July 2005


I will never be happy until I live in a city where it is unnecessary to drive everywhere. This renewed hatred for cars and driving stems from two things…

1. My CD player in my car decided to freak out and is making some crazy clicking, whirring sound when I turn on the car. It ejected three of my cds, but has decided to keep the rest of them.

2. I got rearended today at a stoplight. Just sitting there at a complete stop minding my own business and here comes some guy who runs right into the back of me. And my stupid insurance company expects me to pay $500 to get it fixed if his insurance won’t pay. Worse still, there wasn’t enough damage for the car to be considered a total loss so I’ll be forced to continue paying $327 a month for a car I don’t even want!

I know these don’t really sound like reasons to hate cars per se, but since I already hated cars this just added to my general hatred. When can I move back to Paris?!?

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Last night me and Steph slept in her car.  Yep, that’s right, in her car.  We drove all the way down to Capitola (just below Santa Cruz) to see some old friends, most of which we hadn’t seen since we were 12 years old.  We were supposed to stay with our “friend” Anne who lives there.  Nope, she ended up leaving with one of our other long lost buddies.  I think they must have been getting it on.  But whatever, that’s not the point.  The point is: Who invites you to come stay at their house and then leaves you at a bar, at midnight, in a city four hours from home, where you don’t even know how to get back to the freeway?  Oh, Anne does.

Then our other friends, who also live slightly nearby (half an hour is def closer than four hours) all had to work in the morning and weren’t willing to take us home and bring us back before work to get our car.  So we slept in Steph’s car. And I, for the first time in my life, peed on the side of a building.  And I didn’t pee on my shoes!

Other reasons to hate Capitola:

– Some guy will dance with you at the bar and then when you leave to go buy yourself a drink he follows you and asks you to buy him a drink too.  When you look at him like he’s a complete ass, which he is, he says, “What, you’re too good to buy me a drink.”  And you just continue to stare in disbelief until he walks away pissed off because not only is he not getting any action, he’s not getting his damn drink.  Plus, you are forced to point at him and tell everyone in the bar what a jerk he is.

– Some other guy will come up to you while you’re buying pizza and talk you up because you’re stranded with no friends and no shoes then offer to let you stay at his place…if you can give him a ride home.  What is it with Capitola and moochers?

– Some guy you’ve known for twelve years will leave the bar saying he could give a shit about what happens to you because your married and he only worries about single women.  Yeah, me and that guy, we’re not friends anymore.

– You miss your big sis’ birthday, which is in Santa Cruz because you drove home at 5 a.m. since you were sleeping in your car and it was freezing.  Then you fell asleep when you got home instead of calling her to hitch a ride.  Sorry big sis!  Happy Birthday anyway!

I’m sure there’s more, but I can’t think of any right now.  Maybe Steph can think of some for me?

Needless to say this was an adventure that will not be soon forgotten.

I just got invited to Delaware for an interview!  It’s for a reporter position at a weekly newspaper, which is exactly what I want.  But  I can’t decide if I’d be super sad or super happy if they really offered me the job.  I would miss everyone here and I’d definitely miss Wednesday’s at Sophia’s.

I’m having so much fun here now, but I’ve been wanting to get out of Sacramento basically my whole life.  Plus I’ve always wanted to make it over to the east coast, even if it is only Delaware.

Hmmm….Well, my interview is in two weeks, so I guess I’ll have time to think about it.

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Let me out!

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Living in a strange place is difficult and I give props to all of the immigrants in the United States (and elsewhere) who had the guts to pick up and move away from their family and friends with the hopes of creating a better life for their children.  And I am SO SICK of hearing people complain that newcomers and foreigners don’t speak English, especially from people who have never stepped foot outside of the United States.  It just goes to show how intolerant we have become as a nation.

Not only that, but how many times have I heard Americans say to someone planning to visit France or Germany, “Oh, don’t worry about learning the language, they all speak English.”  Just so you all know:  NOT EVERYONE ON THIS PLANET SPEAKS ENGLISH, NOR DO THEY CARE TO!  Why do we think people should learn our language to come to our country, but we don’t feel the need to extend the same courtesy to them?  It’s no wonder so many people in tourist cities think Americans are rude.

Living in a foreign country and trying to get by is difficult enough without having natives going on about how you should learn their language.  As if they don’t already know that.  As if they aren’t even trying.

It may be inconvenient for customer service people who have to struggle with foreigners to try to help them with something.  And it may be inconvenient for those of us who don’t speak a foreign language.  But JUST IMAGINE what it would be like if you were the one in a foreign country trying desperately to fit in, find a job, AND learn a new language.  If people who say “I wish they would make English the official language” would just stop for one second and think to themselves, “why don’t foreigners know English?” then they might come up with the answer, which is that foreigners are outsiders.

Outsiders don’t have the luxury of just coming into a place and fitting in right off the bat.  Customs, cultures, language, dress, are all things that have to be learned.  And it isn’t easy when years of racism and prejudice against immigrants makes people even more reluctant to help you out.  For years immigrants were (and in some cases they still are) treated like the scum of the Earth because they take OUR jobs, cost taxpayers money, etc., etc.

So they end up being treated like outsiders and are forced to hang out with people who treat them like equals.  Those people are often the people who speak their same language.  And if they aren’t in contact with English speakers often enough then it would be nearly impossible for them to learn English.  You don’t learn English just by BEING in America.  You have to be exposed to English to learn it, just like any other language.

So, the next time I hear someone complain about people not being able to speak English I’m going to tell them to go learn a foreign language or move to a foreign country to see how easy it is.