Skipping out of order a bit, whilst the image of mon week-end sans les franciase dans l'anglatiare is still clear, and making sure all the wonderfulness did happen...even the ticket for no ticket on the metro.
Having little in terms of specific expectations for visiting Scott last weekend in Newscastle, England, I stopped my imagination from skipping ahead too far as it generally ruins what is to be. Planning little, and taking each moment as it came, gave me some of the best times Ive had in a while... and that's saying a lot, since I'm pretty much always having a good time.
1. After having a nice catch-up session with Scottay, we spent the night amongst his friends from his graduate program, eating bikinis (a grilled cheese like substance cut on the diagonal and borrowing its name from the tiny "triangulitas" that are reminiscent of bikini bottoms) dancing around some Barcelonians' apartment, and drinking this strange cider called "Gay-mers." Of course the boys couldn't stop enjoying the fact they were drinking something that started with "gay." I guess it was this idea that spurred them to continue on a hunt for the gay club later that night just screaming out the word "gay?" as we roamed the streets for this place we had no idea where to find. Zoot Alors.... boys will always be boys.
2. We explored the nearby town of Durham, apparently housing a popular university for the rejects of Cambridge or Oxford (not so bad if you ask me) visiting centuries old churches, streets, and spending more time getting to know Scott's friends. I was blown away by their eagerness and openness to new people, new ideas, and their acceptance.... something that is a little less common on the streets of Paris and New York. Americans are often given a bad time over here for making quick friends and lacking in life long relationships. I have been thinking about this for a while, and have since come to a semi-conclusion (because alas, there hardly ever concrete conclusions in life) that, it is such a beautiful and accepting way of life to realize today is today and to be open to many possibilities of new friendships... whether they are for a weekend or for life. You just never know. But, to experience them all, for what they are, to keep your expectations low and to be surprised and slapped with smiles when you find that you have connections all around the world, with wonderful people, is truly magical.
Wondrous Indian Meal... Thanks Arun!
3. Possibly because we didn't do much planning for Saturday night, it ended being my favorite night so far. We joined Scott's roommates Arun and Phil for a great dinner, that we pretended to start cooking, and Arun graciously took over with his cupboard filled with Indian spices and family history of ideas. He showed us a new way to cook sauteed spinach with coconut and a variety of Indian spices and we munched on spicy fried potatoes and a scrambled egg-ish concoction. It was so delicious, but even better was Arun's ability to share with us his culture and tid bits about his family and life in India, through his cooking. Its so great when someone can share something seemingly so simple to them and it just floors others.... me in particular. It was great to watch and listen to someone else share their adventures in cooking and all the memories/culture that are tied to it. We sat around, drank, shared music, drank some more, and when the boys drug me downstairs for their second go around with the cigars, we decided to have a quick run around the block at about 4am. It just felt right.... so we did it. I must say, I think I won since my other 3 masculine counterparts either stopped at some point or cheated by taking a detour. Slow and steady fellows... wrapped up in a blanket practicing a variety on Lamaze breathing, I declare myself the winner.
4. So we didn't pay for our subway tickets. And then we got a ticket.... but that cost a lot more than 2 pounds. But the metro police were the nicest flipping people. We joked around and I laughed even though I didn't understand a word they were saying. Damn accent up there...
Our personal concert privee.
5. We toured the city, ate another beautiful meal of Indian cuisine at Vidya and her roommate's apartment, walked and danced the city, got lost, found ourselves accidentally on the correct bus, sat in on an orchestra's practice session at the local concert hall, drank tea, got mooned at a pub (something you practically see everyday in Paris), and quoted Madagascar 2 all the way home. Another Indian meal?? BRING IT ON. Ass wooping in Monopoly? Sure, why not.... I have other skills I'm proud of, ok?
There were too many favorites from the weekend to possibly recount them all... and even if I could I wouldn't. The past few days served as a reminder that as wonderful as language can be it is often inefficient in describing our situations and emotions. Sometimes, our thoughts and feelings from previous events need to be left as so, as private matter, that stays with you in ways that language cannot articulate, whether in English, French, or whatever slang/dialect/accent they speak with in Newcastle. But I can tell you, I'm smiling and thanks for a great weekend guys, c'etait MAN-NI-FIQUE.