29 August 2010

On High Heels and Aum

Now that I've returned to Phoenix, I'm trying to settle back into a routine of sorts.  I was hoping to catch up on my sleep, as the trip from Sharana via BAF was exhausting, and I feel a bit under the weather, but I'd forgotten how hectic my social schedule is here.  Who would have thought my dance card would be busier in Afghanistan than in DC?

The dance card reference is actually entirely apropos here; one of the first people I saw upon my return was the instructor of the salsa class.  I've been amused to note that one of the few constants between bases is salsa dancing.  Here at Phoenix, we have classes two nights a week and a free dance on a third, all in the Green Beans coffee shop.  At Bagram, it's salsa Saturdays, and apparently a dance night was just beginning to be spun up at Sharana.  I wasn't previously aware of the armed services' affinity for Latin dance, but they seem to take it pretty seriously.  We even watch episodes of dance shows to learn new moves.  Of course, we can't do the most salacious, as everyone is a little leery of risking any rank for even the hottest set.

At any rate, all of this dancing is seriously making me crave some heels.  Hiking boots just don't spin the same.  I have the sinking suspicion that when I get back to the States, my feet will rebel against my wardrobe.  I suppose that I'll just have to break the little buggers back in.

Anticipating the blisters I'll surely have next year is not a productive way to pass the afternoon.  And as I've almost completely given up on work at this point, I should probably concentrate my attention on the program for tonight's yoga class.  Within a few days of my initial arrival at Phoenix, I inherited instructor duties from the out-going chaplain more or less by default (although I did love the yogi evangelist!).  We have a small but dedicated core, which occasionally explodes to about twenty folks, usually right before a camp run or, oddly enough, boxing tournament.  The other yogis are actually getting so into the practice that they're requesting classes four nights a week.  Ambitious little buggers, these Army fellas.

They have been grumbling that my music wasn't 'yoga enough', however.  Last Friday, it was the Beatles, prompting a spontaneous sing-along of All You Need Is Love during our bow poses.  I've decided that all the giggles I had to smother, being somehow inappropriate for the moment, simply added to the core tension.  Frankly, they're lucky I'm not rocking out to Lady Gaga.  Yoga requires active music!  But one of the linguists who regularly attends threatened to download wave sounds for our next practice.  Somehow, I don't think that the instructor falling asleep is going to contribute to their practice at all...

Rounding out my social engagements are regular cribbage matches (I know, I know, I'm like 80 years old), sporadic taekwondo trainings, gym workouts, and terrible billiards (I strongly suspect that the gentlemen I play with purposefully miss shots out of pity).  Attempting to fit all of this in around my 12 hour work day frequently devolves into the realm of the ridiculous.  I was really anticipating a monastic year: read a lot, improve my French, focus on my yoga practice.  Excepting the last, I actually have to schedule social events in advance.  I think I need to escape back to DC, if only so I can get some sleep.