It’s been a strange Christmas day. I woke up this morning at dawn, after a short one-hour nap, to the thought of spending the next 15 hours dressed up as a banana, surrounded by people I didn’t know and would likely never meet. This thought actually energized me to get out of bed, probably because it was so out of the ordinary.
Last night, as Asad and I were getting ready to pack up and fly to Dubai, I jokingly brought up the suggestion of wearing a banana costume for the duration of the trip. Pretty standard for us to joke about something like this, most of our humor revolves around absurd ideas and imaginary situations. Asad responded, as he sometimes does, with a wager or self-sacrifice in an attempt to make this imaginary situation into his future reality. He offered to buy my flight from Dubai to Malaysia if I went through with it and never took off my banana hood (unless it was mandated for security reasons). I barely thought about it and snap accepted, it was clearly a great deal.
Here’s Asad’s documentation and captioning of the whole event:
Looking back, I might have done it for free. This is fun. I use the present tense “this” because I’m still sitting in my banana suit as I write this (the plane is about to land). There are a couple of nice and unexpected lessons to take away from today. Firstly, on the surface, I learned that there’s no reason to not do silly and dumb stuff like this. It cheers people up and surprises almost everyone and reminds you that there’s no reason to not do silly and dumb stuff. To go a bit deeper, I learned that it’s nice to be put into a position where you get looked at differently. It reminds you that you can always be yourself without having any sort of reaction to the thoughts or reactions of others. You don’t even need to react to the thoughts or reactions of yourself. I was confronted with a lot of positive, negative, and even neutral reactions to the way I looked, and I found it especially easy to remember that other people’s immediate thoughts, and your own, are just thoughts. They are snippets of brain activity that are constantly springing up all over the place about a million different topics. There is no need to do any more than to observe them with a half smile.
My favorite parts of the experience were that I frequently forgot I was in a banana suit, I easily disregarded the fact that I might look ridiculous to some people, and I constantly felt that I could act naturally and have fun while wearing a banana suit for no reason other than to have fun while wearing a banana suit. Ain’t nothin wrong with that.
Merry Christmas (or Chrimbus) to all.