Saturday, April 17, 2010

Easter Break (un)Excitement

I've been reading a lot this Easter break. More specifically, I've read 5 books in the last 11 days. Even more specifically, I've read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Bill Bryson's In a Sunburned Country, Carl Hiaasen's Native Toungue, David Sedaris's Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and Richard Russo's Straight Man. Certainly not the most esteemed reading credentials, but all thoroughly entertaining, and it is spring break after all. I've been reading so much that I've begun to narrate my activities to myself in the styles of the authors I've been reading. Allow me to illustrate: “Having completed yet another chapter, Dorothy places her book down gently to preserve her place and stands up for the first time in several hours. She has no specific task in mind, but needs an alternate activity to reading, at least for a small sliver of the hour. She wanders the few steps over to her book shelves and looks for an item that is out of place that needs to be wrangled up. Is there a loose band-aid that needs to be corralled into the medical kit? Is there a soiled dish that needs sanitized? Any small task that can be completed and ceremoniously added to the list of things accomplished today? Alas, she surrenders her whim of productivity, replaces herself on the corner of the bed, and continues living someone else life, a life that does so closely resemble a zoo animal's.”
My house is very, very clean.
I'm also making solid progress on my 3rd paint-by-number, a non challenging dolphin/beach/coral reef composition. According to the box, it's for ages 8-88. I'm giving it to a friend when it's complete, but no one is getting my fairy & unicorn masterpiece.
All last week my friends were abuzz with a big party on Saturday. There was to be a popular DJ performing at the discotheque, which was all anyone was wont to talk about. I agreed to accompany my friends, not because I wanted to, but because I had nothing better to do, and it might be an interesting time; I'd at least get a story out of it. Of course, going to a Malagasy discotheque on a Saturday night in my town (where I would be sure to run into my teenage students) is on the short list of things I'd rather do than lose my big toe nail in a surgical procedure in a 3rd world country (like Brittany), but I deluded myself into thinking I would actually go. My friends said they'd be over to my house around 8:30 and we'd go around 9. 9 o'clock, wow, that's late; I am always definitely in bed, if not asleep, by 9. By noon I was decidedly determined to go for the purposes of socialization, but the voice in the back of my head was all “yeah right, you aren't going, I don't know who you think you're kidding.” When they came over (at more like 9:30) they weren't even ready and wanted to use my shower. I went with the good ol' trusty “I have a stomach ache” which is more often true than not anyway. They didn't give me a hard time about it either. The next morning I inquired about the condition of the discotheque (that's roughly how it would translate from Malagasy), and they informed me that they also didn't go. I asked why, to which they responded “misy problem” (there was a problem)... They have a pretty good grasp of how much Malagasy I am capable of comprehending, and when a subject lies beyond this realm, they are apt to sum it up with a sentence like “misy problem” and we leave it at that. They're awesome.
Many schools celebrate sports week during the second week of Easter break. I don't know what it means to celebrate sports week, but the festivities are in large part taking place right next to my house. As far as I can discern based on my almost constant uncomfortably close proximity to the proceedings, celebrating sports week is comprised mostly of teenage boys yelling and laughing in very irritating manners. It is further evidence to my conviction that all teenagers are the same all over the world. While I can't exactly make out everything that they are saying, it's clear that it's mostly insults, and laughter in response to insults. I also pick up a lot of singing of the most popular songs of Madagascar at the moment. These are two of the most common things you'll find coming out of American teenagers mouths, too, though at least in America the most popular songs are just as horrible but mercifully change more often. I've been back in Madagascar for 5 months, and the “new hits” in November are still the “new hits” of April. These teenage boys have made my week a little less pleasant than it might have been. They begin around 5am, which is not particularly early here, but I've woken up every morning this week to one of the two aforementioned teen subjects before the sun is up. Why are they so loud and annoying at the same time? Can't they be silently annoying and loudly unannoying? I could go on...
I've spent most of my late afternoon/early evenings hanging out on my friends' porch. It's definitely cooling down now, and the evening temperature is ideal for porch sitting. It's orange season, and they sell oranges from their porch. So we sit there making comments about passersby, they feed me endless stocks of oranges (which are green, by the way), and occasionally sell an orange to a neighbor. It's a relaxing time.
Let's do some mail shout-outs, shall we? First, package props go out to Nina, Matt and my mom (who has a supernatural ability to find exactly what I need sitting around the house going unused). Letter props to Shannon, Andrew, Mom, Rachael, and my RIS stage! Thanks for sending out those magazines so fast Jane! And most importantly,Lost props to Jen!

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