Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I want to eat your artichoke heart

Answering Grace's call into the wild, wild night. I wrote this blog a few days ago, but didn't have access in that location, so only now am I posting it.

Some thoughts on some topics:
1. I regret having traveled so much during the program here in Hyderabad. Initially, I hadn't intended on traveling during the program. It really hadn't crossed my mind. I just thought I was going to live in a medium-sized city in the middle of India for four months. When I got here, everyone (the other SIP students) had all these ideas about these wild Indian fantasy places that they wanted to visit: Kerala, Rajastan, Goa, Mumbai blahblahblahblah. I felt like I had to jump on the bandwagon. I didn't want to miss out on these opportunities to see the whole country. Maybe these kids knew something I didn't. Maybe their scope was bigger than mine.
Now, I realize that this constantly carting myself around the country made me feel more and more like a tourist, and less and less like a local, like I was/am living here. I didn't really have the time in one place to establish any really meaningful relationships with natives, or sort of with the city itself (although I do think that I feel Hyderabad is a sort of Home. Emotionally it does, but I feel I've just begun to comprehend it. You know, to know it like you know a city).
I think for me, ultimately, it would've been more satisfying to not zoom around the country so much (although it was REALLY amazing to cover so much ground in India), but to stay put and really try to become a part of a place. I guess I realize now that that's what I wanted from study abroad. Sure, it's a little late to realize that (that's why they have you 'figure this stuff out when you're writing your application'), but I don't care. It's still important to me to have that insight.

2. I've been living more Act Now, Think Later. Jump on the opportunity. // Newness: Some thought about the matter is actually really amazing. Although it may be arbitrary what decision you make, it's nice to realize that you can be in some sort of control of your life. It's nice, I guess, to take control.

3. Uhh, control. I guess I'm back into that now. ? Midway through freshman year I'd decided to give that up, that it was some sort of weakness, that it was my crutch. Yeah I was pretty controlling of myself--disciplined. I got things done, and I did a lot; and I was successful. I was happy, but conflicted in a way that couldn't be addressed if I was to maintain that control. Once the can of worms was opened up, I had to release myself. I let myself go, and run, and now I'm reevaluating. What do I want for myself? Where is the balance? Oh, I'm thinking about Balance, now? How do I stay Crazy, but stay Sane? [last sentence makes me <3> Dear Johnny tears & commemoration, star-stuffed nights on the back dock, sleeping bag piles of bodies. Hookah w/ the boys and big bottles of cheap wine. Alex & Ikaika's serenading at all hours of the night (and day). Song concocting with mah Alex. Improvisational musical scenes and SERIOUS soap opera moments ("but, Winefred, where hast thou gone with the alien pod-man?!"). Photography days in parks. Drives to the Y in the rain, in the snow. Drives to Anywhere. Thom Yorke/Cake Bake/Kweller car rides. Late night mindeatingitselfinside out CoffeeCartel kindastuff. Indian dancing. Good movies. Bad movies. Home movies. Incidental Late night talks on the green couch. Piano, guitar, Indigo Girls, RHCP, Beatles, Bob Marely throughout the house. Mom's cleaning days. Waking up to a house full of sounds and smells (there's no other place that's as full of those 2 things when you first come to consciousness. NO OTHER PLACE.). Meowmeows in the middle of the night. And etc. etc. Wow. This was LOOOOOOOONG.

Now, what have I been doing lately?


Well, CIEE went on a trip to Mysore/Bangalore/Bailakupi. This was fun. We visited the largest Tibetan resettlement camp/community in the world. Lots of temples like usual. The most fun thing we did was celebrate Holi, the festival of colors. Pictures that explain this event can be found either on Facebook (stuff other ppl tagged me in), or Jordo n' Sophie's pics (again: http://picasaweb.google.com/jordan.keenan, and http://picasaweb.google.com/sophie.lubin). Just think lots of colored paint-water type stuff, live drumming group, old clothing (preferrably white), chaotic happiness and bliss. no joke. everyone was laughing and dancing and running and dancing and laughing and laughing and laughing.

I spoke with both Raph and Ben on the phone yesterday. Phenomenal. It was too good to talk to both of them. And both of them in one night!, AyAyAy! Raph is such a delicious human, and Ben makes me happy and content. Both of them helped me think a lot about everything I needed to think about. And in a very good way. After speaking with them, I feel more at peace. I don't know why--let's not get into it. But I do, and it's good, and it's great. Yay.

The issue of the summer is still up in the air.

Europe plans are underway. Since the price of traveling from city to city is so expayn$ive, and since I'm just a joke of an empty wallet, I'm cutting my trip to 3 cities (as of now...!): drum roll please!---> Berlin, Praha, Paris. Berlin b/c aparrantly it's the current place to be for ppl my age. Everyone that's gone there in the past few yrs has been raving. I'm looking forward to blow-your-mind architecture, happening art scene, and the electricity of a post-wall collapse community. Prague is just a place I've been wanting to visit all my life. Once of those I don't know why but I've always wanted to go there Places. Venice is also one of those, but I think I was starry-eyed in 3rd grade when I fell for Venice. I read that it's super-touristy, a dying city, and that you can't really do much for more than 2 days or so. So I cut it out. Hey, Prague is also cheap! [espec. the beer----even though I'm not a beer gal, I'm up for cheapness in Prague.]. Here, I'll meet up with Andrea Lane, a friend from Oxy, and we'll spend a few days together. Lastly, Paris, je'taime. Oh, mon amour. I do have to say I'm quite sad that Jake won't be there with me. His absence will be felt daily, I assure you. In this land of berets and crossiants and other things that sound real perty and taste good, I'll prob meet up an India friend, Jaime, and her boyfriend, my brother Josh during one of my very last days, and visit some of Raph's ppl outside of Paris (hopefully Adrian!). In the city I'll probably be staying with my mom's friend's daughter.

-Before Europe I'm buying an mp3 player or something. I've simply got to or it's stupid. Musicmusicmusic, come to me!

-The title of this Blog (as in the name on the front page) will have to be slightly altered when I venture into more and more lands. I'm nutty, man!

Immediately after school's out (like a few hrs after my last final immediately) Sophie and I head up north for Calcutta (visit the fam), then Varanasi, Agra (Taj!!!!!!), Delhi, mountains north of Delhi. Then Soph leaves, I go back to Delhi for a day or so and meet up with Sarah and Alison, then I return to Calcutta to chill w/ my fam some more. Then Europe. This is crazy! This is nuts! This is amazing!

Hey! Another bit of news: I won 2nd place in Oxy's Non-Fiction Literary contest. I wrote this creative non-fiction piece on JD Salinger. I get $100.

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