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Hello and welcome back to a proportional response podcast. I'm currently sat outside during a phone call to ten happy play style introduction, although I'm not actually walking to the interview right now, it's not actually too far afterwards that I'm recording this. Today I am interviewing Noelia Diaz and Gomez. She, uh, she told me how to try and say that with a Spanish accent. So I hope I did it justice. I know her from university. We both studied politics together.
And she's a wonderful, wonderful human being that I've got to know fairly recently. So I took this opportunity to sit down with her outside Starbucks and ask her things that I didn't know and stuff that I wanted to know more about. You can catch this episode actually on my new website so you can go to a proportional response dot com where you can find this episode and old episodes that I've done. You can like comment share with your friends and family all the episodes that I've done already.
They'll also be recommendations page where I'll have a list of podcast episodes that I've listened to and found particularly interesting. And I think people listening to this podcast might enjoy. There's also an about page where you can find out more about the podcast and what I intend it to be like. But for now, here is my interview with Noelia Diaz and Goma's.
Okeydokey, I'm joined with Noelia. How are you? Hi, I'm all right. OK, so you may be able to tell we're in a bit of a public setting. We're just beside Starbucks. So you may hear people coming and going throughout the interview, which is slightly different. But I think it's quite cool. It's a bit of a different edge to it.
Yeah, it does. We were just staring at me like, who are you?
Yeah, I think we've probably positioned ourselves to take the toilets, which maybe isn't the best time. Oh well. Oh OK. So I'm just going to jump in some questions because I know you from doing our politics cause know you do politics and sociology and ideas do politics and I are. But more specifically I know you through tutorials that we've been in together. We have. But I never really spoke to you in those tutorials. But I knew you were.
Yeah, we knew of each other. Yeah. So it wasn't until you came up and chatted to me one time when I was in Starbucks revising and inverted commas. Yeah. And we had a proper conversation. You know, I can like can I come sit down and talk to you bit for a while anyway. And I just thought that was amazing. I was like amazed by our ability to come up to, like, someone that you roughly know, like like you said, we just knew of each other.
Yeah. And just start a conversation. So I guess what I'm trying to get to is, do you think this is like a cultural skill because you're from Spain? So it's not do you think it's something that's more common in Spain? In Spain?
I don't know. Now that I think about it and now that you tell a story, we can sound a bit weird like. But I really know someone, someone coming up to you like, hey, Sean, can I sit down? Yeah, I have this thing of all always addressing people by their name as well whenever I know it. Yeah, I know. It's always so they know that like you know. Yeah I know who they are.
I don't know if it's a Spanish thing. I don't, I don't really know because I think that obviously they're shy people in Spain as well. Yeah. You know, I wouldn't be able to say like like yeah, I know some of my friends are like that's my friends are really embarrassed when I do that and they're like, oh my God, here she goes again.
So maybe it's just something new. Is your family particularly, like, outgoing? Yeah.
Yeah, like my dad to be outgoing. My brother is literally exactly like me. Yeah. Although he's a bit he's a bit more shy than me here. I feel like here there's no inhibitions. I was like, yeah, go out to anyone because they don't own me. So I'm like, You think I'm weird. Well exactly the same thing I was going to go on to because it's like being in a foreign country, maybe liberated from feeling like, oh my God, that person is going to think I'm totally weird by doing literally because I have, like, no roots here.
So you wouldn't maybe do it if you're in Spain? To be honest, I think I would, yeah. Because I think I would. But I think people in Spain would be more like I know you from somewhere. We have friends in common. Yeah. There's history, you know. So I find it really cool here when you go. Do you not get that? When you go on holiday, you're like, no, I barely speak to anyone over this.
Anyone just seeing or I know I'll make a funny joke because you know that, you know, it's the holidays. Yeah. They're not going to know you.
Yeah. I suppose there's like a pressure like. I'm never going to see these people ever going to be as weird as I want to go. I'll try. Yeah, I won't try. Yeah, but there's something you do often like. Do you go up to people and be like, hey, how are you? I feel like. I feel like. I feel like a do today when we were in politics, like just waiting before, you know, classis stuff there was huge.
Yeah. Shout out to human being out to you. And I was like, I've never seen you in my life like. Yeah, are you. Yeah. That was awesome. Yeah.
And we were just talking about Monopoly and you know, because I like a medium, we made a somewhat awkward situation where he was just so stunning to us, to a child. And you so brought him into the conversation and he was laughing at some of your jokes and stuff. And I feel like he was going to say, yeah, yeah. I don't know. I just sometimes I do that. Obviously, some people I don't get the vibe.
Yeah. That I can do that. It's not really about it. Yeah. Sometimes people like, you know, like me as well. Like I would like someone to do that for me so. Yeah. Hi how are you. What's going on.
Yeah. What's so great though. There's very few people I know that would like actually do that and like I so that's why I suppose a cultural thing because yeah I feel like it's a great skill to have and one I, I'm jealous. I don't have. I think I'm too worried about what other people think of me. Like I said briefly, it's crazy. I think I'm quite an approval junkie and that like if I'm like it's it's the worst thing.
I think if someone was to say, oh gosh, that's so annoying. I didn't like that guy.
