Initially we celebrated the 4th of July back in February. I know.. I know.. I really didn’t understand what was going on because.. well.. it was February. I had NEVER heard of celebrating our nation’s holiday five months ahead of time. Apparently there were good reasons for it. Though I can’t necessarily be convinced.
In essence, we celebrate the 4th of July to honor the adoption of the declaration of independence. We claimed independence from Britain on July 4, 1776 and lo and behold Democracy was born. We take this time to celebrate that event by eating hotdogs and hamburgers with our family and friends or even just groups of random people. There are usually fireworks, popcorn, and children running wild. So in honor of this great tradition, we commenced celebrating our 2nd fourth of July for the year.
It started out so normal….
The singing of our national anthem and the raising of our flag…
Next came the food.. apparently not delicious but still fairly normal..
Is that a.. piece of chicken or pork or ???
Oh and who doesn’t like a little popcorn, ice cream and ..uh.. tarot reading..
Yes, there were kids.. not necessarily running amok.. but there were kids.. docile kids standing in a line.. waiting to have their faces painted. A huge contrast to my own childhood.
There were ponies, face painting, nail art and henna tattoos, pottery making and cotton candies.. yeah you heard me, more than just one..
more than one
Oooohhh yeah.. carnival rides.. that’ll be fun..
very sad girl who only wanted a push..
Then it got a little weird.. strange there wasn’t a line..
Apparently “sit in a chair with a man on a ladder ready to pour a bucket of water on your head” was a little too long for the sign”
And then just plain frightening.. There was a clown.. JUST ONE!!!! Maybe if there had been a couple of them.. or they were dancing in a line or juggling.. maybe it wouldn’t have been so frightening.. OHHH SOOOO VERY FRIGHTENING.. I know of at least one baby who cried and two grown boys who were terrified. They tried to act like they weren’t but they were. Every where I looked there he was// or she was// or it was!!!!! In retrospect.. I suppose I WAS only looking at the cotton candies.. I mean.. I really wanted some but that clown wouldn’t leave.. I eventually had a child bring me one.
Lucky for me.. right before I left.. I was able to see something to remember exactly why I was there..
Happy 4th everyone!!
In response to the daily wordpress challenge I now present to you other posts showing contrasts that I enjoyed:
This was a great challenge for the week and a topic that caused me to really re-think about some of my past travels in a different light. I’ve traveled all over the world and I love this part of my life and this part of this job I have. However, after my travels I always seem to come back to the U.S. loving it even more than before I left. The place I find I love the most is New York.
There is just something about this city that makes me happy. The people are fantastic, the buildings are amazing and there is ALWAYS something interesting going on. Even when NOTHING is going on.. there is SOMETHING going on. It is a city that never really sleeps but even with that you can find your moments of quiet and solitude.
I have been treated so kindly by New Yorkers and am always shocked when I hear people say rude things about the city or the people. If you want to be involved there are a million opportunities. If you want peace and quiet you can have it in a natural setting or even in the middle of a crowded street. The people will engage you or leave you alone based on your stance and attitude.
There is art and culture mixed with grime, crime and graffitti, good and bad, quiet and chaos. It’s the one place in the world you can have it all.. or have absolutely nothing and be o.k. You can travel to Italy or China in 10 minutes. High end stores or sidewalk sales. Hundreds of great places to eat, several dozen modes of transportation quirky characters all in one place. What more could you ask for?
Though I can’t really live there right now, I think that eventually I might. It’s expensive and I’m not from New York so moving there might be a little hard for me to do. I’m not quite sure how to bring this up but it would be so much easier for me to make that transition if New York would just adopt me. Yes, you heard me.. I want the City to adopt me. I’m not talking about getting a key to the city.. I’m talking about the City actually legally adopting me. I realize that would probably entail me changing my last name to York.. or even New York but I’m ok with that. Why should the city adopt me? Why can’t I move there without that happening? I don’t know it’s just my perspective that I am a good fit and this is something that should happen.
