Slowly, but surely, a small measure of social life and fun is making its way back into my otherwise fairly crowded-with-assignments student life. One of my goals for my second year at the University of the West Indies is to live more. As in, to spend more time with friends (old and new) than working or doing whatever else school related stuff on the office or the lab or the library by myself from Monday to Sunday. That means, there's a need for better planning and more structure, because I don't want my studies to suffer on account of me liming with people all the time; that's not how this works. No, the idea is to "simply" use the time I have at my disposal more efficiently, so that I can do both: work hard and play hard. I'm going let you know how that works out because - tadaah - I have no clue how to accomplish this.
I had a good start today, though. It's Diwali and my Colombian friend who's staying at my house invited me to go to a little dinner thing with him. That turned out to be the most interesting Diwali I've ever had!
We shall ignore the fact that it's only my second one. Shut up.
Back to Diwali. We traveled up into Maracas St Joseph, just past the University of the Southern Caribbean, to Mr Persad's house. There, we were greeted by a sparkling display of lit deeyas and blinking lights, a whole bunch of people from all over the place, drinks and food that would have been enough to feed an army - and then send them home with bags of food to eat over the course of the weekend.
Two things were especially great for me:
Everyone was super nice and I got to chat with plenty new people, from Trinidad as well as from different parts of Venezuela and Colombia. Spanish was spoken more than English. And there was even a Spanish professor from Barranquilla who amazed me by suddenly speaking to me in German. Our was insane - in the best way possible.
The second thing was Mr Persad's love for all things latino and the colorful cultural collage that was its result. Speaking three different languages with some people I knew from before and a whole lot of people that were completely new to me, a mehendi drying on my right hand and a piece of kurma in my left, with Jorge Celedon singing over the crackling of the fireworks in the background. Yes. Freaking vallenato! It felt like being in Trinidad and Colombia at the same time, a meeting of two worlds in this already unusual space - so good!
Thanks to Alejandro for taking me along, thanks to Mr Persad for the invitation, thanks to his wife for the sweets that are now taking up all the space in my fridge (somebody come eat that, please).
Only one thing left to say:
Happy Diwali, my friend.
Shubh Diwali, parce!