Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Jewy little holiday

Oh no, not another flashback dream: it's around 1969 and there's some war going on in Southeast Asia, I'm supposed to go home from college for the holidays, but instead I'm hanging around somebody's East Village hovel on XMAS eve---much more exciting than the Jersey suburbs---we're smoking some weed, some tv show is emanating from a cheap black and white tv, we're getting the munchies, and now leading a magical mystery tour over to Chinatown to dig the kosher Chinese restaurant Schmolka Bernsteins, where I think, a waiter has been transformed into something like Santa's elf. It's now 12 midnight, 2013, and I wake to being in a strange house, with an alien dog looking at me, I wipe my eyes and realize, holy crap, I'm in the Peace Corps and it's not 1969 in Greenwich village. Hmmm, I wonder who won that war!

When I woke, I started wondering about the ingredients for Jewish XMAS season in the Peace Corps:
Solidarity, self-aware alienation, a mildly altered state of consciousness to get through this time of year, soul food, Chinese Food and a movie. Well, no Chinese, soul food, or movies in this village, and an altered state is through meditation and yoga (not that I would want an altered state any other way these days).  I used to think that the Jews loved the holiday season more than Christians---no pressure for gifts, just eat your Chinese, go bowling or something, and enjoy the music!  It was magical!  In Africa though, the pressure is equal to being Jewish---no gifts, just dance the day away, and move on!  Sounds good to me!

Not that this has anything to do with being Jewish, but I then started wondering what I missed out on this past year: Naked people going nuts in Britain—hmmm--maybe PCV's should get a male circumcision program going there, whatta think Prince Harry;   Did I miss the final season of 30 Rock---this is really upsetting me!  I missed Aly Raisman winning the Olympic Gold medal in floor to “Hava Nagila.”; and I think I missed out on Mormon Hip Hop Mitt Romney mangling Bush-style malapropisms.  

 Gee, maybe I should go back to dreaming or better yet, figuring out how to breach the lines of normalcy through New Year's Resolutions. Let's see, as the silly season of excess ends in the states, and we all stare at the extra notches on our belts and recoil in horror at flashbacks of too many donuts eaten, or ooops—I forgot to exercise this year, etc...the time has come for us to try to redeem ourselves for the last 365 days, and make that resolution that will really stick and be different, or at least not capitalize on the same mistakes year after year. I love the idea of New Years resolutions, but not as much as the thought of that Chinese Food in NYC. Here are my resolutions for 2013......

               1) Not to take my hopes and dreams seriously, and in my spare time, when I'm not ruling the world, I'd like to get more familiar with getting things right!
    1. Finish my Peace Corps Service without killing someone on a kombie!
    2. Buy a new leopard coat with shoes to match so I can always be reminded of a Botswana Chief
    3. I vow to wake each morning, look hard in the mirror, ask how mind numbing useless I'm being here, and find ways to make it unique and fun.
    4. While everyone here is busy traveling to the usual places, I'm Madagascar bound!

I've got a sneaky suspicion, this year is gonna be a good one if I make it out of here in one piece!

Happy 2013 to everyone!

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