That was like my worst nightmare. I hate not having people like me. So I tend to just not just from show. Yeah. From my life so they can know my initial friend. Great. So I do that to them.
I hate when people don't like me. I'm like, why? Yeah.
You know, I mean and then I have to remind myself, like, you don't you don't like everyone either so or not even like they don't have to say, oh God that's shown guys great is like the best guy. I just mean I just need someone to like, respect me almost like. Yeah, I just need the approval to respect you. Yeah. Yeah. But you know, there's always that nagging doubt media some.
Yeah. Because I would never like if you were in Starbucks roles reversed. I don't think I would have. What does your gut tell you. Because I get along really well. Yeah. We want to be friends but yeah it's something that I wouldn't, I wouldn't do because yeah I find comfort in my friendship groups and I'm like often adverse to like so expanding that group. Right. Cause I'm so comfortable in my own little and my own little network.
And I was actually wondering, do you think that's like a British thing? Because I know you guys are like very polite and always like you bump into a door and you're like, sorry, you know? So I'm just wondering if it's rude if you only say sorry one. Yeah, sorry, sorry, sorry. I was just wondering, like, do you think that's why it is a little bit longer to um.
I mean yeah. Like you say, like it's hard for me to speak about culturally because I don't know, you can only really know your own experiences and people close to you. But like you said, we are British people tend to be pretty polite. So I think there's a sense of God if they if I just came and started chanting, they might think I'm rude or something often, especially like from somewhere else, like from Spain. And they might be like, oh, they might just not like that sort of thing.
But we go over to people and chat. But yeah, like I said, for me personally, it's easier to speak about my personal experience. I'm kind of an approval junkie. We all are.
Yeah. Different levels. Yeah. Yeah. You know, like honesty. I think we are really like that phrase actually. Yeah.
It's a busy you know, I took off someone else. Well anyhow I mean yeah it's mine is mine to mine now.
It is yours. I will always think of you when, when I think about it. So really go on.
Thank you. I like it. Um let's move on slightly as everyone can probably tell from listening to your English is amazing. Well thank you. So tell me about how you learnt and how you learned to so well. Was it through school or is one of your parents English or. No, my parents can't like my mom can't speak English like at all. She says it sounds beautiful, but that's about it. My dad tries. She thinks it sounds nice.
Yeah. She's like when I have, like, some homework or whatever from my school because I went to a British school for some reason. Yeah, that's weird. That is weird. But my mom's always like I just love how it sounds. What did you say again. Yeah. And then, you know, I have to translate or whatever, but yeah, I think I was just going to that school I went to. National school before that and then changed to a British one and then my parents just made me watch like every show in English, so it was like Hannah Montana.
I had to watch it in English and I didn't understand shit, OK? Little by little, I started like so it was the international school in English and Spanish. And you had like English classes, but it was like all in English. Oh wow. Literally like when I talk to people from here and they're like, oh my justices'. And they're like, I don't know if you know what they are. I'm like, No, no, I've done this.
Yeah, yeah. Like I have to. OK, yeah. But like what me. Was it your decision to go there. Was that your parents wanting to you to learn English? You know, my parents, they were like, you know, English is so important. It just it is truly like it opens up like so many doors and stuff. So, yeah, no, we want you to learn English. And I also know, you know, a bit of French.
Yeah. Kind of lost it in German. OK, slightly. Yeah. And Romanian. Oh OK. So you had classes and. Yeah. It was all in. That was a Spanish word. Sorry. Um it's all in English but then they were like Spanish class which is really weird because in Spain. Yeah. Yeah. And it was all in English maths and English science and English. And so going to an international school, did you have a lot of friends that were like from many other countries.
You would think so, but no, no, it was international. OK, I did like a little quote unquote. Yeah. But there wasn't actually that many people from other places. It was just a name. I think they wanted to make a phone call. Yeah, but no, maybe the British one. There was one guy from like America or like Britain. You have not as many now that I think about it right now, when I, I was kind of wondering, have you ever wanted to, like, learn another language?
Because we've talked about this. Yeah, I desperately would love to learn another language. I think it's such a great skill to have. And also it shows like a cognitive like explosion's and you can sort of switch between two languages, like a flick of a switch almost. Yeah, but yeah, I learned French in school. We didn't have Spanish as an option until like fifth year, which, you know, that's like 17 years. So you have to choose that.
Whereas French was mandatory for like the first two years and then you can choose as an option. And I always chose that one because I have French relatives. So it's it's fun to like if we would go over to France and my aunt, my uncle is English. So he's like blood related and he married a French. Okay, so when we go over and we see her side of the family, it's really fun to have, like, cool with phrases like you can say because you learn because you learn French.
But I can mostly like understand things. But I couldn't like by the time I like to think of a sentence. The conversation had changed their lives. A long life. They're gone. Yeah. Can we go back ten minutes so I can say that's really cool. I feel like I feel like that happens to everyone the like. It's easier to just understand it to actually formulate. Yeah. Yeah. The formulation is the hardest. You get that as well.
I understand a lot more than I can speak. Not in English but like in French, German and Romanian. Yeah, but I'm, I'm so jealous of my like now that I have a kid who's my cousin and he's going to a bilingual school. So he does like French three times a week, English twice a week. And like when he comes so they come over every like. So second year for Christmas, unlike every year, he gets a lot better.
