Thursday, 25 December 2008


Holidays are a funny thing...we become so used to spending certain holidays with certain people doing certain things...then, when all of these comfortable normalcy's are either taken away or left behind, we finally begin to understand how important and cherished they have always been...

2008 is the second Christmas in a row I have spent apart from my nuclear family...and the first Christmas I have spent apart from ALL family, and America...

Christmas in London has been an experience. Both in the resilience of those who have been separated from their loved ones and the effects that family and ritual have on the power that holidays hold over us.

I spent Christmas in London, UK with my friend Darleen. We are both students, living in the UK for a Master's degree, and neither of us were able to go home for the holidays. Seeing as we are close friends, both in sentiment and in proximity, we were both glad to spend time together for Christmas. Although, seeing as we did not have other friends or family to meet up with, and 90 percent of London closes down from 8 pm on December 24 until the morning of the 27th, Christmas was not exactly the foreign holiday one might expect from seeing the movies.

We spent most of the week cooking amazing food,

watching bad Brit TV and movies, lounging around talking about our friends and family, and the Holiday traditions we were missing the most...and making a special Christmas video...

Yes, this is what happens when two twenty-something females are left alone on Christmas...HAHA!

Overall, Christmas was nice, Dar and I bought each other the Twilight book...proving once again just how similar our nerdy-ness is and how well we know each other...


Hehee...yes, I have officially fallen into the Twilight mania...

Now that I'm back in Edinburgh, And the New Year is upon me, I look on this Christmas both happily and thankfully...Dar and I never seem to bore each other, and we were so lucky to have each other this year! If she or I had gone home for Christmas, or if one of us had never come here for University, it could have been a very lonely holiday! Thank goodness for our mutual love of Brit Uni!

I loved being able to talk to my extended family on my Mom's side on the 21st on Skype...


It was a lot of fun, although bittersweet because I missed seeing so many people I never get to spend time with...But that comes with the territory of growing up, I guess. We have to make the choices that in the past were either made for us or else not even choices to consider...

Sometimes growing up is hard to do...but at least it makes you appreciate what you have in your life...the people and places and traditions that were taken for granted suddenly get thrown into stark relief against the background of their realize just how special they are, and just what they actually mean to you in excruciating detail...(or maybe that's just the anthropologist over-analyzing again...)

Holidays are a funny thing...

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Monday, 15 December 2008

Well Its Christmas Time Again...

"Well its Christmas time again….decorations are all hung by the fire…everybody’s singing, all the bells are ringing out…and its Christmas all over again…” (i don't know who sings it, but it's a song!)

I can’t believe that 2008 is already coming to a close. This has been a very eventful year! And yes, you might be thinking

“EVERY year is an eventful year…seeing as everyday life is full of random events and happenings”

and while this is definitely true, 2008 has seemed much more eventful for me because of the TYPES of events I have had/experienced/seen, etc. whether this is because as I get older I place more importance on the mindful appreciation of different types of events, encounters, and happenings, or because I now have the time to reflect upon the differences between 2007 and 2008, I feel justified in saying that this year has been a wild ride!

But lets get to that later…I know that I haven’t written in almost three weeks…and there is good reason for that! I have jam-packed quite a lot into those three weeks, and unfortunately it was the updates that got shunted to the bottom of the list of things to do.

Thanksgiving was an interesting event…in that there were two Americans, two Canadians, and a Belgian celebrating it together…I made a great sweet potato-pecan pie…yum!
That weekend was also the National Holiday of Scotland: St. Andrew’s Day. He is the patron Saint of Scotland, and the Scottish flag (the saltiere) is supposed to represent St. Andrew’s Cross in the sky (there is a story about this, something about seeing the cross in the clouds…I don’t remember it though) Anywho, St. Andrew’s Day is the one day each year that Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, and the Edinburgh Zoo are open to the public for free! So Katrien, Tina, and I went to the zoo to see the penguins (Katrien had never seen penguins before…the Belgian zoos are apparently deficient in the penguin department)
It was nice to go for free, but it was also BLOODY FREEZING! Before we left for the zoo at 11:30 the thermometer was holding steady at 27 degrees…Fahrenheit
…that’s right folks, I walked around a zoo all day in BELOW freezing temperatures. It was intensely cold. No bueno. But the zoo was nice, although I think I would like it better in a more hospitable weather situation. Ah well, at least it wasn’t raining!
Photobucket (view from the looks COLD!)
The next week saw the beginning of the end-of term-stress-madness. Lectures over, research and papers and projects abound! I also had things like meetings for the committee representatives, Katrien’s birthday celebration, the last Mediterranean Gastronomic Society event of the term, the arrival of Darleen for a visit, and a Holiday party thrown by one of my lecturers for the Anthropology department. Whew. All in one week! And last but not least:
PhotobucketI cut off my hair! That’s right, I decided to just go for it and cut it all off. I was going to just get a trim, but in a moment of sleep-deprived insanity I got it all cut off instead. They were nice enough to gice me my hair in a clear bag to carry around Edinburgh as well...looked classy, I'm sure! I wan to donate it, so if anyone knows of a company that will take bleached (i.e. highlighted hair) let me know! (Locks of Love won’t, unfortunately)

So Dar was here for a fab reason: Coldplay concert in Glasgow! It was so fun! We went with my other friends Tina, Yara, and Wissam. We took the train into Glasgow, and after the concert we had to BOOK IT through the streets of Glasgow to catch the last train. It was literally one of those movie moments where you jump on the train 0.5 seconds before it starts moving away from the station. Oh, the drama! It was definitely an interesting way to end the night!

We also went to the Edinburgh Christmas fair, which is a combination German Christmas market/Scottish Christmas market/Carnival. Good food, ice skating, crafty type stuff, rides, etc.
After Dar left the next day, I was on lockdown to finish my two papers due the 11th and 12th. The internet in my building decided to go out, (perfect timing, right?) and I spent literally 2 straight days inside the Chrystal Macmillan Building at school where the research students have our own room with computers, internet, etc. This was only tolerable because my two Anthro partners in crime, Lucy and Siobhan, were there as well, we all had lack of sleep induced mini-breakdown/fall into insanity/too much caffeine/ridiculous “how is this my life?” moments together…its always nice to know that you aren’t going insane alone, haha!

After Friday, things got better, seeing as I was all done with papers and projects! I got to enjoy the whole weekend, with gossip sessions, wine, museum trips, and (still) sleep deprived giddiness. Not to worry, I plan to sleep next weekend when I get to London!

Tomorrow I leave for a three-day trip to Dublin with my friends Katrien, Tina, and Emilie. This should be an interesting trip, and a nice way to end the term!

Hope everyone is well, and tucking in for a fabulous holiday season!

Love, Kim