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Memory failure

Memory failure

Fleur in Granada

My last diary entry dates back from Monday the 11th of April. I cannot really decipher what I did on that day thanks to my hasty handwriting, but it does include the word ‘siesta’ scribbled into a corner. In February, on Schiphol Airport, I had bought myself a little red notebook as a goodbye gift – sometimes, one has to spoil herself -  and a promise at once: this time, I would really stick to documenting my days and turn the book into a lifelong relic of an epic journey. As it goes with plans, they usually do not become reality. Upon opening it today, it reminds me of my high school algebra exercise book: starting off full of hope and ambition, but dying a slow death within two months. In this case, however, the failure has another father than a sustained lack of interest: there simply have been too many good nights, interesting conversations and memorable trips to fit into a timeframe of two months and the pages of one little, slightly dirty red notebook.
Whereas my coverage of the month of February is very extensive – it includes where I ate tapas and even what type of tapas – some April days are reduced to cryptic descriptions such as ‘No idea. Drank a beer’ (note to a worried reader: I don’t think these two are causally related). Parting from the assumptions that most clichés are true (which, to my contentment, has turned into a cliché itself) and that time flies when having fun, I wondered: what to do about this lack of dedication? After giving it some thought, I figured there are only two logical possible solutions. The first is to have less fun, which would leave more time to describe the (less fun) things I did and, all in all, doesn’t sound too attractive. The second would be to increase the overall amount of time available, which, if handled responsibly, would allow for both doing fun things and managing to remember them. Perhaps not surprisingly, I didn’t have the time to sleep on it, and quickly decided in favor of the second option:  after all, what good does a semester abroad do if it can’t be remembered?

Fleur Damen

UCM student Fleur Damen is spending her Erasmus exchange in Granada. She'll write regularly columns about her adventures in this Spanish university city.

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