Today our independent study research period ended, and as we regroup in Boudha to franticly put final touches on our papers and find somewhere able to produce color printing, I find myself in the inevitable slide into reminiscence about times when I didn't have forty page papers due (especially ones I'm so far from finishing). I guess the my study abroad program's first week was different than the overwhelming feeling of arriving in a foreign city and having to set yourself up, because it's SIT everything is managed for us, and the first week was a lovely retreat to welcome us to the city, I think I might have gone crazy if it had just been me landing at the airport, sans bag, and setting up for a semester of school. Kathmandu's chaotic cluster of humanity now feels comfortable to me, I'm not sure if this is because I have imposed that order or found what was hidden beneath a completely foreign surface, but I am able to work with it all the same. Compared to that first week in Pharping I am now able to casually navigate the city, find local or expat friends, and while I can't speak Nepali or really enough Tibetan to shoot the breeze people are always looking to practice their English with a brief conversation in line or as you walk somewhere. ...continue reading "Back in Boudha"
One of the worst things about going abroad in the fall is missing out on Thanksgiving festivities in the States. I think I speak for almost all Americans when I say that Thanksgiving has always been one of the highlights of my year. I get to spend time with family and friends from home, I get to eat one of the biggest and best meals of the year, and I don't have school. What's not to love?
Of course, the
godless communists nice friendly people over here in the Czech Republic don't celebrate American holidays, which includes Thanksgiving. And even if they did, it's not like I'm just gonna catch a plane back to New Jersey for the weekend. Consequently, this was the first Thanksgiving I ever spent away from home (and the first Thanksgiving I had class, gah). ...continue reading "Thanksgiving in Prague"
Thanksgiving in my family has never involved turkey, as we are vegetarians, but like for most people in the US, it’s a time for us to meet with loved ones and enjoy a couple of days off from school and work. I knew Thanksgiving was not going to be a major affair here in Madrid, and I fully expected to go along my Thursday as per usual – class and the rest of the day to explore the city. However, Thanksgiving this fall and the days leading up to and following it ended up being extraordinary and reminded me of just how much I have to be thankful for. ...continue reading "Thanksgiving in Madrid"
I’ve been here for about two and a half months now and I’ve got one month to go. I’ve got just under two weeks left to go of class and I’ve been sleeping until 1pm and staying up until 5am writing papers/watching The Hour. I feel worthless, constantly pinching myself over the fact that I can go outside and look at Big Ben for three hours if I wanted to but I don’t. ...continue reading "The End is Near and It’s Horrible"
After a tough few weeks of school, some friends and I decided to spend Thanksgiving weekend in Dahab, a beach town on the Red Sea. The overnight bus ride there took about ten hours, including security checks. Bleary-eyed, we stumbled off the bus and were told to get into the bed of a waiting pick-up truck, which would take us to our hostel. I’ve reached a point where I don’t even question requests like this, so I grabbed my backpack and hopped in. After the dark bus, the bright sun and strong wind were welcome. The road was just as bumpy as Cairo’s highways, but we were wedged in so tightly that nobody bounced out of the truck. ...continue reading "Black Friday on Mount Sinai"