Yeah, but it's interesting because he just switched. So he either speaks French or either speaks English. If you ask him to translate something from English into French, he can't do that. It's just like two different. Yes, it's two different things, which is so weird because like we didn't realize we're like joking about with him, like, well, what's on French? He's like, Mom, I don't know. I don't know. I'm not French.
Did you have the same? Was it like a switch you had to turn off? Were you constantly translating?
I honestly don't translate when I like speaking English or Spanish. So you're thinking and I am learning English sometimes in English, apparently. I mean. Yeah, because I talk in my sleep. Oh I'm talking in English like oh so cool. But yeah I don't translate but the minute I have to translate I do find it hard to find the exact words. Yeah. Yeah I don't know. Yeah I'm not. Yeah. I just kind of do it and switch.
A lot of people tell me it's so, it's so funny because I talk talking in Spanish in the same place. OK, so like I say I like my position in English and then speaking Spanish, a few words and then back to English. OK, it's something I do like without noticing. Yeah. But do you think it's like something that's going to help you in the future, do you think it's because I think it's going to be like really helpful employability wise.
Fair enough. Yeah. You can able to like even just a translator your job. It's like potential that someone else can get. Yeah. If all things go wrong and I can't be a sociologist or whatever, I want to be a translator, I don't I think it's actually really difficult to translate. I don't think I'd be able to do it for even though. Yeah. You know, I can speak it. I feel like I'm not I can't translate.
I'm like, oh no. I just find it really hard to just switch, I guess, meanings because I can switch the language, but not the meanings, because the words are not exact. Okay. Yeah. So there are some words that don't exist in Spain and I'm like, how do I see this? You guys have like windows and I feel like, you know, there's little windows, there's big windows, the windows. But we have different words for each type of window that there is.
Oh. So when I want to translate it, I can't. I literally can't. So there's that. But I do think it's it's going to be good. Is it. So you're saying is that weird that you're like doing your higher education in English because there's like tons of like, like you're very articulate and tutorials. So is it weird being like so articulate and not your native tongue language and then can you do you know the words you're saying in Spanish?
Right. I mean, it's OK if I am I like to write, but sometimes I write and I find that there's some words I know in English they don't learn Spanish. Yeah. And vice versa because I've learned them. I've listened to them. And that's why that's. I learned so he is a bit weird to think, you know, some people in Spain are so cool, you know, Scotland, nobody knows what's going on. Is there like England?
I'm like, no. Yeah, it is cool. And it's not weird, I guess, because I've always been going to like an international school. So to me, the weird thing would be doing everything in Spanish. Oh yeah. It would be really bizarre. Like even when I'm in Spain, I talk in English with my brother. Yeah, it was I'm just so used to it. OK, yeah. It's kind of weird then your parents maybe haven't picked up the phone.
I know I just have no interest in what they do, but I mean they're, they're older so I do feel like.
Yeah. So it's harder. So they're like my, my dad can't speak like he would be able to speak to conversational English, but not, you know, not at a higher sort of level. And I would just smile, OK, but that's not my style, so that's fine. So you mentioned it briefly there. I know that your brother studied in Aberdeen. Yeah. Was coming to Aberdeen or coming to a foreign university, something you always envisaged doing.
Were you always like, I need to go for the tour? It sucks.
Yeah, not cool. Yeah. I think at first, you know, because I saw all the American movies, I was like, oh yeah, I'm going to definitely go and study abroad and this is going to be great. Yeah. Campus and blah blah blah. And then I think when I was like more sixteen fifty sixteen I was like, no, I can't leave my friends. Yeah. So then I thought of staying and then I don't know why, I just thought, you know, I'm going to get more opportunities.
It's something a bit more unique. And then I was just done with Spain. I was like, I know Spain already. I want something different from people, I want a different atmosphere. There's a lot of your friends stay in Spain. Yeah. Yeah, I did. Yeah. And it was it was pretty hard because they didn't understand sometimes what it was to be abroad, because obviously we do our own laundry. We do, you know, we cook.
Yeah. All these things that they don't have to do. So oh I like to live at home. Yeah.
OK, mostly go to uni which is which is fine. But then you know, they would talk to me about money and I would give it maybe a different value because I had to work and I had to, you know, do this and do that and I couldn't be out all day. They were like, oh my God, you're probably like going out every day. I'm like, no, yeah. That's not how it works, at least for me.
I mean, I know there's people that do it and that's fantastic. But I don't I can't. Yeah. So I think they're like. SHOCKLEE Oh yeah. That's that's different. Yeah. Yeah. So does I ever feel like this is your home or do you still always associate with Madrid being like, I'm going back home when it's the holidays or do you say I'm going to I'm I'm coming home. When you think back to Aberdeen like Azu, I think both.
Yeah I see both in the city it's really, I feel really divided. I hate it because when I go there I'm thinking of here and when I'm here I'm thinking of being there. Yeah. Because obviously my family, they're my dogs, they're my dogs. So don't be for brother. Yeah. Oh yeah. My brother's here so my family's there and everything my friends are there that I've known for a very long time. But then you know, my friends here, I've also got a different relationship with my boyfriend as well.
