This post will be just in time for spring break because it’ll be all about beaches and Gabbi.
Gabbi is Simin’s roommate and she has redefined my understanding of what spring break really means for American girls.
Into the first few weeks of school, she suddenly declared that she would be going on a diet to shed off the pounds that she had gained for Christmas. At that time, she was already planning to go to Florida for the spring break this year. So step one was to slim down.
She heads down to the gym almost every day of the week with a well-calibrated workout schedule that was supposed to not only help her lose weight, but also tone different parts of her body. She has been doing this for the past two months as part of her daily routine, rain or shine.
On top of that, she follows a very strict diet regime, calculating the calories of almost all her food intake. She would read the nutrition labels behind the food she buys and compute the numbers into the online calorie calculator before each meal.
A week before the trip, she goes to the tanning center every day. Because she has a much lighter skin tone, she says a basic amount of tanning is needed to act as a base layer to prevent her from being sun burnt when she goes under direct sunlight in Florida. Plus, who doesn’t like a sun-kissed skin for summer?
And not to forget, Gabbi’s wardrobe also has new bikinis and beach wear that she had just bought in her latest shopping haul.
She has put in all that time, effort and money towards sculpting a beautiful body, ready to put on the bikini and have a fun holiday with her boyfriend at the beaches in Florida
Initially, I was really perplexed. Why are Americans THIS excited about a trip to the beach? Why would anyone be investing so much for a holiday? Mention the keywords Florida or beach to any American and they will all be very excited to talk it. It’s one of the hottest topics for the past few weeks, counting down to spring break.
I grew up on a sunny island and have summer-like temperatures (90 degrees all-year long) for 365 days. I’ve been to numerous beaches in my life, from those facing the Andaman Sea, to those facing the Pacific Ocean. The sound of the waves never fail to calm the soul and heal the broken hearted but they never really fascinate me the way that most Americans are obsessed about it.
Upon more probing was I surprised to find out that there is very little chances for most mid-western Americans to even see a beach. Gabbi had only been at the beach for about five times and she loved being with the sun, sand and sea. It’s an entirely different place with weather that’s poles apart from the dreary weather here in Missouri
Having a bright and sunny day over here in Missouri is more of a blessing than something that is taken for granted. Gabbi made me become more aware of the little things in life that I never critically thought about for the last 20 years of my life staying near the equator: the sun, the beach, the sea breeze and the amazing forces of Mother Nature that was bestowed upon us. We never needed to fantasize about lying down on the beach in the sun because the beach is only a bus ride away from my house.
I find it quite ironic that at one part of the world, people crave to experience snowy weather while simultaneously, on another part of the world, people hope that the sun to shine upon them.
Somehow, as human beings, we all desire for things that are beyond our reach and forgetting to cherish what we have at hand.