Various inane ramblings in a multimedia sauce. Wait one minute to allow contents to cool before opening.
Sorry for the random "I know everything" post - I really don't, but a friend just made me extremely jealous by telling me he's moving to Ibiza to work for the rest of the summer. I went out there and survived a couple of months last summer, and he asked me for any pointers or advice I can offer.
Having had one too many Red Bulls this evening, my reply to him, which was only supposed to be a couple of lines long, ended up looking like this. I hope it's of some help if you're planning on going out there yourself, but if it isn't then feel free just to add a comment telling me what a rambling waste of space I am :o)
I'll do my best to impart everything I know [about living in Ibiza], but my honest recommendation is that you listen carefully to everything I say... and then do the exact opposite!
First things first - accommodation. If you don't have anything out there, get in touch with anyone and everyone who's out there that you know and do some unashamed grovelling. If you don't know anyone, make sure you have a hotel for a week - there's nothing worse than the prospect of having to spend a night sleeping against your case down by the fountains in San An.
Talking of which, I assume you'rep planning to live and work in San An?
When you get there, go to The Ship Inn, and make a point of walking up and down the West End strip talking to as many of the workers you can find. Work out which ones are tossers and which ones aren't - most you can judge easily enough as the majority are sound as a pound, but be on the look out for unusually pushy people.
If in doubt, avoid like the plague - there's nothing worse than finding yourself living with someone who you don't feel you can trust not to nick and sell your stuff.
On that subject, don't take anything you'd be heartbroken to lose - phones, cameras, your passport, etc. Don't leave them anywhere someone can find them - find a way to stash them (but be original) or find someone you totally trust. Again, be wary of landlords or employers who want to hold on to your passport as security (although I've let UpMarket do it once when I tried selling tickets for them, but had I been robbed I would have been fucked).
Anyway, when you get there, buy yourself a cheap Spanish mobile and sim - make sure you get one with a good text rate as you'll be sending a shitload of texts and making calls looking for jobs and accommodation. I was on an Orange plan which cost me a frankly ridiculous 50c per text. You should be able to get down to 20c if you look around. Try asking at the Western Union internet cafe just past the Spa at the bottom of the West End strip.
... all this talking of San An is making me very, very nostalgic. If I could, I'd be out there with you in a flash. Gutted I decided not to stick it, but at the same time I'm not complaining 'cos I like how things are here... :o)
One last thing - if the only thing you can find is someone's sofa in a cramped flat, go for it, but don't get stung on rent. E250 to E300 a month is sensible if you're sharing a room and have your own bed. Aim for less if you're sleeping on a sofa bed with your nose literally inches from someone else's athlete's foot.
Also, avoid rent agreements which involve selling your body unless your landlady is hot. Which (s)he won't be... ;o)
As far as jobs go, take anything and try it one - in fact, try saying "yes" to as many opportunities as possible. Every single amazing thing which happened to me in San An last year came from saying "yes" to something I would have probably said "no" to had I not stopped myself in time. Things like nights at Cala Gracio, random trips to the island's most beautifuil beaches, making friends with some truly awesome people, and dancing with some of the loveliest people I've ever chatted to and seen.
One last thing, be careful with your money, but don't be **too** careful. You have to enjoy yourself. Try and agree with someone back home that, while you're going to be really really careful, they can lend you up to £300 or £400 FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF REPATRIATING YOU if it all goes a bit squiffy!
That said, that's a last resort, and you won't need it. You're going to go out there and have a great time, meet great people, see amazing things and find out just as much about yourself as you will about how strangely and wonderfully other people can be.
The only thing you really have to worry about is drunken British holidaymakers who think they have a right to act like wankers because "we're British and we do what we like". If, like me, you get injured by a stupid, thuggish twat while you're out there - and I hope you don't! - take comfort in the fact that there's a good chance they'll square up to either the Policia Local or La Guardia Civil, thinking they - like UK police - won't bite back.
Then they'll be sorry ;o)
p.s. Have fun. Don't miss home (it'll still be there when you come back), and keep your soul and your pants intact.
Ibiza rocks - what are you waiting for?! :o)
(Warning: geeky blog ramblings ahead...)
The frequency of my posts on this blog tends to fluctuate from sometimes several a day to a more-common one every six months.
Strangely, though, the most random things inspire me to write on here. Recently, I've been spending more time on Ken Rockwell's excellent photography website - kenrockwell.com: it's packed full of expert advice and tips (and the occasional unbiased praise for a certain computer manufacturer, although it's entirely justified praise in my humble opinion).
Seeing a site which is updated at least once a day by someone whose life is obviously taken up by their job, family and all the other miscellany that goes with them, and still has time to update a website with interesting content, always reminds me that there are literally loads of things I'd like to ramble on about on this website.
Not, of course, that I'm assuming anyone wants to read it, but still, I should write it down, mainly just in case I forget, more than for anyone else.
I've also been trying to tie my life together a bit more. I use Twitter (in fact I use it much more than I update this blog, since a 140 character limit is much less daunting than no character limit), and I've linked my Twitter account to my Facebook status updates, so I can annoy my friends on Facebook through Twitter's text message update service.
I also post my favourite photos on my Flickr photo stream and, while I'm not entirely happy with the idea that every photo I post should appear on my blog (I sometimes use Flickr to host random photos, like things I'm selling on eBay, for example), I like to be able to integrate the two a bit more.
Twitter Tools basically allows you to update your Twitter feed with a notification when you write a new blog entry, and it can also post to your blog when you update your Twitter feed. It also uses some clever black magic (or it could just be a PHP string comparison...) to allow you to turn on both these options without ending up in some kind of black hole-creating feedback loop.
Definitely worth a look - you can find out more on the Twitter Tools Wordpress plugins page.
[caption id="attachment_1154" align="alignright" width="177" caption="Flickr Manager button in the Wordpress editor"][/caption]
Flickr Manager is also a lovely bit of code. It adds an extra button to your Wordpress media toolbar, and clicking it pops up an interface very similar to your "add image" popup. It can resize your photos, lets you add captions, and generally makes life very easy if you don't want to have the hassle of uploading your photos to Flickr, and then having to upload them to your blog as well.
Find out more on the Flickr Manager Wordpress plugin page.
I don't know why I didn't look for this before. Maybe I did but I didn't find anything very good. Anyhoo...
I've just discovered an excellent plugin for Firefox, called Fireshot. It has a lod of options, but in a nutshell it makes it one-click simple to grab a screenshot of a webpage to the clipboard.
This is excellent for me because I find it a pain in the neck to put together thumbnails of websites I've created or just want a screenshot of.
Anyhoo, Fireshot - grab it here (Windows only at the moment).