So it's just it's different. It's it's actually kind of it sucks a little bit because, like, it's the most it's the best of both worlds, I guess. But you can kind of unify them. Yeah. All at once. Yeah. I suppose it depends on how you sort of define home. Is it like a concrete building that you sleep in or is it like where are your friends and family are and what do you think? Well, I live here so I know I grew up here, so this is my house, although I am like technically English, OK?
And like I support England probably over Scotland and a lot of things don't tell anyone. Yeah, I feel like the cat's out of the bag. But yeah, I would call Aberdeen my home. But like your family. Yeah. But I don't know, I, I strangely like perceive England as like my home home but like I don't really know it. Well it's just like. Yeah. Is it because I know why. Um I'm not particularly sure.
I think I'm quite proud of it because I'm from an early age like we had. So it's like not like a rivalry. Bill is like a fun little well yeah. Fun little rivalry that we had in our family because me and my dad are English and my mom and my sister of Scottish. OK, so like when I was like the rugby and like the Calcutta Cup is coming up in the Six Nations. Yeah. Like me and my dad was supporting me and my mum and it was like a fun way saying what we did.
And now and now it's I think it just sort of stuck and maybe I just like, like that familiarity of like having sort of like a rivalry. Yeah, it's kind of although sometimes because I got I was pretty competitive. I started like when England lost. Yeah. Yeah. It was like. Of those kids, like took away, too serious, I mean, passion. Yeah, yeah, yes. Um, but yeah, it was I think that's maybe where it stems from.
Sure. Why? It's a good question actually, coming up. But I'm wondering, you know, because you told me one of the first things we spoke and everything you asked me, you know, why do I I mean, just like now. Yeah. And I, I kind of wonder, you know, why did you decide to stay home and why did you decide to stay? I wouldn't even like. In comparison to like going to England, yeah, yeah, well, I was always going to stay in Scotland partly because of the tuition fees there, because they don't pay anything.
So it didn't make much sense to me to go anywhere else because I'd be paying nine grand or whatever somewhere else for only pay for. Well, you would if you moved out, only pay for accommodation. And staying in Aberdeen was partly forced because you didn't get into other universities, although I only applied for one other interesting note, Sterling. Oh. Which is kind of a strange decision. Maybe in the back of my mind, I always wanted to stay, so I didn't really, like, try.
Yeah, I was trying to get into to others, but I lived I didn't live in Aberdeen. I lived on like Aberdeen Shire. All right. So I was outside. So in that sense, when I was thinking about that, you might ask. Yeah, I don't I didn't actually know Aberdeen that well until I started going to university. I got like obviously I wasn't eighteen and I wasn't a big drinker, so I wouldn't go into Aberdeen and go to like I didn't know any of the pubs.
I didn't know any of the clubs. I didn't even ever been to the campus until an open day. The only time I'd ever been up the side of even Aberdeen was to go to the sports village like twice with my school. And so I never knew it was kind of new in the sense that when I arrived here, like people like, oh, you should come here, you should go here. And I was like, I've never even heard of these places.
So that was kind of cool. Yeah. But I think most of the people, like people in my school, used to go, go. I can't wait to go to Edinburgh. I can't wait to go to Glasgow, come away to get out of Aberdeen. I've heard that. But I think that was more to do with the people than the actual place itself. Right. Because like, we lived in quite like a community feel so small town in the side.
So sort of like if anything happened, everyone would sort of know. Yeah. And you could say like, yeah. Although I wasn't much involved with bit more like people that were like busier and more outgoing would be like I feel like everyone, like everyone knows me and I can't do it's like almost suffocating. Right. So I think that's why they were so desperate to get out, whereas I never really had that. And I'm also very close with my family.
So it was like nice to stay at home. Yeah. So I it's hard to not be close to family, so I really do get that. Yeah. Sometimes I think, you know, I wish I could just go home for like an hour. Yeah. Me and my family. So I definitely get that. And one of the things that you said actually resonates with me is the fact that I love it because I was like, I'm suffocated.
Yeah, there's too many people. There's obviously, but it is very good. But I just felt like, how big is Madrid? I don't know. I actually really don't know either. OK, all I know is I live there and, you know, like in the outskirts and I just knew everybody, you know, people are nice or not nice is. But I just walked down the street and I was like, I've done this so many times.
Like, I got the impression that everywhere I looked, there was a memory. Yeah. And I was just like, I'm ready to to do something different. So yeah. Whereas I was like, well, I'm walking down these streets. I'm stepping down before. Yeah. For you it was completely new. Yeah. Actually kind of get you stay put as well I think. Yeah. That was, it was your brother being here part of a persuasion to come to this university in particular.
Yeah. I've really been here in like tuition fees. I actually wanted to go to er. Do you pay tuition fees. I don't know. Oh I know I don't because I'm from the EU Brexit. Yeah. But I'm not going to be affected but yeah. Tuition fees and then my brother being here, I applied to Edinburgh like we all do again and obviously I didn't get in and so you know. So was Edinburgh your first choice. Yeah.
