Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ethnic Week, 2K9

Today we went to the Sons of Norway Christmas Bazaar, Part II of the Le-Eldred Celebration of Heritage. Part I was the Lotus Cultural Fest "Where East Meets West," last Saturday. I put that clause in quotes because aside from the three Vietnamese monks throwing the shindig and a few women working the food line, I was about it for the East representation. There was a preponderance of hippies and the hippie-like. And to be honest, aside from the fashions and random misspellings, I could maybe be a hippie.

Anyway, rambling on. The Lotus Fest was pretty fun. I covered it for the paper, which meant I had to interview the monks. They spoke very little English, and I spoke a little Vietnamese to them, inviting mockery. Yup, I got mocked by monks, complete with bald heads and long, flowing robes. It wasn't mean-spirited at all; they were super-nice and it was pretty funny. I would hear one saying behind me in Vietnamese, "She doesn't speak Vietnamese." And I'd turn around, and he'd be grinning, and I'd say in halting Vietnamese, "Well, I do understand that!" This happened maybe three times. And they kept coming up to me and talking to me, all excited, like kids. And they'd argue, "Did you know she was Vietnamese?" "She looks Filipino." "No, I knew right away she was Vietnamese." "Are you sure you're Vietnamese?" Turns out they sponsor a Vietnamese class. I'm thinking of taking it when the holidays are over.

The Christmas Bazaar today didn't offer as much, I'm afraid. And I think I was more excited to go than Jeffrey. He's a quarter Norwegian. There were a couple  food items that made him say, "This is a taste of my childhood." And I know how important those things are to me, so I was really pleased to hear that. I want to make sure we take advantage of these opportunities to celebrate/learn about our cultures. Maybe I'll learn to make some lefse.

We didn't get up and going right away this morning; I was feeling a bit logy from having gone out for Lauren's and Leo's birthday last night. It was a lot of fun; we went to dinner and then did karaoke at a new place, where they're a bit more serious about it. The cast of a musical showed up, and some regulars hogged the mic. Leo tried to teach me how to break dance a bit; I think I really got it! I was feeling pretty goofy because I'd had a drink, which I very rarely do, but it was a cap to a fairly stressful week. We had a bad nor'easter come through that left bad flooding, trees down and 178,000 without power for a while. Some still don't have power. We were fortunate enough to keep electricity, but our water heater was underwater so we didn't have hot showers today. Even after Hurricane Isabel we had hot showers. At any rate, I was helping coordinate coverage of it, which I'd never done before. Still learning, always.

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