Deep in the heart of Texas

A picture of the South Congress Cafe in Austin, Tx.

Image courtesy of Shu Tu, licensed under CC 2.0 BY SA.

As happens every few years or so, I spent this past weekend in Austin, Texas. (Austin is, of course, the only part of Texas that anyone in my family will admit to going to. We spit at Houston.)

Rather than being down there to hone my South by South Best* skills, I was in town courtesy of my cousin, who–kindly–agreed to be bat mitzvahed*, so that I might eat many breakfast tacos and migas.

She, like her brother a few years ago, interpreted a portion of Leviticus in a way that made my heart swell. Leviticus, for those who are unaware, is mostly full of rules that most folks in the family flavor of Judaism don’t really follow, as mixed fibers are great and smiting is not so much. It takes some skill to really consider what that means for a modern reform Jew, and of course my cousin was great and at the end we got to pelt her with marshmallows. (Ritual pelting = my favorite quality in a faith.)

So that was great.

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Flag PM

Today was my first full day in Dakar. (I got in yesterday, but after two days of more-or-less nonstop plane travel punctuated by actually falling asleep without conscious input, I think that yesterday does not count.)

The day was filled with the sort of awkward smalltalk that punctuates any first-time gathering of college kids. It was like the first few weeks of college, except that everyone talked about wanting to go into development. I don’t, and have neglected to mention that I am in fact an anthropology major. Some of the folks seem to hold us in disfavor.

My new commute to school (at least for the moment) involves jaywalking across a large highway. It is every bit as fun as you can imagine. (ie, not really at all. It is mostly terrifying.) Continue reading

On considering staying here

My sister and I are spending our Wednesday afternoon watching Toddlers and Tiaras (her choice, not mine). A Route 66 sign popped up, because of course that shit is in the Midwest. I asked my sister–who misses Tulsa, loves Tulsa, wishes a little bit that we had never left Tulsa–whether she plans to move back to the Midwest when she finishes school.

“No,” she said, rolling her eyes in the way she does that implies that I’m challenged. “I want to move up north.” I asked her whether she wanted east coast or west–she was pretty certain that she wanted east. Continue reading