Monday, August 23, 2004


Mom Says: Get rid of all the crap you've been hoarding since 7th grade.

Allison Does: *dabble dabble, take apart Fisher Price banking safe...oooh, Study Abroad Handbooks!*

The Duke Abroad Handbook, Faye's donation of Let's Go Spain and Portugal (now with Morocco!), and the Duke in Madrid Travel Guide have given me an overabundance of information on many things. Of note:

1. According to the Duke Abroad Handbook, foreign men could interpret "the friendliness of American women" (you could have fooled me on that one) as "romantic interest". "Some women feel they are forced to stare intently at the ground while they walk down the street." Well, shoot. My natural and overwhelming exuberance should make me a prime target! Perhaps this is the time to experiment with Goth culture. But seriously, folks - could it be worse than traveling with a group of 9 other girls (and one guy) in Mexico for several weeks? Could it? No. It couldn't.

2. Also courtesy of the Handbook: the four stages of culture shock. Initial euphoria - Irritation and hostility - Gradual adjustment - Adaptation/Biculturalism. "Anyone who goes overseas demanding that everything be the same as what (s)he is accustomed to in the United States will be sorely disappointed and probably better served by staying at home." The fact that they need to include this staggers me. Really. Love Duke and Dukies. I also wonder how long you're expected to get hung up on the "irritation" stage (aka. how long I can milk it for).






I would be equally surprised at numbers 3-7 were it not for The Vicki Story, which many of you know by now. It proceeds as follows:

On the Mexico trip last summer, I split off from the aforementioned group of 9 girls to study at UDLA, a private university in Mexico. We all know this. Well, while I was staying there, one of the girls (Vicki) in the group stopped by Puebla (the city UDLA is closest to) and was going to visit for a couple of days. Since she was trying to save money, we decided the best idea was for her to sleep on my floor, even though it was against the rules and all.

One night, Jackie (my suitemate and awesome person), Joe (another Dukie), Adam (Dukie #3), Vicki, and I - and maybe Chris (Dukie as well), I don't remember - were sitting around our kitchen table, laughing and joking and generally having a slambamming time. During a lull in the conversation, Vicki busts out with "Anybody want to smoke a joint?". After a several-seconds-long exchange of *is she crazy or kidding?* looks, we all declined - and I, like the gigantic idiot I am, STILL LET HER SLEEP ON MY FLOOR. Whoops. This episode raises a couple of important questions:
1. Where did she get it? Did she bring it over from the US? If she had, do you think she was ok with having put everyone she traveled with (aka. ME!) in legal danger?
2. WTF was she thinking?
3. Why did I not kick her out of my room?

but it also allows me to understand that yes, people really are stupid enough to do illegal drugs in foreign countries, which probably means that they're also stupid enough to get wasted and invite sketchy men back to their host-houses. Lovely.

And this, my friends, concludes the tale of why I am a misanthrope.


Blogger :D said...

those first two lines sound SOOO familiar.

The only time I successfully completed a closet-overhaul/get-rid-of-the-excess project was when I was going stir-crazy at home for a month waiting for the France people to call me and say, "come volunteer with us!" luckily I haven't been home too often so I haven't been able to mess it up too much since then.

9/09/2004 12:41 PM  

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