Yeah that would have been my first choice. And then you know, there was Aberdeen, I got into York. I don't know what I was going to I don't know. I called him and was like, please don't like, don't get me because that's England. There's tuition fees. Oh, OK. I think I did have the grades, but I want it to be rejected to be able to go to Aberdeen, OK. And so yeah I really being here was they just made it home.
Yeah. Did you sell it or was he like.
Oh he was completely all for me coming here. He just loved it. He, he loved the idea of having family here as well.
Yeah. Was he still at university when you arrived in first year. Yeah he was in third year. Oh. Ten years older than me. So we worked together, you know, we went to see uni. So it's like we're really close. Yeah. It's really nice. Yeah. So I really did it help us. Probably good. Especially in your initial years of coming here though. Sort of like, like a transitional period where you had family here.
Yeah. Because like I don't know how to do anything. Yeah. He took me to the bank. I don't know how to go to the bank. Yeah. You know, he took me to the bank. He'll. You're doing your shopping now, you're, you know, and it was cool that he was there, but then, you know, he just kind of open his eyes and was like, now you're on your own. Yeah, but it was cool to have him just in case something happened.
Yeah. So it's good for your parents as well, I suppose.
We saw that there were there were so calm. They were just like they were so nervous with my brother, but with me they were like, oh no, we don't. Your brother's there. So that's fine. Yeah, you should be fine. Yeah. He's so studying at uni. Like I said at the very beginning, you're in some editorial's. You're much taller in the semester and something like greatly admired about you without even knowing you too well beforehand.
Was that you you have this courage to sort of speak up when you don't understand something, which is something I feel like doesn't happen probably often enough, like when I might not understand something, I'd be like I'm going to stay quiet because I don't know, I don't like have a reason. And you just stick your hand up and say, like, how can you just go over that again? Because I didn't quite catch that. I never I feel like some other people in the room would be going like, thank goodness she said that.
So I hope so. So like, what gives you the courage to do this? Because it's quite vulnerable just so I don't know sometimes. Yeah. I mean, oh my God. I feel like she's just flatten me so much. Like I, I, I don't even think it's courage. I just think it's the sheer like I just find it attractive. I think I've, I told you this like yeah you're really attractive and people know stuff.
But I also find it very attractive when someone can just be themselves and be like, you know what, I don't know, teach me. You teach me. Yeah. I think that that's so vulnerable in a very conservative in a very sexy way. Yeah. In a very attractive way, whether it's. Yeah, I agree. You know what I mean. Yeah. And also, you know, if you say for example. Oh I don't know, teach me when you're telling me something that you do know I'll be like, OK, he does know his shit because.
Yeah. You know, he's owning up to it and I don't know, I find that really, really great. So I mean, I know some people don't like you. You just think it's weird or like harder in a university setting where it's sort of like everyone's meant to be like the most academically smart people if you go to university. So it's like saying you don't know. It's almost like, should they even be here? Who runs through hell?
Like, I mean, I know so much with sociology. Yeah. Politics. I don't know if you get this. I feel like because politics is so not even, you know, being like from a party or anything, but just like the history, I think you have to know the history.
Yeah. Some of the stuff they say like yeah. Every no, no that's. No, no, no.
I didn't cover that in school, you know, like when our tutor and lecture shout out to Tom because he's great. Yeah. He's a great lecturer. Yeah. He said, you know, I hope you know, I'm a I'm sure that like everyone has read 1984. Yeah. And like you and I looked at each other, you know, I was reading Shakespeare, so I didn't get around to that one. Yeah. So and so. I don't know, like I feel like there is this kind of pressure to be super academic.
And I think the Bush, the people, at least for me, I don't know what's going on like half the time I'm in here. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And make sure that this is the right degree, you know, and sometimes I feel like it is sometimes I feel like I don't know what I'm doing. Yeah. Does that sometimes like make you feel scared or like. Oh yeah. That you shouldn't be here. Yeah. It's called I think I don't know if you know this is what.
The Imposter syndrome. Yeah. You know. Do you forget that.
Yeah. Although I love to like when I like say my hand up and like say a question or something is like good question. I'm like yeah everyone thinks we smile. I mean a lot of people love when they're like is there any questions. And I'm like racking my brain like oh my God, what can I ask, what can I ask? And then you're like, Yeah, oh I need a good question on a good show. And I'm like, Yeah, everyone thinks I'm cool.
Yeah. No, I'm like, I wish I could have thought of that.
Yeah. But is it is scary because sometimes like in these, like almost high pressure situations you do feel like oh God, I'm a bit of a fish out of water here honestly. Yeah. Because, because nobody says, you know nobody. Yeah. It's not for your friends I guess. Yeah. No one speaks about nobody says because no one's going to go up to you and say, you know, I feel so stupid because I'm Yeah. Be just weirdly vulnerable to you know, like he or she you know, they're dumb.
Yeah. Yeah. You don't want to ever feel like some dumb I guess. Yeah. I got respect for example you were talking about. Yeah. Well I'm always conscious that like it's a really obvious answer to the question as well. Like when you say like. Right. I don't understand it. Can we just go over that again. I'm scared that people are like, oh God, it's so obvious that some of my friends do that.
