I Learnt Spanish...


That's a lie. I didn't. But, I've figured out how to pass my Spanish exam on Thursday without having to. I'm 80% certain I've figured out what I need to know for the exam, pretty much to the word, by examining the previous papers. I've then recorded myself speaking all the Spanish I need onto my mp3 player, and I'm listening to it instead of music. My theory is that if I listen to it enough, then it'll somehow get lodged into my subconscious. And in my experience, in situations of need or panic, such as exams, my subconscious comes to the forefront, and that for the two hours of my exam on Thursday, all the Spanish in my subconscious will become accessible. I suppose I should try and learn some stuff as well, but this is how I'm signing out of my time at university. I've barely done a piece of work properly yet, and unless something goes catastrophically wrong, I'll be walking away with a 2:1. I'll probably screw it up somehow.

It is becoming very apparent to me though, that in around 40 hours from the point of writing this blog entry, I will be finished with university. Forever. How fuckin trippy is that. 4 years. Gone in a click. Life doesn't half pass you by quickly. What is really going to make me sad though, is leaving Hull. Something that has become ever too frequent in my life, and will continue to do so as long as I insist on travelling, is leaving places that you've become attached to. Leaving Hull this year, is just like leaving Canada last. I don't know when I'll be back, if ever. It's always through saddened eyes that I leave anywhere that I've been a while. I go to the gym a lot. It has been for the last 6 days now. I walk in and people know who I am. I go to the local sandwich shop and everyone knows who I am. I go to the pub and people know me. It's nice to be in a place where you're recognised, and as soon as I get back to London, I'll be starting from scratch, being no more than a face in the crowd. It's been so long since I spent any sustained time in London, that going to my gym, I'll be a stranger once more. And in London, things are a lot faster. There is less getting to know you. I guess it's just nice to be recognised, being more than a stranger. It was the same leaving Canada just over a year ago. I could go into my local bar, and I was on first name terms with the bartender. I knew people at the gym, and I was even recognised at the local Subway. But these things take time. It's only recently, after going there since September, that I feel there's always someone who I'll know at the gym. And as soon as a good thing comes, it's time to leave. That's part of travelling though I guess. When I was in Vancouver in 2005 it was the same, and should my Canadian visa come through this year, I guess it will be again. Maybe 6 months in one place, then 6 months in another. Each time, just as a social infratructure is built, it's time to leave. It's sad. I'm going to miss Hull without a doubt. Not for the partying or the student life. But just for being known. More than the partying, I'll miss the gym. That's pretty sad come to think about it, but that's how I feel. Better get used to it though I guess. If things go to plan, I won't be settling down anywhere for another 5 years or more.

me Speaking of the gym, there's one thing about going abroad for nearly 4 weeks as I will be doing in late June, that really worries me. It's not getting shot in New York or raped in Mexico or anything. I try and experience everything once. As vain as this sounds, what worries me is getting really out of shape. Right now I eat well, and exercise regularly. I think I've been at the gym for 12 of the last 14 days. Something along those lines. Yet, come June 24th when I fly out to New York, there is no gym for nearly 4 weeks. Worse than that though, I am going to be eating crap, crap and more crap. It'll be eating out most nights, and that scares the fuck out of me. Just yesterday I invented a gym friendly omlette, which consisted of egg whites, Tesco value chicken breast and ham, low-fat cheese and seasonings, (I won't bore you with the exact details, but it's healthy budget food. Something I've had to become very creative with recently). But I'm going from this, to nightly beer and Mexican food for a month. To be fair I've never eaten Mexican food in Mexico before. But there was a Mexican restaurant in Halifax that I went to a few times. And a month of that... it scares me. I bought some salami the other day instead of ham. Call me paranoid, but Fat man I swear to Christ that I could see a difference in my body shape by adding that little bit of saturated fat to my diet. And that was with the gym. And now I have to go for 4 weeks. I think it'll be hungover jogging on the beach every morning, because call me vain, but it's important to stay in shape. It's important for health reasons, and it's important because of the way people treat you. No one wants to be a fat fuck. So when you see one, it's an instant recognition that this person is too lazy to exercise, or too ill-willed to lay off the pizza. And I take pride in the fact that my body fat percentage is right where it should be. God what is a month in Mexico going to do to me. Worse still, what will 4 or 5 years of travelling do to me? Maybe I'll take some pictures of myself now, just to remember the good times. I do plan on using my travel as an experiment of sorts in that relation. I want to know the effect that travel has on a persons physique. Now obviously, every persons travel plans are different. As are their bodies, so it might not be the most scientific of experiments. But I wonder if it is possible to travel for 4 years or more on a tight budget (if I can), and still come back in a healthy physical condition. I guess I'll find out. I think I'll be taking accurate body measurements before I leave finally, just so I can find out. You never know. I might come back healthier.

