Sunday, 18 January 2009
Just over a week ago I made my epic return to the land of the criminally insane. And I am overjoyed to discover that they are still as bananas as when I left, and even more excited to discover that I am becoming one of them. It is fantastic, and I am even starting to use terms such as 'epic fail'; 'legit'; 'elevator' and 'store'.
The return journey was decidedly less eventful than its predecessor, and I managed to return to Mount Holyoke with all of my baggage and all of my appendages still attached, albeit a bit battered, smelly and thoroughly exhausted. They even fed me food which was more recognisable on the plane, although I am still not entirely convinced that scrambled eggs should ever be grey.
Since I have returned, my room has been transformed from your average single university bedroom (with an extra bed) into an adventure fort, otherwise known as 'the den'. This took two beds, four mattresses, eight bed risers, two rugs, a rugby banner and lots of fairy lights. Our beds are wonderful in that they can be one of two heights, so I set them as high as possible, put them on risers, pushed them together and put mattresses underneath. I spend a good hour or so lying on my back attaching lights to the inside, and hanging rugs/the rugby banner around the sides. Now I am a recluse and live under my bed(s).
I have not yet made it to breakfast since I have been back, largely because meals are only served in Prospect during January, and that is a ten minute walk in sub-zero temperatures. And I am not kidding. It is currently -10 outside. And has been colder. Also, they have not yet had the decency to serve us any food worth eating. I.e. rice and beans, rice and peach stir-fry (the strangest yet), weird lentil concoctions... However, I have inspected the menus for the next few days and it seems to be getting better. Today they even served us Grandad's favourite--macaroni cheese! And grey carrots. I thought that carrots were one of the easier things to cook. It seems that this is not the case.
My activities since I came back have been limited by the weather, and have largely involved dancing. I am taking two dance classes--one is swing dance and one is musical theatre choreography. Both are fantastic. I even made it to a swing dance lesson and dance in Northampton with real men! (We don't see those very often at Mount Holyoke) A couple of them were actually pretty good as well! It does need to be admitted that I found the dance on my second attempt. There had been one the previous day that Tamar and I had set out to find before realising that we neither knew where it was nor had the phone numbers of anyone else who was going. Instead we made a thrilling trip to CVS (the US equivalent of Boots or Superdrug), and then went and sat in Dunkin' Donuts until the next bus home. I am now legit a real American because I have been to the Seven Eleven AND Dunkin' Donuts. Then we went home and watched DVDs in the den. And managed to sleep three of us in there together despite nearly dying of heat exhaustion.
On our second adventure in Northampton, we went with two intentions. Firstly, we wanted to go to the dance, and secondly we wanted to watch Linn perform at the Yellow Sofa, at an open mic night. She did, and was fantastic. And Tamar read some poetry. And we made friends with a crazy guy called Mario who had an afro. Back next week to wow them some more with our amazing talenty stuff. From talenty land. Etc. What larks.
One thing does need to be said about the inhabitants of Northampton. Some of them are not exactly what I would call entirely normal. The open mic night provided a perfect example of said strangeness. There were a few performances by talented musicians, and we all relaxed and were enjoying ourselves. UNTIL...! The LAZER BEAM man. He began by singing a song about Spongebob Squarepants. We laughed. This guy was funny. From this point onwards it got progressively stranger, involving lyrics about brothers going off to war, getting shot and being feed apple sauce through a straw. A little uncomfortable. Followed by a song about an imaginary wife and child who would never leave him because he had a brand new LAZER BEAM. We didn't know whether to laugh or run away screaming. Instead we did neither and stared in horror and confusion. He stopped singing and I suspect that he won't be asked back. Linn, on the other hand, was very normal and very good. Hurrah!
Last night I attended an 'Awkward Junior Prom', where we all dressed up in absurd prom outfits and danced in an awkward way. And then shuffled home in the cold. Today I stayed in bed. Fantastic. And dreamed about my brand new lazer beam.
'The time has come,' the Walrus said,
'To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings.'