So people look at me and I honestly think they think I'm a clown or something, which I am. But, you know, I'm like, I really don't know. Yeah. I want to be reassured and I feel like some people do judge, and you should know that, and I think most of the time it seems to me like like me, when you speak out, I'm like, oh, thank goodness she did that. But like, do you have to admit you have your heart out before someone come up to you?
So as far as saying no. Oh, well, you're the only person that has directly something. Or maybe I'm just maybe that's just you and me that I have my people being like, I have no clue what's going on in the tutorial, you know, and they have told me that, but not like directly like thank God you, you know, ask this. Yeah. I've no clue what's going on. So do you think it's something that's particular to university, that people tend to not voice their opinions because of the academic setting?
I don't know. I think it's everywhere because I find it, but it happens everywhere. You know, sometimes people talk to you about stuff you don't know. You know, I don't know if you always and I don't. And there's always you know, I don't know if you want to be vulnerable. So actually, I don't I don't really know what you're talking about. Yeah. People can, I don't know, really underestimate you after that. Yeah.
She's no idea. Yeah. Which is which is not the case sometimes or it is but it's kind of like a juxtaposition and the like the academic format is like built on criticism and being wrong. Yeah. Like that's the whole foundation of it. Like you say something and it's wrong and then you say y yeah. And then you build a stronger argument like that's the whole point of being studying politics or sociology. So it's weird that like everyone still feels like, oh God, I can't, I can't say that because they're scared to be wrong.
I feel like it's built on being wrong. That's the whole. But actually nothing to be wrong thing I find really contradictory. Yeah. Sean Walker, proportional response because, you know, you're like, oh, no, I'm still conscious of, you know, saying something's wrong or whatever, but you have a podcast, you know what I mean? And I was going to flatter you. Now, this is flattering time. Oh, I actually I admire it so much, you know, that you have the courage to say something because, you know, it's out there and it's your opinions and people can, you know, be against them or for them.
I don't know, like, does it not scare you a little bit to, like, put something out there that's so deeply.
Well, although I suppose in a sense different to the politics is although like often in politics, there are situations where you're never really wrong. It's just your opinion. Yeah, but on this, it's like you're never wrong. It's just like your opinion. And even if people don't really like like your opinion, they don't need to listen to those like. Yeah, they can. Just like they don't. Yeah.
They don't need to listen to like how did you get that like initial thought. Because I've always had these kind of like, oh I'm going to do this, I'm going to do that and then I never do it. Like where did you get this thing off. You know what, I want to do this. I'm going to do this. And this is how I was going to go.
Um, well, I listen to a lot of awe. At the start of last year, I think I started listening to more sociological podcast or just podcast about real people in their real life experiences. And like I mentioned this one all the time, the Doc Shepherd, one terror expert. Yeah. It's like it's so good. And the like the initial months of listening to it, I was like, I'm listening to all this stuff. And I'm like, that's exactly how I felt in that situation.
And I thought I was the only person that, like, thought that way. I thought I was alone thinking about and it was so liberating and so nice to hear other people say, yeah, I felt like this. And I was like, for instance, like when I was speaking to Andrea on the podcast, OK, like both of us didn't like drinking. So like hearing someone else was just an example of like saying, oh yeah, when I started university I hated alcohol, I just couldn't get my head around it.
Someone else saying LA is just like I felt like I was the only person in the world when I started because didn't want to go on a pub crawl and didn't want to guy like blackout drunk. Yeah. Everybody, everybody does. There's this trend to follow the mainstream. Yeah. Activities. So having people like listening to these people being vulnerable, especially on the podcast I was speaking about, is not that famous. And they're like and they're still being so vulnerable about how they felt in such situations.
And so with this increased mental health awareness, that's right. Now, I was like, well, if I feel this way, I bet so many other people would maybe listen to less. And thank God I felt the exact same way and I would be like, so great. So even that positive. But even if, like, no one listened to us, it's still fun for me to do because I get to chat with, like you and other friends and my family and just like have conversations like this.
And I feel like it deepens the relationship between people. And it's just like a nice thing to do. So I like. But yeah, let's get back to you were what we were speaking about before the wrong being wrong?
Oh, yes. Yeah. OK, so yes, Michael. No, it was good.
Um, so, uh, you put me off guard by, like, mean he's red. He read guys flush. Let's speak about the job you're doing summer. Right. So you briefly spoke to me about this and I can't remember all the details. So remind me until maybe people listening what you tend to do during your summer holidays. OK, so we're like, this is going to be my fifth year. I go every summer to an orphanage in Romania and I just stay there and, you know, play with the kids and volunteering thing.
And, you know, I go, yeah, every year. I love going there. There's kids with disabilities and, you know, there's no disability. And all of them don't have parents who have been separated from their parents for whatever reason, you know, and that's I don't know if it's something I love doing. So I go back every summer.
But like, the summer is essentially a long break for students. So, like, we got like it's ridiculously long as well. Almost too long. We got almost like three, four months off. And this is often used as like a break. Like, obviously people do part time jobs, but you're essentially like giving up your extended break of the year to help other people. So what motivates you to like, say, I'm going to give up my sort of leisure time?