Anyway, about travel (which you would think would be at the forefront of this entry, what with it being a travel blog. I guess not). I have come up with two plans based on the two possible scenarios that I will face in the coming weeks (A little like BA did before the 1997 election. And look what happened to them.Hope I'm a little more successful). One scenario relates to me getting my Canadian work visa. The other relates to the likely scenario that Canada are a bunch of cocks, and I don't get one (if you give me one then I apologise for that last comment). Now I was in the sauna at the gym the other day, and got talking to this guy. He worked on cruise ships, and we got into the details of Mexico this work. It sounded perfect for what I was looking for for this Summer. You work for 3 months at a time, it's tax free, pay is good, accomodation and food is included. It sounds like a savers dream. Unfortunately though, looking into this, the only jobs on offer I could find required commitment to a 6 months contract. Hopefully flying out to Canada little over 3 months after getting back from Mexico, this was of little use to me should my Canadian visa come through. But it did make me realise that cruise ship work would be perfect for me, should I not have a timer to keep to. It's well paid and it's perfect for saving. I guess it's even classed as travelling. Sort of. Rich person travelling anyway. The kind where everything you see is glossed over to be tourist happy, rather than the dirty travelling I prefer, where nothing is changed for your arrival, because you don't have any money. But that's beside the point. What I was thinking, is my contingency plan if my Canadian visa doesn't come through, is work on a cruise ship for 6 months to save up some serious money. Serious in travel terms anyway. Then after 6 months, or maybe even longer if I decide it's the wrong season to go, hop off over to New Zealand, maybe via 2 or 3 months travelling through the Americas, and work there for a while. Combined with Australia, I think I can legally spend 3 years working in this part of the world. And from what I hear, legal isn't really too much of an issue. From there I'd carry on with my travels as if before. If on the other hand, my Canadian visa does come through, I have 3 months in which to bulk up my savings as much as possible, by any means necessary. I think this would basically mean firing off CV's to every temporary job under the sun. I've been monitoring some websites to see the type of things that are coming available, and there seem to be a lot of openings in remote areas of Scotland. Try for one of these maybe. Anything to bolster my purse. At the end of the day, this is all that's important. The more money I have, the longer I can travel. Though I guess people do travel on nothing all the time, just picking up work where it's available, but ideally I'd like a little more security than that.

Pacsafe One more "big" bit of news relating to travel... I finally won a Pacsafe. If you don't know what that is, it's essentially a cage for your backpack when you're travelling. I wanted to get one for my travels, and thought it worthwile getting therefore, before going to Mexico. My strategy for buying things on eBay is to always watch a couple of items to see what price they go for, then never pay above this price. It was way back on the 23rd April that I started doing this, and I watched one sell for £27.06 inc. postage. I have watched in ore as every single Pacsafe for over a month now, has sold for above this price. But today, I finally got my bargain. I must've watched 25 of these things sell at over £27.06. I got one today at £27.01. A grand saving of 5 pence. And it didn't come easy either. There were 2 for sale, one ending 57 seconds after the other. With just over 2 minutes to go on the 2nd one, the one finishing first sat at £16.00, where as the one finishing 2nd sat at £10.50. Having watched these damn things everyday for over a month now, I was assuming that others were watching too, and gambled on the one ending first. I was tempted to wait for the second because it was going listed at a lower price, but I took my chance on the first, and got it at £27.01. Other people obviously decided to gamble on the 2nd. That one sold at £28.50; more than doubling in price in the 57 seconds after I won my one. It was an exciting day on eBay I think you'll agree. And as long as my seller comes through, I finally have my Pacsafe, saving myself 5p, which, given my current finances, was well worth the months work. Wow when did my life get so exciting?

One thing I do want to address really quickly, is fucking students. This will be my last chance to write about students, as a student, because come 11:30 on Thursday, I guess I'm just a regular person. So whilst I can still talk about them whilst being one, I'm going to vent some anger. I saw a Facebook group this week that pissed me the fuck off. I only saw it because one of my friends joined it and it came up in my mini feed, or something. It was put on my screen somehow. And the group, which was 1,000's strong, was this little sob story about how students don't have the funds to live on. But they can't get part time jobs because it'll interfere with their study, and I quote, "We like to go home at weekends." Now most students are ok. A student life is an easy life yes. And I can see why people do get pissed off with students, scrounging for money and not paying taxes. But the reality it, that people who complain about this, would snap up the opportunity to live this lifestyle, it just doesn't occur in their line of work. And I'm not ashamed to have lived the lazy student lifestyle. You have bursts where uni work is equivalent to a full-time job. In reality though, 75% of time as a student is an absolute doss. 2 hours of lectures in a day was a busy day for me. But I hate the nerve of people who will complain that they do not have sufficient funds to study, and can't get a job because they like to go home. What a load of crap. It's people like this that give students a bad name. Or a worse name anyway. I know people whom have full-time jobs alongside their degree. I personally haven't worked through my studies, but I took a gap year prior to them, and worked sometimes 90 hour weeks, and 17 hour days as a swimming pool lifeguard to save the money. Then I top it up by working every Summer. And I have lived very comfortably as a student, happily collecting my student loan 3 times a year. How people can have to audacity to say that they cannot cope, pissed me the fuck off. Students have the easiest life in the world. And you'd think that they'd have the intelligence to only spend money that they have. Evidently not. Partying, drinking; it's a luxury. Yet people see it as a right. They spend their money on alcohol, or travelling home every weekend, then complain they need more. If you have something good, don't draw attention to it by asking for more! You have to be one pathetic specimen to live the student life and feel sorry for yourself. I could go on about this all day. I won't. But it does piss me off. When else is life ever going to be this good? Yet people have the nerve to complain. I haven't seen my family in 6 months now to save money on rail fares. Yet these idiots complain because they don't have the time to get a job so they can go hope every weekend. It's pathetic. Rant over.

Well seeing as pretty much nothing has happened in my life since I last wrote a blog entry, I have managed to bang on about all kinds of irrelevant crap here. So I guess this will be a good time to stop. Next time I write an entry, I will have officially finished my education. That is a freaky fucking thought!


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