Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Can we please ride bikes not just sit inside all day...

letting fresh Georgia air go to waste.

It's that time of the year when moving your body makes you want to sweat, when shirts and shoes seem entirely superfluous, when I want to dive into the water of a cool lake reminiscent of stiles.

Instead I am working, and things are falling into place pretty much how I knew they would but will have a bit of trouble getting used to. Starting at JP licks in the coolidgest of corners tomorrow morning will be an interesting new experience that I think I will enjoy. Trying to juggle two jobs and a life in the allston heat and haze will be manageable and hopefully not stressful. I have to approach each new day with a purpose, and keep busy. I also have to find time for myself and keep the creative juices flowing.

I can already feel Morocco slipping away in a sense, not just in time either. It is natural I suppose, especially considering the circumstances surrounding the trip and how I ended up in Rabat living with Farida, Rachid, and Riham. But I think that some things have remained, and I know that I am a different person. I just have a little trouble nailing down exactly how.

I guess this is where I am supposed to write about the legacy of Morocco in my mind, how it is forming, how I frame that semester, how much I miss it, and all of the things that I miss. I don't feel too inspired to wax further about el maghrib, and frankly I can not say that I wake up everyday thinking about Morocco or how much I miss it.

Do I miss it? yes of course, sure, and if I pine for anything it is the visceral tastes and sights and sounds. These are the most obvious differences, things like fresh oj and olives of every type and preparation and how damn exciting it is to just walk down the street, the way you succumb to the medina as you push by dvd baskets, sizzling and tempting treats, djellabas and juicy couture, the up close and personal humanity and smells of everyone and everything. The Medina is not bland. Farida's fava beans were sometimes bland, but it is impossible to describe the old part of a Moroccan city as being bland.

There are plenty of things I don't miss, too many to elaborate on right now, but you will never hear me say that I regret going abroad. That would be false, and one thing that I will always strive to do is eliminate any gap between theory and practice, between discourse and action. That goes for my own life and the world I interact with. Of course I am not always successful at all my pursuits, like maintaining patience and calm, keeping in mind the importance of context to any situation, or keeping up my arabic. Just because the assurance of success is not present, that will not stop me from trying. I must admit that I have not been keeping up my arabic, although I have not been trying to, so there's no problem.

That won't change the fact that I studied Arabic for 4 months, I am literate (in the bare bones 3rd grader sense of the word), and I have a very basic understanding of the language. I stress the basicity of that understanding.

all things considered, the fact that I won't be taking arabic in the fall, or that I didn't have a crazy life changing time in Morocco and now skype with my Moroccan family everyday, does not in any way diminish the experience I had there and the memories I cherish. I am confident that nothing can take that away from me. Unless I lose my pictures, in which case somethings will probably become lost in the shuffle f time and the cavernous folds of memory.

I take pictures to remember the times I don't. It is that simple. Visual stimuli, cues, pictures, colors, drawings, words, notes, lists, doodling, all great. I love them. I want pursue more creative outlets, more writing and drawing. What if I draw for half an hour everyday? Is that forcing creativity, trying to manufacture something that is not there, and if so, is it a bad thing? I don't think it can hurt, and in fact it can only really help. Maybe I will try it, or a forced write, I haven't decided.

I know I should be resting my head down on these two lovely pillows of mine, for all too soon I will be forced to lift my head from those very same soft bundles of joy and comfort. I want to continue writing, but it will happen another time. There is always more to read, more to write. That simple thought alone makes happy. in me. it makes me happy. you get the point.

A few closing notes, presented in bullet form:

-I hate thinking about how, right now, oil is spilling out of a man made well into the sea. Isn't it someones responsibility to deal with such a catastrophe, both the causes and the effects?

-The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved is a great book complete with scary facts and analysis, inspiring stories, deep natural though-provoking philosophy, and even recipes. Read it.

-Turn off your TV and read a book in the grass.

-I think I could be a bike delivery guy for a while.

-My brother is a good writer, and I admmmire his succinct pensiveness.

-I turned down a free vacation the other day. What is wrong with me!?

