In light of the fact I don’t get to travel again for a few more weeks, which seems like decades after all this vagabond-hood, I would take the opportunity in the next few blog entries to write a little bit about daily musings.
Although probably not as exotic for the average reader, I feel like this will be good for me to have for self-satisfying reflection purposes. One of the most important parts of generating knowledge from an experience is the cognitions that form the backbone along the way. Although I love detailing grand road maps of people and places and the glories of transiency, sometimes I feel like it teeters on the edge of being a little too factual, and a little less ‘human’. Basically, I am looking for some more personalized insights. The question of: “who am I?” is morphing so quickly these days (at a terrifying rate actually), so putting it down alongside the daily encounters that support it might be beneficial. So hopefully the next few weeks I will be able to first, find time to jot down some my thoughts, and second, allow some semi-coherent ideas to bubble up from the daily jumble of homework and endless European chaos.
So: the point is, sorry if these next few entries are not portals to faraway places as you might expect, rather, portals to slightly less exotic, but equally unpredictable, Kelly-cognitions. I promise the other entries will resurface in due time. (Approximately 6 weeks from now, when I’ll have the pleasure of reuniting with a long lost friend on his way back home from Mongolia in the wonderful land of croissants and massive, skeletal, phallic symbols…i.e. France. And shortly thereafter be en route to the U.S. for Christmas, stopping in Durango and Arizona, and then on my way to the West Africa until summer).
Annnnnd. Now that I have said all of that, I am going to completely contradict myself by writing about my recent trip to London. SURPRISE! Haha. I adore irony. Last week a group of me and 7 other lovely girls (ranging from Germans, to French, to Canadian, to basically every corner of the world)decided to take a weekend jaunt to London, the lovely English nucleus one hour north. Being my second time in London, I was shocked to find myself even more in love with it than before. It is amazing that 3 pounds, a train station and a leisurely cup of tea can take you from beach-like Brighton to one of the major cultural centers of the world.
Being typical girls, we decided to go to the Portobello Market, which for those of you who don't know, is basically shopping utopia. Hundreds (literally) of open air vendors speckled with musicians, artists, jugglers, tourists, and cuisine from every obscure country known to man. It was almost too much sensory overload for me, especially with all of the prime people watching Saturday afternoon streets entailed. Saris, antique clocks, fresh falafel, accordions and peddlers whizzed by in a giant orgy of color and noise. I felt a little bit like I was back in an Indian shopping district with all of the simultaneous action undulating around me. Almost comforting in a sense. :)
The rest of the day we walked around Hyde Park, cracking open chestnuts and visiting random churches, making our way to the infamous "Harrods." I will spare you of my venomous rant concerning this place, not even deserving of even an unbiased introduction. If you don't know about Harrods and you have a soul, consider yourself lucky. Live in bliss without having this horrid place taint your perspective of humanity (sorry, the rant just trickled in, I couldn't control it. Really). Harrods disgusted me, if that is not already evident. I just found it exemplary in every way of the parts of mankind I like to passively overlook: greed, consumerism, image, and an uncontrollable capitalistic blind-sheep mentality.
Okay...I could go on, but I will spare you. My deep disgust will not change anything, only creates ripples of unnecessary negativity. The point is: if you are in London, no it is NOT cool to go and buy a Harrods bag, even if it is from the gift store, just to say you did. 1. it supports something that is fundamentally flawed and 2. you simply look foolish. Spending gobs of money on useless items is not something worthy of pride.
On to something a little less vindictive.....
I HAD MY FIRST GHANAIAN EXPERIENCE! *little skip of glee* On one of our random wanderings, I found a small street stand where two Ghanaian men where busily stirring massive pots of beautifully colored food. It was awesome. Although I was not necessarily hungry, I decided to approach the stand and start talking to them. I told them I was interested in the food they were cooking, because I was going to be in Ghana studying come January, and was wondering if they would tell me something about the dishes. Their response, and totally hilarious sense of humor, made me beyond excited for the journeys to come. At the end, I found myself walking away with a massive sampler of all of the food, including peanut chicken, rice, beef and vegetables, cauliflower and melon seeds and fried plantains, while waving and totally butchering Twi phrases. Success. I just signed up for classes for Ghana, one of them being Introduction to Seamanship and another Introduction to Traditional African Dance. :)
This week was Diwali, and I am happy to say that for the first time in 3 years I've been in a place where not only people know what it is, but also where it was widely celebrated. On campus there is a significant Indian population, so of course, I dragged all of my friends to the festivities. It was hilarious, because it was as typically Indian as you can get. The food was an hour later, the sound system was horrible, there was massive amounts of dancing, tons of awkwardly placed plastic chairs, and salwaars out the wazoo. It was funny to see the faces of my Brazilian and Basque friends at their first try of Indian cuisine, and my French and Canadian friends faces in response to the total disorganization of the affair. There is so much cultural twisting going on in my life right now, I am eternally confused, but constantly happy.
Okay...I will stop procrastinating doing my overly chemistry oriented homework (ugh. soooo painful) and end this entry. I hope to be doing shorter and more frequent updates in order to fill my humanization goal mentioned above.
Love to all.