Excess

Posted by Craig Bryant in Pax's Process on March 25th, 2010 | no responses

This country is fantastic is so many ways. One element which I wonder about is the amount of excess. Things like food, choice, technology etc etc. Above is a photo of a hot fudge chocolate delight. The picture on the menu looked manageable. What came to the table was huge! They say never eat something larger than your own head. Note the dimensions above!
For the first time in my adult life, I left a large portion of this dessert uneaten. This went totally against the grain for me, but physical restraints demanded it.
We have caught ourselves countless times thinking…”How convenient is this!?” We thought we had a plush lifestyle in Australia, but these guys leave us for dead.
We have already had conversations about raising the bar in Australia, regarding our living conditions….buying a bigger warmer house, streamlining our lives as much as they do here.
There are cons and pros to all of this. I’m not about to condemn a nation for their level of comfort.
As I have mentioned before, this university is like a scholars’ utopia. There is no extra effort required to live comfortably here. In Australia, the college had the bare minimum requirements for students, and made them feel like second class citizens. Here the student is king.
Our friend Nicole who teaches and produces her art here at IU, is a living walking example of great priorities. She dictates her own hours, teaches only part of the week, and works in her studio the rest of the time……eats out with friends most nights, has the flexibility to run errands, or have coffee almost any time she likes. There is a calmness around this place which starts to rub off on you eventually. I just think about the other manic, dangerous and noisy places in the world. Without meaning to be, this place is very conducive for artists.
I mention this, because I see it as another form of excess. An excess of convenience. It’s easy to survive here…..and survive well. Obesity is no mystery either. I think I have probably gained a few kilos since arriving. Most meals include cheese and chocolate, peanut butter & bread….not usually together though.
Servings are all large here. “Entree” means Main meal here, so we need to start asking for a ‘half serving’ instead.

Tomorrow is my birthday! We are celebrating by eating mostly. We also plan to go and see a movie. It should be good. I’m excited about having my first birthday outside Australia!

Well I am currently ousted from our room, while the cleaners do their magic. Hmmm is this more excessive convenience? I no complain though! So I am sitting down in the coffee house with a coffee, a phone and my trusty macbook and I fit in with the other 20 or so students peppered around the room with a similar set of gear.

I have been unofficially invited to participate in the resident talent quest next Thursday as a judge. The head of the music school is apparently going to email me at some stage. My immediate reaction was….”umm no thanks!” But now I’m starting to think better of it. This is an invitation to me personally, to make me feel involved, and also perhaps as a way for me to pay them back for allowing me to stay here. I have been feeling like I’d like to forge some new friendships here, especially in the music department. I have no idea what may come of it, but locking myself away in a dorm room is not going to expose me to many opportunities. It is supposed to be a fun event, and I think that as long as I am not obligated to perform, I would like to be involved. Having said all that, I have not been officially invited, so I may be premature in my enthusiasm.

PAX out.

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