Bel Air

So… this is my view as I write this paper, drinking my pastis (anise flavored liqueur) that cost a whole 50 cents. Life is pretty good right now… although the late 80s/early 90s angsty love songs playing are getting a bit old. But who am I to complain? Also, the paper is going pretty well. It’s on Vazimba, and there is all kinds of cool analysis to do that I hardly knew where to start. The interesting thing I found out is that they learn this sort of myth/oral history thing in school, which is interesting because it was only part of certain ethnic groups (the Merina, mainly, who have been dominant in a lot of ways for a long time, causing all sorts of tensions and resentments—the main ethnic divide is highlands vs. coastal), and now everyone learns it as Malagasy culture in school. Just everything here is so fascinating, I don’t know how I’m ever going to begin to sum it up when I get home. Last night I was chatting with a friend from home online, and he said I needed to have crazy stories to tell when I get home. Though I have the kind he meant, I realized that just a typical day here would count as a crazy story… But it just seems like it’s normal, now. Life in the US seems a bit like a dream—there are showers with hot water? Not just a bucket? How bizarre… that used to be the only thing I would use! I don’t mix three languages on a daily basis in conversations with everyone from shopkeepers to my friends? Why on earth not, when there are great words like kamo or mora mora or misy or aiza that just mix so well (lazy, slowly, il y a, and where, respectively)? And my favorite and least favorite, you mean I’m not a movie star in real life? People don’t stop and stare when I walk by? But I do love it here, something fierce. I’m looking forward to ISP—a month doing research on a topic I love (theoretically interesting as well as should be really fun—diviners all seem like they’re going to be quite some characters to hang around with, plus I’ll get my fortune told a bunch!) in one of the most beautiful places on earth (near the ocean!), with one of my closest friends on the program nearby. It should be great. Anyways, should get back to the paper I guess…

Leave a Reply