-I made kick ass open faced egg sandwiches today in the comfort of my home. I also made a breakfast burrito with pre-cooked, then frozen, then reheated, scrambled eggs. Pita Pit uses sysco, I said it. I know almost all institutions and many food service places use the big companies like sysco and aramark, but I also know how much better freshly scrambled, never frozen, eggs are, even if they came from Jack's Egg Farm in Brooklyn via the Russian Bazaar on Cambridge street in Allston. Jillian Mary, can I get a witness?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ich war in einer Leverkusenergartenpartei

I like pretending I can speak German really well and making up new words. The languge does lend itself to word combinations like geschirrspule or geschirrspulemaschine washing machine. anyway much linguisticty has been going on here and I have been having some fast times in Germany. The week has gone and almost done its course and I will be on the train to Paris on Monday in no time. It has been fast in many ways, and i mean that in the sense of Fast times at Ridgemont High with the ever so dashing Sean Penn. not fast like vinn diesel, ich bin kein XXX. I was explaining phoenetical spelling to Kevin at the party earlier, a garden party grill and chill, leverkusen style, but I think I actually meant to say transliteration. Are those things the same?

I am ready to come home to the glorious United States of America to see everyone and talk about everything that must be discussed. There is always something to be discussed belnissbatlee in my opinion, Transliterated von Arabisch. However, I am having a great time here, my german has resurfaced well, I have been getting compliments on it I must say. I hope to keep it up for a long time, maybe my kids can be raised with 2 or 3 languages. Regular visits with Christoph, Dominik, Kevin, Tymo, Jens, the rest of the Altenbachs, and everyone else will help to keep up language practice. Languages and words and ideas are so important, that is something that has been reinforced by this semester. The classes and the experience and all the other circumstances involved mit alles war so viel thought-provoking. I have gained a newfound critical and analytical perspective on ideas and their power and implications. Fur ideen und sienen implikations und macht habe ich ein neues critischen und analytischen perspektiv. I love german.

The real world is creeping in on my holiday, but I am excited for all that the next week, month, several months and more holds in store. I have only hope and anticipation for the near future, and beyond that we will see. Many changes, many things probably stay the same, as I like. I am a creature of habits who loves anticipating the future. I am able to tell you that I use writing and taking pictures to help remeber the times I dont or the details I miss. I will always be a writer and a photography man in that respect. I also hope to always be a writer, I think it should be a part of how I make my living. Maybe a food writer, maybe a researcher, teacher, politician, Im not ruling anything out. Though I dont really want to be a politician.

I prefer writing like this, just about one subject wihtout too much planning. Or maybe multiple subjects, free flowing, like a letter. Meshimushkeel bei mir, no problem with me. I like to have an audience in mind when I write, it makes things easier. Sometimes I try to write in a more terse and curt style. But I tend to be more long winded than that in reality. I am a big fan of reality, and I will qualify that by saying that discourse and practice must always match. That is a big component of realitz for me now. Practice what you preach, no gap between what you say and what you do. Its a simple concept with profound implications.

Even if I dont feel or see Morocco, I am still in a little way there. It is with me, that time that is already established in the past as I studied in Rabat for 4 months, Ich komme von vier monat in Morocco studieren, darastu fee medinat elRabat, J'ai etudier quattes mois dans Maroc.

I will be getting a valet chauffeured ride (thank you Papa) from Newark LIBERTY international airport to West Newbury in the afternoon of Monday, May 10th. I will be there in my bed receiving visitors for several hours a day...

But seriously I want to see anyone who wants to see me. Wednesday to Cambrige for lunch with my Cousin Tommy who I havenot see in a while even though he goes to Harvard U, yikes where is the love. Its there always, and I will be glad to see him. Thursday I head to Ipswich for a couple of days with Mommy Hugh and the cats. Maybe I will get a new phone there, ooh la la? Saturday I will be at 30 glenville ave
#1 hope to seee you all there. Sunday is BU graduation, hope to see Alex Curtis at the linguistics graduation ceremonz to cheer her on. After that I dont know.

oh yeah, also job seraching maybe in Cambridge on wednesday and certainlz saturday in Allston Boston etc. Anyone know who might be hiring?

Tomorrow is a Mothers day luncheon with the whole Altenbach family, Jurgen, Monika, Marina, Christoph, Torben, plus me and Florian, Marinas bf. Should be great, I love that I have 3 families in three very different and very great places in this wide world of ours. I am going Ich gehe nach shlafen ins bett, ya, weil Ich bin mude. I am tired and will sleep good here. Love to all, see you soon.