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Santa Barbara

Posted on Saturday, 23 September 2006 at 02:43.

Three classes of Portuguese done now, the last of which was last Thursday, when we actually got our first test! (Pictures 1, 2.) On Portuguese numbers. The first task was to listen to a CD and write down the numbers that were spoken. The fun part was, though, that the teacher entered the classroom, handed out the papers on which to write the answers, and played the CD immediately, without saying very much, and the numbers came out of the speakers very fast, and after a few seconds everybody was looking around with ?’s on their faces, as if asking, “was that the first task?” Fortunately, she played the track again several times, once even pausing between the numbers so that we could think for two seconds and interpret what had actually been said. I wonder if I did okay.

The other tasks were less ‘interesting’: convert written Portuguese numbers to numerical numbers (you know what I mean), and vice versa. The fourth and last tasks consisted things like “13 + 56 = ” after which we had to write the Portuguese numbers again. Very similar to task #3, but with some elementary math thrown in. I have no idea why.

Since my language classes are on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 18-20h and the buses stop riding after 19h, I’ll have to either find a ride back home or walk the 30-minute walk. Surprisingly, the former hasn’t been any trouble so far: on Monday, I went into a bar asking whether they knew when the bus rides (since most bus stops have no timetables in Braga), and the barkeeper said the buses don’t ride anymore. But then, glancing at my feet, he offered to drive me back to my dorm. Yes, that’s right. He offered to drive me home.

On Wednesday, I got a ride from Péter, a Hungarian exchange student who also studies computer science (the only other CS exchange student I know of at the moment), and also attends the Portuguese language courses, albeit a different one than I. On Thursday I had dinner after class with Ieva and Lina (both Lithuanian, but a different Lina than the one I went to Porto with — it’s the same Péter, though), and three Portuguese joined us, apparently friends of Ieva and Lina’s. One of them lived in Santa Tecla and drove Ieva and me home. (For the overview: my dorm is located in Santa Tecla which is an area in Braga.) He was playing Iron Maiden in the car, and after some talking it turned out Tool is coming to Lisbon in November, and he is going there with some friends, and I’m welcome to join them. An interesting plan indeed.

I don’t think I’ll be this lucky next week, when it comes to rides.

Yesterday after Image Processing class I took the bus to the city center to take some pictures — I hadn’t brought my camera there yet by daylight. And omgomgomg I found a pastelaria selling meringues (picture 5)! Braga has no bakeries. They have pastelarias. Where they sell pastries (deegwaren). Many different kinds. Then on the street I found a man selling hot nuts (pictures 6 and 7), which I bought, but they weren’t very tasty.

Then I went to the gardens of Santa Barbara (pictures 8 and 9). I need to try my bigger lens there, for some close-ups. And I found a shop called 404. Go figure.

Picture 3 shows part of the university’s campus seen from the entrance of the CS building, while picture 4 shows the uni’s main entrance, including some people in the black capes. It seems they’re people in year 3 and up, sort of bullying (ontgroening) the people in their first year of their study. Emblems on their cape show what study they’re associated with.

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