Monday, September 12, 2005

Riding My Bike

So… my family leaves today. In only a few hours. How has a month gone by already? Will an entire school year go by just as fast? In a blaze will it all be gone, over, swallowed by flames in an instant? Each day might seem long, yet you look back and it dawns on you that you slept through it all. How many times didn’t I take advantage of possible moments with my family? I still feel, through and through, that you can’t truly savor the final moments; if you haven’t lived the way you wanted to up until that point, then you can’t really change it. However, those moments are still important. They are still potential memories that you’ve lost. If I could go back in time, I don’t know if I would do anything different though. I suppose I would have been nicer. But if you change the past you mess up the future; I wouldn’t be right here where I am now, as the person I am now.

I’ll miss my parents. Yes, it’s true, I really do love you guys. I’ve learned so much from them, as I know they have from me. More than my parents, they’re my best friends, my pillars of strength, constants that will always be there. They let go of my bicycle, let me pedal on my own and teeter along; when I fall down, they’re there to help pick me up, dust off my knees, and kiss my scratches if I really need them, but first they linger back and wait to see if I can get up on my own. But now that I’m riding on my own, what will happen if I fall down really hard? Now they’re not even sitting on the other side of the playground, chatting with the other parents but always sneaking little galnces out of the corners of their eyes. I guess at least they’ve taught me to always wear my helmet. And so it goes.

On a slightly different note, we ended up going to the Sheraton for New Year’s Eve! Oh my god, I was SO excited! It’s just absolutely inexplicable, there’s no way to verbalize how much I wanted to go. My family went, and Betty’s family went, excluding Menna because she’s too young, and we’d be out to late, menamen. The sad thing about Menna is that we had to lie to her since she’d be really upset that we didn’t tell her; nonetheless she found out, and was really mad and angry. 100 birr fixed that though, haha. It took SUCH long time for us to leave; it started at 7 p.m but we didn’t even leave until about 9. We were all just chilling in my room dressed and ready to go, listening to music, singing along, and Danny and Betty who are really good dancers were busting out some moves. We were just having a good time, and it was actually really nice.

Anyhow, the Sheraton looked incredible, it was beautiful, all lit up and flashing as if it we were in the midst of a war and gunshots and canons were flaring all around us. The cool thing is that I could have talked to Wyclef if I wanted to, he was standing in the lobby just mingling with everyone and taking pictures, whatever, but I didn’t. A lot of my friends did, but I guess I was scared or nervous to or something, but oh well, I don’t really care. But Danny, my “little brother,” did, and they were talking and he mentioned that he really liked dancing, so Wyclef said that he’d challenge him to a battle later on. Wyclef didn’t start playing until a little after midnight, and until then it was just various famous Ethiopian artists, so everyone was just mingling around eating and talking. Everyone was all dressed up and looked really nice, and there were SO many people there! Good God, it was outrageous, I don’t think that I’d ever actually seen a prostitute before, but the way some of these women were dressed…

Anyway, Wyclef started playing and it was really fun, everyone was singing along, some really, really drunkenly. That was definitely one scary thing. We were up in this front section, and obviously everyone wants to be up there because it’s right next to the stage menamen, but that meant that it was really jammed and cramped, and people didn’t really care. Eventually I just had to say, “screw it” and be aggressive myself, or else I would have been trampled; people will just plow past you, spilling their drinks all over you, stepping on your toes, and it gets really frustrating. On top of that, if you’re near men who have been drinking and you seem at all like you’re having a good time by dancing and stuff, they’ll get on you, holding onto your wrists and pulling you along with them. It was really scary, sometimes we would have to pull each other out or very physically push them off and yell at them and stuff. It was very scary, I’ve never been in that position before. But I digress, something absolutely incredible happened. At one point Wyclef was talking into the microphone and said something like, “I met a little boy, about 12 years old, named Danny, who said that he could challenge me dancing. Where is he, come up on stage Danny!” WHAT THE HELL, RIGHT?! You’d never think that something like this would happen! You wouldn’t think that a world-famous celebrity would remember or care about some random boy that he met before a performance. But he calls Danny up onto the stage, and in front of HUNDREDS of people has a dance-off. And Danny, an amazing dancer, holds himself SO well. On stage. He dances. In front of a huge audience. Not to mention this is televised. He’s 11-years-old. It’s basically amazing. I can’t get over it. I’m so proud of him, and happy for him. It’s amazing.

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