Happy Turkey Day!

I celebrated my first and only (till date) Thanksgiving in Chicago last year. The Dean of my program hosted a traditional dinner for all us international students at his house. There were lots of dishes and I remember eating sweet potatoes and rhubarb (cause I’m vegetarian, don’t ask me why) while chatting with the head librarian co-host. My most vivid memory of that night is spilling coffee on the carpet (and myself) and my batchmates from China clearing up the whole mess after sending me to the loo to clean myself. It’s this little act of kindness that will continue to stay with me. I don’t think I thanked them, or apologised to the Dean for soiling his carpet. Most of the evening was spent in coming up with a plan to take part in the shopping frenzy that would take place the next day. F and I decided to go to the outlet mall in Michigan city (the only one accessible by public transportation) and left for our respective room/ apartment by 6 pm. We had barely walked a block when it started raining. At first we decided to slug it out, unaware of the meteorological phenomenon that is Chicago weather. Eventually we gave up and got on one of the shuttles operated by the University through the night. It was pouring heavily by now, completely at odds with sunny morning that day had experienced earlier. The shuttle stopped in front of Regenstein library, the mandatory pit stop for all shuttle routes. The driver was nice enough to radio the driver of our next shuttle to find out when she would reach. Then we proceeded to ask him if we could wait inside the shuttle instead of outside in the rain. He laughed off the suggestion that he could even consider making us wait in the rain (where I come from, the drivers wouldn’t hesitate to throw us out once we had reached our destination). Needless to say, both of us reached our beds relatively dry and in high spirits.

The shopping expedition the next day was successful. Again we weren’t prepared when it started snowing in the morning. And the stories about the Chinese invasion of all Coach stores is true. Grown men clutching multiple handbags for mothers/sisters/girlfriends back home.

My ‘achievements’ over the Thanksgiving break (here’s the list I warned you I would make)-

Ate a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Check.

Participated in the mass shopping extravaganza that is Black Friday. Check.

Experienced the myriad moods of a Chicagoan day. Check.

Met wonderful people who I still give thanks for. Check.

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Once upon a time (sometime in 2010) a friend wanted me to start a blog so she could read about my experiences on a three month exchange trip to Israel. At that point in time I thought blogging was essentially a narcissistic activity. Why would anybody be interested in knowing what you have to say? It presupposed an inordinate amount of self importance on one’s part. I didn’t start a blog then. And have lived to regret it (mildly, because I sent ginormous emails to my parents, chronicling most of the important bits). So why am I starting one now?

I’m a big fan of listing things, so here is the first one-

1. I miss Chicago. The endless possibilities that existed during my nine month stay in that city. I didn’t write at all during that period and now I risk not having any but the most fleeting memories left.

2. My last journal entry is dated March 22, 2012. The ones before that are filled with melodrama and megalomania. Writing for public consumption might force me to document in a manner that is less angst-ridden and more entertaining.

3. I want to publish a novel one day. The idea has been in my head since 2002 and I was supposed to have finished writing it by May 2012. Obviously I didn’t and I hope that blogging will get me in the flow.

4. I lead an interesting life (if I say so myself). It’s good to have a record that it was a life well lived.

So what can you expect? A blog post every week. And no magic.