I’ve included some photos of some of my favorite things in NY. If anyone reading this knows how I might be able to get the paperwork started don’t hesitate contacting me. I’m only sort of joking.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Up – My interpretation of this weeks challenge is a bit off and a bit different (अलि अलि फरक) and I would like you to first excuse my very terribly limited Nepali..I have only 7.5 weeks (७.५ हप्ता) of language (भाषा) under my belt and as you can see (हर्नुहुन्छ) I do not quite have the vocabulary to say (मेरो शब्दहरु छैन) everything I want to say in the tense I want to say it.
Well, as says the title of this blog, it is Friday and I am learning Nepali (म नेपाली ससदै छु). I am learning to speak (बोल्नुस), read (पढ्नुस) and write (देख्नुस्) Nepali. I’m enjoying it (म नेपाली मनपर्छ), but it’s exhausting. Class starts at 7:45 (कलसमा पाैने ८ सुरु छ) and in order for me to get in my Yoga (योग गर्छ), eat my breakfast ( मेरो खाना खाुछु), drink my coffee (मेरो काफ्ी पिउँन्छु) and bus or bike ride to the school, I must get up between 4:30 and 5:00 every day (प्रतिदिन म साढे ४ की ५ बजे उठ्छु).
Needless to say, I am very tired these days. (अाजभोलि , मलाई धेरै थकाइ लाग्यो।) So the best thing for me on a Friday afternoon (शुक्रबार दिउँसो), after 5 hours (पछ घण्टा) straight of class, is to catch a glimpse of something that is inspiring or funny (रमाइलो).
Here goes. We get a 10 minute break every hour. We were on our last break of the day (हम्रो अन्तिम ब्रेक लिनछाै). I went to get water and use the bathroom. As I began to wash my hands I noticed that the soap dispensers were empty. However, someone brought in a soap container until the dispensers could be re-filled. As you look at this picture, please remember that I am attending language training at an institution that teaches numerous languages…French, Russian, Chinese, Nepali, Romanian, Greek, etc.. The expectation is we will go to our respective countries and speak as fluently as possible in these countries while doing our respective jobs. My 2 emotions upon reading this bottle were delight and concern. Delight that this bottle was in the bathroom of a fairly prestigious language training facility which made me laugh and concern that maybe we should be focusing on brining our own English language training UP (माथि) a notch. Enjoy.
On Wednesdays all over the internet, bloggers post a photograph with no words to explain it on their blog. Hence the ‘wordless’ title. The idea is that the photo itself says so much that it does not need any description.
Oh where to go with this one? So many places so little time. I’ve decided to play a small game of catch up and combine 2 different photo challenges from 2 different sources. Let’s begin.
UNIQUE – I loved this first photo challenge from the Daily Post on Feb 1 and Walls– from Where’s My Backpack on Jan 25. As I have reflected in a few of my past posts, I really love street art. I do understand there is a fine line between street art and destructive graffiti. I would say that there are many who only understand street art as a negligent form of graffiti and relate it only to poverty, disrespect of property and criminal activities. There is that and it cannot be denied. However, when connected to a project and when an attempt is made to include the opinions and participation a community it can turn into an amazing array of artistic expression.
Street art can be a manner and means to draw attention to a specific topic and raise awareness around political issues? It can be the start of a community based arts program that supports young minds, especially since many arts programs have been removed from schools. It can also just be an amazing means for communities or groups to express themselves.
Included in the following photos are some of my favorite walls and graffiti-like advertising signs. I hope you enjoy.
Colour is fun, colour is just plain gorgeous, a gourmet meal for the eye, the window of the soul. – Rachel Wolf
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. – Pablo Picasso
White Walls Say Nothing -This film is about empowerment through urban art & activism, and how the walls of Buenos Aires became the voice of its people. The link above was produced when the project was still trying to raise money the below video is a preview of the documentary.