A. Appreciate the rain. Other people have so much more or less of it than they need. Just appreciate yours.
B. Remember to use I-statements when expressing your discomfort with someone else.
- Example: “I feel angry because you ate all the pie, dude!”
- Example: “I feel happy because I scored three goals on that group of children, which means I win.”
- Example: “When you poke me in the side, I feel tickled.”
- And so on.
C. Consider the consequences of your actions.
- Like if you eat too many blueberries and spinach, it might give you the runs.
- Or if you get into the shower with your glasses on, they might get wet.
D. Re-use zip-lock bags.
E. There can never be too many raspberries or blueberries, despite what I said earlier.
F. Trust yourself.
A) Try synchronized swimming.
- Especially in a lake.
- But take your time jumping in. It’s nerve-racking.
B) Hot dogs are awesome. Tomato soup is less awesome.
C) Keep camp feet under control.
- Recommended: bathe and apply lotion.
- (Definition of camp feet: grimy everywhere).
D) Run in the morning to revitalize your spirit.
E) No drugs or sex in the bushes at church camp.
F) Sleep will save you.
- And hugs.
H) Wear bug spray.
Camp, photo credit Janna
I’m not prepared to write a novel. And I only have one month. However, I may have found a short story writing niche.
This is excellent news.
Now I am drinking an almond latte and feeling altogether reinvigorated in my efforts. I highly recommend almond lattes, coconut lattes and peppermint white mochas, but if you order a peppermint white mocha at Starbucks, be sure to remind the barista that you only want four pumps otherwise you’ll have sugar coming out your nose.
And as long as I’m giving unsolicited advice, I highly recommend obeying the speed limit. It’s super relaxing.
Lastly, Twitter is way more fun than I thought. Just gettin my tweet on.
I feel like this kid — LOOK, an orange ball!
I now have two lovely overnight trips in reserved cars in India under my belt. I feel like a pro. Sort of. Some important facts:
A. The upper bunk may be very cold. (Air conditioning is good for sleeping, unless you did not bring layers).
B. Men come by selling food and chai and bottled water.
- It is like the concessions at baseball games.
- However, they may not speak English.
- And you may not understand how much the water costs.
- Probably you should not eat the food.
C. Light coming through the curtain may be disturbing.
- It flutters and flashes as people walk by and when you are American you might feel vulnerable to having no idea what is going on at any time because Hindi is undecipherable.
- Use the Velcro to firmly close the curtains.
D. The porters should be tipped 150 or 200 rupees.
- This may be an overestimation. (I may be susceptible to hustling).
E. Beggars should not be tipped.
- Because apparently it’s an industry.
- Which obviously you shouldn’t support, even though it’s hard, because it’s exploitation; abuse of the weakest at its worst.
- Although you may want to give all your money to every bone thin child, every man or woman without fingers or limbs, every baby covered in flies.
F. The Western style toilets will be at one end of the coach.
- Western style means not Indian style means toilet instead of hole over which you squat.
- Indian style is not so bad if you are a stable squatter without too many layers.
- All the public bathrooms smell anyway.
- Carry toilet paper with you.
G. Hand sanitizer is a good idea.
H. Don’t talk to loud.
- Don’t freak out when you think it’s your stop – remain calm and ask your neighbor. (Many Indians speak English and someone will help you).
- Smile a lot.
- Pack light.
An unrelated comment of which I was reminded when I wrote “someone will help you:”
Dharamsala (and possibly the whole of India) may be home to the nicest people on earth. I have never been smiled at by so many people of different ages and types as in this place. It is utterly refreshing. Monks are wonderful, of course, but their beautiful souls appear to be contagious. Gosh I love reciprocal smilers.
Sometimes people suck. (Sometimes, I especially suck because I am not always friendly or thoughtful, I get grumpy and rant about things for extended periods of time, I am easily frustrated and at times, extremely pessimistic).
But people have the capacity to be incredible.
I think we judge in relation to ourselves, but also that we take pleasure in stories of goodness in the world, even when it doesn’t relate to us.
Right now, I am thinking of people in my life who do incredible things — who are kind and gentle and generous in the world, who take time to visit their friends, time to give advice, and find patience when friends or even acquaintances are being ridiculous.
I have been the recent recipient of a fantastically humble and generous visitor, popcorn and a bed on a floor, advice about traveling in Greece and Berlin, and deep patience from a dear friend, who heard out all my various excessive frustrations. This does not even include the beautiful Thanksgiving dinners I attended last week or my wonderful and always helpful family.
Maybe it’s a little late for a Thanksgiving speech (especially given my Thanksgiving qualms), but I’m feeling so grateful and fortunate.
People, where did you come from and how are you so exceptional? Thank you for sharing it with me.
A) Stop freaking out.
B) Consider breaking a meaningless rule if it will make you joyful because these things work out and anyway, your life will become more interesting as a result.
- Maybe climb a fence in the middle of the night.
- Or hang prayer flags in your room even if it’s a “fire hazard.”
C) Avoid crying to get yourself out of uncomfortable situations.
- Like when the police are giving you a speeding ticket
- Or when you dump food in your lap at a party and you are embarrassed.
- Or when someone hits on you in a bar and you don’t know what to do.
D) Get stronger abs.
E) Eat a lot of pudding.
Rule Set 313 is brought to you by the Random Old Man Sitting in the Park, like everything poetic.
- Speed walking is hilarious, so definitely try that if nothing else.
- You could also go to the gym and row freakishly hard.
- Sweat is sexy.
B) Complain about the plumbing. If you don’t, someone will ruin the toilet while you’re in class and then you will have to go to another building when you have to pee and it will be unpleasant.
C) Carry an orange with you to the pubs.
D) Check under your bed and in your wardrobe for frightening persons before turning out the light and crawling into bed.
- Even if you store things under your bed, you should look there.
E) Draw a picture of your best friend and hand it on your wall.
- Don’t mention it. Just wait to see she/he notices.
F) Be a feminist.
- Maupassant is a feminist.
- This graffiti woman at the Universidad de Buenos Aires is a feminist.
- Get with it.
This image is brought to you by Graffiti; What You Need, Where You Need It.