Carmen: Lunar Studies and the Melting Pot

Carmen headshot 01Dear Mom, Dad, and Aunt Peggy,

None of my friends are in my Lunar Studies class. They all grew up here and had to take it in high school. There is a cute guy named Kjetil (I think that’s how you spell it…he’s from Norway,) who flirts with me all the time. I know I said I was going to avoid any romantic entanglements during my year here, but I don’t think there’s any harm in going on a date or two. Besides, the distance from Norway to Los Angeles is only 2% the distance from Earth to Luna, and we’ll both be going home after this year.

The biggest culture shock so far has been how diverse the population is up here. I always thought Los Angeles was a huge melting pot, but it’s nothing compared to the lunar citizenry. Back home, everyone I know (with the exception of Sonya’s Greek grandmother) speaks Spanish, English, or both. Up here there are so many languages, I can’t identify half of them. The weirdest part is, many people will switch to Spanish as soon as they see me, before I ever speak. It’s eerie… I know I look Hispanic, but so do millions of other Americans whose Mexican heritage is several generations back. Maybe it’s something in my body language? Or the way I dress… I’ll have to ask my friends when we go shopping in Asharqiyah this weekend.

To answer Mom’s worries: Yes, I have enough water to shower and brush my teeth. I’m in the city where there is a highly efficient water recycling system. The toilets take some getting used to, but I’m practicing good hygiene and wearing clean underwear so you can stop asking.

To answer Dad’s question: Color me a coward, but although I’ve had three opportunities to go out on the regolith, I have not yet done it. I promise I will before I come home, and I will bring you each a moon rock.

To answer Aunt Peggy’s concerns: No, I’m not seasick from the low gravity. Null-g was a bear, but one-sixth Earth gravity is FUN! And radiation is not a problem. Or, rather, it is a well-known issue and every city, structure, and mode of transportation compensates for it.

Love to you all!

Carmen

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