Monday, February 25, 2013

Priya Paradise

I'm waiting at the airport for Priya to clear security, after an amazing weekend spent with my sister and world's favorite person. Seeing my college experience through her eyes has made me even more grateful for the freshman year that I so enjoy everyday.

Priya landed Friday morning while I sat in Latin class, and was received at the airport by my sweet friend and hallmate Sophie. I snatched my sister from her and we raced to my math class, where we sat in the back giggling as I learned nothing about reference angles. We ate lunch at the unbeatable Science Center Cafe (Indian food!) before heading to the Square to bother Reylon at his job at Harvard Student Agencies. We dragged our brother down to the river, where we took iconic Charles River selfies before enjoying some bubble tea and existential conversation. Next, we really got down to business, each splurging (actually bargain hunting) on a pair of shoes before heading back to my dorm to get dressed for the night. On Friday was the Freshman Formal, which Priya and I skipped with Sophie and her little brother Tom (who was also visiting this weekend!). We did take advantage of the fancy food at Annenberg though, before bunking the dance and instead opting for Cantabrigian adventures of salad at Panera, cookies at Insomnia, pool at Quincy, and piano at Adams. Around midnight, we retired to my room with Reylon and the rest of the sibling gang and played with pictures taken during the night.

 We slept way too late and got up too late Saturday morning, strolling to a Bertucci's lunch with Javier and some post office errands before the highlight of the day -- Cultural Rhythms! This is an annual event that showcases student groups that represent a variety of cultural backgrounds -- from Wushu to Mariachi to Bhangra -- and features an annual Artist of the Year. This year's special guest was the gorgeous Nicole Sherzinger, whom Priya and I admired during the show and enjoyed imitating afterward. We left the show early to race to Opportunes rehearsal, which Priya observed for a while before leaving to hang out with her bro Manik! We reconvened at 10 for dinner at Felipe's, dessert at Insomnia Cookies, and more dessert at Zinneken's Waffles. This weekend was not a good one for our figures.

Sunday was our work day. Priya and I met Reylon for Brazilian brunch at Adams Dining Hall before hitting Insomnia yet again (we visited this cookie joint a total of 7 times during her visit here) and then doing some Harvard-themed shopping. With souvenirs bought, I deposited Priya at Lamont to do homework with Rey as I again rushed to rehearsal. After 6 long hours singing this semester's awesome arrangements (and emailing my Indian Philosophy essay in at the last minute), I joined Priya, Reylon, Eliza, Lucy, and Kevin for a dinner of Korean Barbecue at Bon Chon. The sister certainly enjoyed talk of K Pop, and heard rave reviews of Korean soap operas, which I'm sure she'll soon explore. Regrettably finding every other dessert possibility closed on this snowy night, we had to settle for...Insomnia Cookies (so named because they close at 3am daily). We bundled up and shuffled back to Greenough when Javier sent a special request that we deliver him some chai -- and caffeine is my specialty! I whipped him up a Tazo tea in my room, poured some pistachios into a box, and trudged through the snow for delivery to Thayer. We found a sleepy Javier in incriminating attire, and brightened his night with some hermana conversation and an order of white chocolate macadamia cookies from Insomnia. As the delivery came to his door, we slipped out and through the snow-clad Yard back to Greenough.

After a good night's sleep, we sprung up again today and I sped to Expos as Priya packed up her bag before joining me in Latin class. Professor Tarrant called on her to read some lines of Tibullus aloud, which this Latin monster did, receiving warm accolades from my teacher. After Latin, Sophie invited Priya to attend her class on Education Reform as I dragged my feet to Calculus. Framing our weekend in a perfect ring composition, we lunched on the Indian food at the Science Center before again venturing to the Coop to buy Priya the birthday present we'd been window shopping for all weekend. One quick Insomnia order pick-up later, Priya accompanied me to my Environmental Policy class, finding herself less intimidated than I. After ESPP we dashed to Greenough, grabbed Priya's stuff, bid Sophie adieu, and set out for the airport!

We had a lovely dinner and conversation before Priya boarded. For a kid five years younger than I am, she's dripping in wisdom. Her appreciation for the people and places around me reminds me how lucky I am, and the way she looks at things makes me feel special. I'm so happy we got these four days together, and I can't wait to see this cookie monster again in a month...and next time in India!

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