I am finding time between my 300 minor pieces of coursework (THIS. IS. SHOCKING) and the occasional complete mental implosion to fill you lovely people in (Oi oi) on my last week or so in Malaga. It has been, without any trace of my usual melodrama, an unmitigated catastrophe of the most epic proportions. I feel like my University workload can only be equated to the various UN peacekeeping missions going on around the world – I sort out Egypt and Tunisia before taking a deep breath and kicking on with the big cheese Libya, only for bloody Syria, Bahrain and the Ivory Coast to pop up in my intray while all the while Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan continue to throw in the occasional headache during my brief moments of peace. Okay maybe it is just a malenky bit bezoomny (rereading ‘A Clockwork Orange’ and feeling like the Dystopian theme is appropriate) to compare writing a page of notes about the Spanish renaissance to attempting to stop the Africa from exploding – but for someone who has not experienced a whole lot of stress in the last twenty years, it has been an ordeal.
Perhaps the lowest moment was on Friday when I turned up expecting a lecture and was instead presented with an essay question on a play of which I had only seen the film version (and I did not care for the message of ‘The civil war affected boring middle class people too’ – it was not quite ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’). I know this tale may sound familiar as it happened to me in France as well (although it was actually an exam there) – but apparently I did not learn my lesson and ended up, again not for the first time in my life, blowing my pretence of having sophisticated metaphysical and thematic insights into the play by calling one of the characters by the wrong name: embarrassing. Despite this incident being entirely my fault it left me feeling somewhat sour on the way they teach in Spain; the are caught halfway between a super-modern-cyber-uni and an old-fashioned temple of scholarly learning which still uses blackboards, which means that I (being retarded) am never quite sure what or how much work I have pending – it turns out a lot before the holiday next week (which will be a relief of orgazmic proportions) which is the reason for Sheen-esque rant that has once again dominated proceedings this week (I am a misanthropic socialite speaking to you from the land of yellow postboxes to help bring out your inner Bill Bryson!) To sum up my beef (or pork as it might be) with the system here I would like to add to a brilliant quote from Ian Hislop about amount of testing in the British school system: “You don’t make a pig fat by weighing it all the time.” – nor do you make a pig fat by sneaking up behind it and smashing the scales over its head.
Aaaand breath. If I gave you the impression that I have been doing nothing but working, then you, my dear friend, are sorely mistake; as an arts student my problem is with having any work to do at all (although fear not there will be none of us left when Danger Dave Cameron is through with us). Anyhoo this means that I have taken a couple of cheeky trips to the beach in the last week, which have not been that exciting although there have been a couple of weirdos who particularly caught the eye including a guy wearing what appeared to be a nappy. I also went out on Saturday along the coast to a much nicer (although much more touristy) section of Spanish coast to a bar made of ice – it was, I apologise, cool, but it turns out shot glasses made of ice do not retain tequila all that well (never say you do not learn anything from this blog!)
I leave you, although I have found this eruption of complaints to be a tremendously therapeutic experience, with a small episode from my way home from university today when a girl on the bus kept giving me strange looks (positive or negative I could not tell). Eventually I could take it no longer and asked if I could help her with anything – turns out the bag of frozen prawns I had bought from the supermarket and then forgotten about had thawed and was leaking stinking fish water everywhere. I believe there is an expression which will soon be following ‘lol’ into the dictionary which goes something along the lines of fml. Roll on the holidays!