Wednesday, March 12, 2014

When We Were (Not so Young as We Used to Be, But Still a Bit Younger than We Are Now)

Oh, Sing! of Galveston.  Jewel of the Texas Coast! That Shining Seashell among Dull, Wave-washed Pebbles. Galveston, where my Heart was, briefly, for a few Days at least, There.

I'd like to think that my short visit to Galveston was a sort of warm-up to the trip I will someday take to Key West, and the other Keys (presumably, North, South, and East).  You know, places connected to actual land by bridges.  Where people go to pretend that the rest of the world doesn't exist and all they have to do for the rest of their lives is fish and drink Coronas.  That day is a long way off.

But where was I?

Ah yes, the wedding.  I don't attend many weddings.  Being an introvert, I have little interest in the lives of others, in formal, mandatory fun affairs.  In pursuit of this, I keep my circle of friends small.  But this wedding was different.  Mainly because of the food.  And the fact that I was allowed, nay encouraged, to wear pajamas.  My good friend, who I met in Astana, who shall remain nameless, except to the two people who actually read this story and also know me from Astana, who is from Texas (honestly, getting a Visa to go anywhere from that crazy country must be a nightmare), is also, in a roundabout way, from India.  In that her parents are.  Normally, other than a passing interest in places that are something other than the country backwoods where I grew up, I pay little attention to background, ethnicity, culture, except to studiously avoid situations in which I might have to converse with people.  Any people. (Introvert!).  But.

For those of you unaware, Indian food is the best food.  And my friend, for all her faults as being a person who is not me, quietly sitting in a room by myself, is a pretty awesome person.  And she told me to wear traditional Indian attire, which is incredibly more fun and pretty and comfortable than the usually expected tiny cocktail dress—because all of us, everywhere, couldn't possibly be going to a wedding with the expectation of fun and eating a lot, instead of seducing everyone who looks at us—that is usually worn to weddings in countries in which (or next to which) I have grown up.

I also got to meet her husband, who stands as one of the tallest people I know.  He also seemed quite nice, and looked at my friend as though he would take those giant tall-man-hands of his and cut a swath through any and all people who ever dared be an ass, or otherwise mean, in any way, to her.  Which is an acceptable quality in a new husband.

These (those?) aforementioned circumstances, though enough to tempt me off to the strange land of Texas, were not the only lure I was chasing.  I also was looking forward—in that theoretical way that introverts do to social interaction, before it actually happens—to once again seeing some of the people I knew in Astana.  I'll admit, nice as it was to know a whole table-full of people at a wedding (who were not my family), contextually it was quite weird.  But I suppose I can grudgingly say that it was also fun to talk to them again, and also the wine helped very much.

My trip to Galveston was defined, in most part, by an excess of something I've not had much of since I returned to ye olde States: free time.  We spent much of our time in and around Galveston just killing time.  Wandering.  Looking for places to eat.  Eating.  Digesting.  Wandering back from where we'd just eaten to mope around wondering where our next meal was going to be.  Sightseeing.  There isn't a lot to see, besides ocean, at a tourist attraction during the off-season.  But we made do.  I took off my shoes and stuck my toes in the sand.  Walked down the beach briefly before cold and a fear of stepping on something rusty and pathogen-covered became too much for me.  Fantasized about what would happen if I stuck a piece of rebar through the spokes of one of those four-person-bike-carriages that annoying and/or drunk people kept driving(?) down the sidewalks at us and by which we were nearly run over countless times.
Toes in the Sand

All in all, it was a leisurely trip.  And it's glad I am to be back up in the Industrious North.  But I still have my pajamas.