To start this year off on a good note despite various stresses, I am compiling a list of all the magical things this country has to offer.
- Drag Shows
So despite not having seen any RuPaul, and despite possible issues with such representations, I want to see something simply fabulous and uplifting (while crushing gender norms, of course).
- Slam Poetry
No matter how many of these you go to it will not be enough. The Philly Pigeon gives me hope in life.
- Road Trip
I feel severely deprived of the Southwest and also Golf Coast. (At least soon I’ll be in Florida!)
- Comic Con
I don’t this this needs an explanation. I want to be in a place where every single person has still kept a childish sense of wonder and finds it worthwhile to spend ridiculous amounts of time/effort on something such as this, a Human Gameboy.
- Another transcendental joy similar to the one where the entire university’s’ activities were suspended for snow day
- University-wide parties (Spring Fling/ Initiation Season/ Fed Club)
Interestingly there is a Wikipedia article named Student Life at the University of Pennsylvania. Spring Fling, “largest college party on the East Coast?” Yes please.
- San Francisco
Read: San Francisco Chinatown. The interesting thing about Chinatowns is that they have preserved so much more culture, especially in food. (Or I am just confusing authenticity with archaism). Either way, a delicious sense of displacement.
- Burning Man
… Let’s just say blogs should be a judgment free zone and yes yes I would like to go to one at some point in my life.
- Watch/read something painstakingly American
See here. Or here. Discussions are completely different the closer you get to the subject, and to all future exchange students, take a course in American literature/studies/media if you can find the time.
- Talk to people
Dare to ask questions. Find out what others think. Challenge their views. Challenge your own. Talk about tricky issues. Be respectful and open-minded. I think this is the biggest gift this place has given me so far. A willingness to believe in others, and finding the good in them even if their views are fundamentally different from your own.
When you find yourself enveloped in a place that has inspired and disillusioned millions it’s hard not to want to constantly explore. What can I say, except to relish in this opportunity and thank whatever force has brought me here, with all of these wonderful people that I otherwise would never have met?
In the mean time I am back to studying, so I guess this brings us to the last and bonus and perhaps most important point.
TRY NOT TO PROCRASTINATE because it will take away your time from doing all of these wonderful things that you otherwise would have had the time to do.
I am so sorry for all of the commitments that I have agreed to but turned out not to be able to go to because of my rampant inability to do work on time. I’m sorry for not having been able to go to New York, to a birthday, to H-Mart and Mochi and Manakeesh and monster movies and so many more dinners with good wine and good conversation and even better company.
Wish you all a lovely, warm, stress-free Sunday.