I can sit back and relax and go and help these people that maybe aren't as fortunate as yourself. Right? I don't know. You put it that way and it's not so good. But I yeah, I don't go like that throughout the whole of the summer because I do feel that sometimes, you know, there's this, quote, quite intense. Yeah, it's very intense. There's a school that I really like called, you know, everything in moderation, including moderation, you know, which is like I just feel like extremes are not good and sometimes it can be too intense and you can, you know, be burned out.
Really? Yeah. It's it's an intense situation. Yeah. Kids emotionally. Yeah. It's very emotionally draining. So I don't know all of summer, but I think I think I think about the whole, you know, it's leisure time and how do you how do you do that. It's just I actually have a lot of fun there, you know. Yeah. So if I didn't have fun maybe I probably, I probably wouldn't do it. But the fact that some people have asked me this, like, how can you do that?
You know, instead of like going to I don't know where a holiday. Yeah. Like drinking. I go to parties and whatever and I'm like this just fills me up in such a really weird way. It's just like I find a lot of purpose when I go there and I find, like, you know, there's little things is is very important to me. So I don't feel game. I feel like I'm wasting my time and I don't go, OK, you know.
So to you, what kind of things do you think you gained? So you said you made you feel more full, like could you maybe expand on? Oh, well, I don't know if this is just me, but I feel like young people use me again. I don't know. I don't know who I am. You know, I'm still, like, taunting live with who I am, what I like, what I'm doing. And I just this place just makes me feel like I have a purpose that I, I can do better and that I want to do better.
You know, it's kind of nice where kids I think the great things about these kids is that they love you. You know, some people ask, what do you think they can love you in like a week? I'm like, absolutely, you know, yeah, they can love you. Well, especially when they're so vulnerable to like, well, you're coming back every year. They don't have that, like their parents have either left them or whatever reason they don't have parents.
Yeah. So having you as that constant figure is almost a replacement for their parents, like someone that maybe have given up on them. They can rely on you for at least a week at least. Yeah. At least a week or two weeks. And you don't need to tell me because I've obviously seen them grow. Yeah. Grow up. Yeah. What's that like is amazing. Cool. I feel like like an older sister and they call me their sister.
Yeah. And you know, it's really cool to just talk to them in Romanian and them tell me, you know, the gossip. They're mad at them. You know they like this weird. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And we can talk about stuff that I think that they don't have the chance to talk to. Yeah. I remember, you know this girl we, we were walking and and and I said, oh do you want to, do you want to go for a walk.
I just want to talk to you. And she was so surprised for some reason, you know, and she was like, you want to talk to me? And I was like, yeah, like I've known you for five years. I want to talk to you. And I said, you know, you know, I love you guys because there's a couple more issues. And she said, Do you really love us? And it's just so powerful being like, oh, my God.
Like they've touched me. You have touched them, but even if I don't, you know, it's I'm giving up my time for something even greater, you know, going out.
Well, that's like that's incredible because especially for I don't know too much about your upbringing, but like, I have such like a privileged upbringing and that like I remember Andrew saying to me that some of her work friends or people that she worked with. Listen to our podcast. Well, her podcast episode where I taught chatted to her and he was like, yeah, it's essentially just underinsurance speaking about how perfect their lives are. You get that impression. So I found that pretty funny.
But it does sort of like reflect how private lives. So having what these kids have gone through and having someone like you come up and say, tell me how you feel like it's going to walk, just talk to me. I'm here to listen. Is like, so valuable. And I've only discovered this relatively recently, which is pretty poor, I think, on my part. But, um, but like, there's so many people have so many like mental health issues that from the outside they just look like they're the happiest person.
And but that's like that's no reflection on sometimes how I feel. And like I've noticed this more and more and like for the last six months or so, I'm just like even when I was like someone that I worked with, she like put up on an Instagram story was just like, hey, anyone that's like listening to this and just feels down, just come speak to me and to listen. I was like the most amazing thing. So, like, now I'm trying to make a more conscious effort of telling people like, hey, if you ever just want to chat, like, I can not even say anything, just like I feel like you're on to me.
You're good at this, which is also if someone listening wants to talk to someone, you can always hook me up on, like Facebook or whatever. Oh, I know. I can tell you're a very sensitive guy, like in a good way, like. But talk about stuff. Thank you.
Yeah, but going back to your summer job in the orphanage, like those kids must like relish of having left because I doubt many people come up to them and say, hey, just like I want to hear something like all about you. Yeah. Do you find that I volunteer? To be honest, every I think every person that kind of goes out there and tries to help, you know, any anything you do is helpful, because I remember, you know, I have this obsession with I can do better.
I can I can do more. In what way? I just in life, just in general. But whenever I go there, I'm like, I need to stay up later to to to play more. I need to wake up earlier. I need to play with this kid more because I didn't do yesterday. I can't show any, I don't know, like disproportional response, like, you know, kids, I have to be the same and they all have to feel the love and you know, and I really do put that pressure upon myself.
But then, you know, anything you do. And that's what my teacher told me because we went with him the first year and I told him about this problem. I was like, I just can't stop. Yeah. I just can't stop. And he said, I think, you know, it's good that I'm here because he did tell me go upstairs and nap. Yeah. You know, because I think I didn't have that thing of being like, OK, this is enough.
