All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don't. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity.

Robert Kennedy

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

So This is Christmas...and what have you done?

How is it Christmas already? Last year at this time I was prepping for my journey to Vienna and Prague with Lyndsey. I can't believe that was a year ago. Last week, Lyndsey left. I knew it was a possibility for a long time, but she finally decided to go. She was my best friend here and it was really hard to see her go but even harder to see how unhappy she was here. So she is back in Pittsburgh now and with her fiance and she is happy. I know I will see her again. It is hard to imagine the next 7 months without her as she has been by my side since day one, literally as we sat together on the plane here. But I shall persevere.
As I've said all too often, I think she is the last one to leave for now. We do only have 7 months to go so I'm hoping the rest of us can hang in there. 
So Christmas is next week. There are a few of us who are staying behind. The plan is to have Christmas dinner and lie around all day and watch movies. We'll all have Skype dates with our families so it will be all right. I will have to make cinnamon rolls just to make it feel like a holiday.
For New Years, I am heading to Transylvania. (Things I thought I'd never say). I will be going with Lindsay, Conrad, Michael and John, 4 of my best friends left here. We're only going for a few days but it will be nice to get out of here as well as explore Transylvania. Yes, I will nerdily visit Dracula's castle, sue me! I like kitsch! 
We are covered in snow here and it is glorious. It is so pretty and crisp and clean. I know I will get annoyed by it in a few months but right now it is really cool. 
Locals building snow men.

The view from my apartment window.
Lastly, the worst part of the week was the shooting in Connecticut. Personally, there are three side effects of this ridiculous tragedy that are incredibly frustrating.
1 - Social Media - I know this is a time for discussion. I believe this is THE time for discussion. But why can't it be just that? A discussion? I know there is passion and anger and confusion and the need to place blame, but man, ignorance is so, so blatant under the microscope of social media. I have just seen sides to people I do not like. I really don't care if you are pro-gun rights or anti-gun rights or religious or atheist but why oh WHY do people feel the need to post their points of view as if they are the end all be all on the subject. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. That is one of the glories of freedom of speech. But that means EVERYONE, not just you. Oh the senses of entitlement is just plain sad. It disgusts me. I daily contemplate why I am a member of Facebook. It really does bring out the worst in people. And if ONE more person posts one of those status updates where they're 'daring' me to copy and paste it if I care, I swear...

2 - Living Abroad - It is so difficult to have a conversation with Moldovans because they're question is always "why did this happen?" How do I answer that? Why are there school shootings? There is no answer. It is despicable...and honestly? Embarrassing.

3 - The f@#king media - Explaining the freedom of the press is a little difficult too. Where is the line of decency? Is there anyone out there really hoping to get a statement from a traumatized 6 year old about what just happened? Do they need to clutter the streets of Newton with camera trucks and journalists just in the hopes of getting footage of people at funerals or getting a soundbite from a neighbor? Is this what we've come to? And worst of all, why are we plastering this guy's face and name all over the place. I don't want to know his name. I don't want to know what he looks like. I don't want him to get any credit or notoriety or fame for this. Why do you?

I will get off my soapbox now. It is a worldwide tragedy that is being experienced. We feel it here, you feel it there and in that we are all together.

**Side note - Please stop using "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen to pay tribute to the victims. I know it has a haunting melody and a religious title but it is not a hymn. It is a song about an orgasm. Read the lyrics and not the title, it's getting awkward.

Jeff Buckley's cover of 'Hallelujah'

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