa il citeasca cu maini tremurande, simtind ca soarta a unit doi oameni care nu s-au vazut niciodata.

Las in urma o floare roz pe care mama zice sa n-o car pe avion. Nici n-o s-o arunc, o s-o las pe birou. Si cateva urme de tigara pe blatul de la pervaz, dar sa nu mai spuneti la nimeni. Mai las mirosul parfumului meu in baie (nu scap de el oricat as aerisi) si poate cateva ganduri negre, pe care nu vreau sa le aduc acasa, sa-mi strice karma.

Revin cu recenzia promisa despre profii de aici (versiunea „after”, ca „before” se gaseste aici) si cu lista de lucruri faine care mi s-au intamplat acum, pe ultima suta de metri, care sa ma faca sa-mi lipseasca locul asta si mai mult.

Fragment:

eu: mai esti pe aici?
el: da pisic
el: de ce intrebi
el: nu stii ca sunt cu tine tot timpul

Se ia fragmentul de mai sus si se fac observatii empirice, fara sa se traga concluzii. Se deduce ca:
– utilizeaza apelativul „pisic”
– un mesaj de la mine este succedat de trei mesaje de la el
– mesajul de la el contine o promisiune de viata

M-am razgandit, tragem concluzii. Cum bine sugereaza Eloa, ma duc sa ma impusc.

Later edit – da, postez foarte criptic lately. Live with that. 

That’s how she called me today. And she added, while sayin goodbye, that „the americans are gonna be sad”.

„And not only them”.

Cos Ive been there, had my share and then left as nothing happened. Because some people are too smart to get involved.

„And Im not one of them”.


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