You know, this is enough to give. And I think that every volunteer that goes there, whatever you do, really, you're just giving them so much. Yes. Listening. You can just I know it's just in your presence, but honestly. Yeah, because the the director of the orphanage said that the volunteers are their sense of normality. Yeah. And, you know, volunteers are there's you know, we're completely theirs. And, you know, we're kind of I'm not to say they're toys because that sounds weird.
We belong to them and we go for them. Yeah. So I guess that makes them feel. Did you when you initially when did you feel like you got too attached to them, like, oh God yeah. Yeah. I feel like people tell me all the time they're like are you going to go forever. Like there's going to be a point where you can't go on like oh I don't know. Yeah, it's dreadful for me. I think I just think that it's so heartbreaking to, you know, fall in love with all of these kids and then have to say goodbye, goodbye.
I've never seen you again or just I'm not seeing you for another year. Yeah, but at least you know, the fact you know, this this girl told me she was 17 when she told me and she said thank you. She got my phone and translated it. She said, you know, thank you so much for coming every year because, you know, we love all the volunteers, obviously. But the fact that you get you don't get time, not only meet other volunteers as well, we got the fact that you guys come back.
You know, it actually means that. They really care about us. You know, it's not just a volunteer sort of thing. Yeah, you care about us. It's not a one off. Yes. For your CV. So I'm actually so am. But I'm interested in what drew you to doing it because, like, was it like I don't want to make you sound like egotistical or something, but like on the first year, was it more like I'm going to go and experience the experiences for myself and then you just grew to love it when you were there and you're like, I'm going to come back.
What was your motivation or was it I'm going to help these people?
I don't know. I think everyone that goes to volunteer stuff, you know, if they have fun and I do have fun, you know, if I didn't have fun, I probably would find it really hard to come back, you know? So there is a part of you I think that, you know, has to like going there has to, you know, feel good as well, know not only doing good, but you have to feel good as well and comfortable and whatever.
And at first I thought I couldn't go. I thought, you know, that I think I'm not going to go because I'm too sensitive, you know, I'm too sensitive. I don't think I'll be able to to manage that. And my dad was like opposed from the very beginning. He was like, you know, life is hard, but you're you know, you're going to be fine. And I think he'd be really good at it. And so I went my brother actually paid for it.
Oh, that's nice. Super nice. He paid for it. So he literally just gave me purpose to to to go there. Yeah. I was always thinking, you know, he paid for this so I got to make the best out of this. And I went there I think with just the idea of let's let's just, you know, see what happens. I hope I can help and I hope you can help me as well, because I feel like they do help you as well to open your eyes a little bit more and.
Yeah. And, you know, solve it that way. Yeah. Like they help you to stop, I think, as well. And it's like stop worrying about the future of the past and just be present as well and just be mindful and just play. Because I think that we adults. We adults. Yeah, we, we, we lose that sense completely. Yes. Love being able to just be a clown and laugh and just not be so serious all the time.
Yeah. Well that's a good note to end on. Jonah, jump into the question. Yes. So what is your go to snack.
I got to say Wheatus, although you're going to be like blueberry. No. What's one person or a page that everyone should follow in the social media person or that can be a person or it can be like a general page. Then what's poetry? Is what social media? Facebook, OK, because I don't have Instagram, I am kind of tentative in that way. And but my poetry kind of has all these poets, but they're modern ones because I feel like poetry.
The problem is sometimes the poetry sometimes is associated just with the old poetry, which is beautiful. But there's a new one that speaks about mental health and so many technologies and trumpet, you know, so many things, but yes, as well. And so I love those. They just post videos about people, you know, just reading their poetry and it's great. I really like that one. Also a guilty pleasure.
I love Argentinean telenovelas. Like I just love the I don't know what others are, just like a telenovela basically done in Argentina. And they just have you know, I just I'm a geek. I know I don't watch it anymore because I love my characters seeing the way they were. And I don't want them to like being on a different telenovela with different love, interest or whatever. But like, I love that it's my guilty pleasure because I know it's really bad, like really, really bad favorite curse word.
I'm used to one for Spanish, one for. Yeah, for English. I don't know why but I started I really enjoy saying fuck off. Okay, fuck off. You know you don't want to like I dropped something has nothing to do with anyone. I'm like fuck off. And then people look at me and I'm like, that's not you. And for Spanish I feel like everybody knows this. I say going out a lot, which means cut.
Oh, okay. So like, damn yeah. It's not, it's not a nice word. OK, uh, a favorite quality about yourself. Uh try to have a sense of humor about stuff. Yeah. I think that be like something you want to improve about yourself. Um I think I need to be a little bit less harsh on myself sometimes. It's nice. Well thank you for joining me this spring. I've really, really enjoyed that.
I actually thank you for.
Well, that was my conversation with Noelia. Thank you for listening. And thanks to Noela again for agreeing to join me. I think this was one of my favorites to record, maybe because I knew less about her going into the interview than I have with previous guests. If you get the chance, try listening to one of the recommended podcast episodes on my website. A proportional response, dotcom, let me know what you think, you can leave a comment on the website and you'll hear from me soon with another episode and another guest.