Oh look – a listicle. List article. List. Whatever you want to call it. Similar in design to many of those non-news stories which may pop up on your Facebook homepage if you’re unfortunate enough to use the slightly soul-destroying social media site. (I haven’t managed to delete mine yet (if that’s even technically possible), but I have used it less over the last while, so that’s a start.)
So… Here’s a super informative list of what happens (in my experience) if you don’t have internet for over two whole days. Obviously, being a listicle, this contains unique and very wise insider knowledge that you just could not function or survive without:
1. You socialise.
2. You make friends.
3. You exercise. (I actually went for a run. And it wasn’t even to a wifi hotspot.)
4. You go exploring (especially if you’ve just moved to a new area, like I have, and need to find your way around).
5. You go shopping. (Proper, real life shopping, not online shopping.)
6. You get enough sleep.
7. You get into a good sleeping pattern.
8. You meet up with people when you say you were going to meet up with them because you can’t contact them to say you might be late (taking a fully functioning phone out of the question because I’m abroad and haven’t got a sim card that works here yet).
9. You go outside.
10. You tidy, and in my case, unpack (in reverse order).
11. You clean.
What?! You do actual things?!? Talk to actual people?!?! Madness!!
I think this blog could be a good way of keeping track of my deteriorating English if (I mean when) I continue to post regularly. It’s already gotten quite bad just from spending five months in Argentina (yeah that’s a thing I did, I might write about it later…). Since I’ve gotten home there have been so many occasions where I literally couldn’t get across exactly what I was trying to say, couldn’t think of a particular word that I needed, or just directly translated phrases I’d learned in Spanish into English, which ends up sounding a bit weird because although they make sense, we don’t use those exact phrases.
That and actually speaking in Spanish accidentally a few times. Now I don’t mean blurting out whole sentences in Spanish, but a few phrases now and then, like “ay díos” or “¡díos mio!”* if something goes wrong, or annoys me, or “¿qué sé yo?”** pretty much if anyone asks me a question ever. It’s nice that I picked up these phrases, and remember them, but it would be handier if I didn’t use them when meant to be speaking English…
And then there’s the hand gestures. I’ve attempted to teach one or two to friends from home, and one even caught on for a while, but I’m not sure I’m going to succeed in making them a permanent part of Irish culture just yet. Sometimes I find myself doing them and almost have to grab my hand and lower it back down into a more regular, motionless state so I can converse like a normal Irish person again.
Now France is going to influence how I communicate too, and if I manage to avoid speaking English a lot there then my English will surely get even worse. I don’t want to be awful at English, but I like to think that if my English is getting bad then surely my other languages are improving, right? …But then I find words I don’t understand in other languages and look up their meanings only to find that they’re the same in English, and realise I may need to work on improving my English for once.
But I thought I was a native speaker?!
* = “oh god” or “my god!”
** = “what do I know?”
I plan on going out on a certain night a few days beforehand, and know where I’m going.
I leave it until really late to see who else I know is actually going into town or wherever, no matter how long I’ve known I’m probably going to go out.
I decide, maybe an hour or two before I should be leaving, that I’m not that bothered about going out after all.
I then get a text or two about going out, and one saying “we’re leaving in 20 minutes, do you want a lift?”
Then, and only then, do I decide I’m definitely going out.
Once this momentous decision is made, it’s followed by approximately 5 minutes of running around looking for clothes that hopefully aren’t out for the wash or hanging out on the line, 10 minutes of frantically searching for my hairbrush, and 5 minutes of attempting to straighten or just calm my hair a bit. That’s more or less it, give or take a couple of minutes.
My life would be far easier if I just gave myself an hour or so to get ready, but of course I opt for the hectic 20 minutes of running around looking for clothes, shoes, the straightener, and my ever-elusive hairbrush.
Basically, don’t do any of that the next time you go on a night out!