I’ve probably mentioned on numerous occasions in my articles that I’m not a native of the United States. I’m a native from the tiny yet powerful island nation of Singapore, just one degree north of the Equator. Due to its location, it is generally the same weather year round. The weather is typically hot and humid, the monsoon seasons occurring in the northern hemisphere's “winter” months. When I landed in the early hours of the morning on Christmas Eve, I was greeted not only with the loving embrace of my dear brother but also the intense humidity. Nevertheless, after spending several months away from home, I was looking forward to spending the holiday season with my family.
Every family, despite the intense consumerism that surrounds Christmas, has traditions. Our family is no exception to this rule, except we bend it to suit our tropical surroundings. Instead of chestnuts roasting on an open fire it's family members sitting around an open air con vent. We also put up a genuine imitation Christmas tree complete with a model train set that’s as old as me. I also spent a great deal of time with my nose right next to the track so I could get a good view of the train set. This was a terrible habit I developed as a kid and I have yet to kick it. Judging by the looks from my parents, it looks like I’ll never give it up. On occasion we’d exchange presents but usually our Christmas tradition is traveling back to Singapore on Christmas day after going on our winter holiday. This time since I only arrived on the 24th, we decided to stay for the holidays and relax at home.
Our Christmas started with my mum cooking up some delightful Indian dishes such as aloo paratha (a potato stuffed pancake) served with yoghurt and a mango pickle. Later we observed a time-honored tradition of taking a food-induced nap. Then in the evening we would exchange presents but more often than not we don’t exchange gifts as we prefer writing cards to each other. For the longest time, I’ve always been appreciative of the things my parents and even my brother have done for me. This Christmas season allowed me to reevaluate that and now I’m even more grateful.
The holiday season was a well-deserved rest from the incredibly busy fall semester of 2016. It gave me time to fully rest up for the unknown that is the upcoming semester. To this day, it really hasn’t hit me that I’m already half way through my first year at college. For the most part I’m actually happy about that as I feel less pressured. I feel I’m just at the beginning of the story where I’m learning about what’s going on.
Spring Semester, let’s see what you got.