Saturday, August 26, 2006

Melancholy (back in Madison) and the joys of hot showers

I arrived back yesterday after an exhausting trip that was fairly routine except for the slightly tighter security. Back to a very pretty Madison that is about as cloudy and rainy as Jos was when I left.

Much as I have disliked Madison in the past, it's good to be back in my own apartment, which my roomate has really fixed up with some very comfortable new couches that her mom sent her this summer. It was good to lie in my own bed last night listening to Coltrane on a cd player that worked fine while I wrote in my journal. It's good to have electricity all the time--yesterday I realized that I was waiting for it to go off. And, it's good to take a long hot shower. At one point this summer I marvelled at how well I had adjusted to cold bucket baths, and how little water I really needed to bathe. In August when the rains came often and the winds were cold, bathing was a bit more of a chore than it had been at first. Of course, I made it harder on myself than it had to be, as most people I stayed with heated their bath water on the stove (when there was NEPA then the electric kettle or the electric heating element would make it quicker). I was just too lazy to go to the bother, and a bit nervous about lighting the kerosene stove. I realize here at this transition moment how quickly we become accustomed to excess and luxury. As a self-proclaimed environmentalist (of the dillatante level) since preadolescence, my secret sin is long hot showers. Maybe this summer makes up for it a bit.

So, there are blessings to Madison. Still feel a bit melancholy. I feel like I didn't accomplish as much (academic) stuff as I should have this summer. I have so much to do before school starts and so little time. And I miss Kano. I miss speaking Hausa. These in-between times are always the hardest.

At the moment, I am obsessing over a song in Hausa "Na Ba Ka" with a rap and exquisitely addictive harmonics by Jeremiah that is on a mix cd I bought in Jos. "Reloaded: Welcome Back" with songs from "Naija 'n Ghana."

Today, tried to compile email addresses from four different notebooks and a bunch of business cards so I could send an email to everyone letting them know I got back safely and to thank everyone for being so hospitable and helpful. When I finally sent the email, half of the addresses bounced back from yahoo. Wai, the accounts have been disabled, which I can understand if it's from lack of use, because this summer I rarely checked my email. Life is so busy, and internet cafes are not always close by, and when there are there are so many mails to look at that you never very thoroughly answer anyone. Texting is much easier and more efficient. I shall sorely miss my cellphone. I am toying with the idea of buying a prepaid phone, with which I could send texts to Nigeria for 3 cents per text, but I'm a bit worried about it taking over my life if I do that.

Today has been a long glut of internet, so that I am thorougly sick of it. There's always just one more thing to do. But hopefully, the abstinance from internet for weeks at a time this summer will translate into slightly less usage here. Allah zai taimake ni.

Here's a random photo from some time in July before I broke my digital camera. It is of me at Dabo Film Productions after one of their weekly rehursals/actor's training workshops.

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