Tyrammet: A Study in Happiness
The village of Tyrammet is not quiet. Its citizens are not sleepy-eyed, they haven't garnered an ounce of fat from days spent in lazy recline, and they know how to party like nobody else in Neopia.
You see, Tyrammet is a sunny little hamlet set in Tyrannia, and the Neopets there have been partying like it's 1999 since... well, 2001.
But why? What could have overjoyed these people so much that they've resorted to a decades-long celebration? I took to the village to find out.
Many would say, "Surely you know the answer." He haunts our dreams. He stalks our chat boards. He threatens our pets and terrifies our Neofriends--the Monoceraptor. This vicious creature terrorized Tyrannia in May of 2001, bringing war to the then-new land in the first Battledome-involving plot in Neopets history. This is no exaggeration. The Monoceraptor threatened to "carve up [our] puny Tyrannia." Had neopets not taken to the Battledome and defended the new land of Tyrannia, it would surely have been destroyed by his claws. So, Tyrammet celebrates the Monoceraptor's downfall.
But, still, that happened in 2001. Tyrammet is still partying it up. Why? I was perplexed upon my arrival. Everyone seemed so happy to see me--it was unlike anything I'd ever encountered. The owners of the hut I stayed in threw me a 24-hour party. I didn't sleep. I just kept eating cake and dancing until they found something new to scream over, at which point I fell into a nap and didn't rise for days.
After this, I traveled the village. I took notes. I interviewed. Perhaps the people there have found that the secret to a healthy, happy life is to always remember their victories and let pass into obscurity their woes, I thought. Sadness must never be forgotten, but the people of Tyrammet came an inch from being destroyed--why would they not try to make every day a celebration of life?
Kyruggi, the leader of Tyrammet, opened herself to an interview wherein she revealed that living in Tyrammet is "better than diving into the Rainbow Fountain of Faerieland." It is odd to think that the 500 or so citizens of Tyrammet might be happier than the beautiful and blessed inhabitants of Faerieland. After all, the Tyrammetans (as they are called) reside in huts made of mud, grass, straw and dung. They live off sack plant and cactopus; on the occasional holiday, they exchange cheese and onion omelets. Their couches are composed of dung and, for the poor Neopet who acquires a Tyrammet-native Scado, their petpets are made of coconuts (allegedly). Also, they taste like coconuts. How many people wish for such a life?
Kyruggi does. Myncha, her go-to man, does. Tekel, Plesio, and Sabre-X do. Even Grarrg can be seen amongst the lighthearted revelers of Tyrammet, and everyone knows he's got a temper like a volcano.
"It's something inexplicable," Grarrg said. "It's like, since the Monoceraptor came, we've all realized how close our beautiful village came to being destroyed. Ten years in and I celebrate more every day. After all, I will never stop being happy over our victory, so why should I pretend that my life is just ordinary?"
Ordinary? Life in Tyrammet is anything but ordinary. While the rest of Neopia--in fact, even the rest of Tyrannia--has moved on and seldom mentions Tyrannian Victory Day, Tyrammet celebrates this holiday as often as possible: every week, every day, every hour, every minute. There isn't a second that goes by that some mother isn't coming home with a little slice of cake or a kazoo isn't being blown. You have to question if these people are actually that happy, or if they've just lost their minds. Maybe the volcano fumes have gone to their heads, or maybe, just maybe, these people have found the key to real, long-term happiness.
My journey there taught me much. I was offered free stone rugs by every homeowner I passed. Meals were on the house when I stopped by Tyrannian Food. Everyone, though decked in their simplest striped furs, always looked splendidly happy, as if lit by the inner glow of true joy.
These are a people who do not place high value in the material or mind that others see them and, eyebrows raised, ponder why they're partaking in a decade-old party. These are a people who take joy in every minute of their lives. No longer do they just celebrate the Monoceraptor's downfall. They celebrate life and all the glorious moments that their lives have held: a Fangy's adorable smile, a win at Grarrl Keno, a visit to the Concert Hall, a stranger's "thanks" at their gift, a cheese and onion omelet shared amongst friends. There is no crime. There are few, if any, disputes. The weather is sunny in Tyrammet even when rain is pouring down over the people's huts. Banners snap in the wind, streamers fly, horns toot. My visit to Tyrammet taught me something: Life is not to be trudged through. It is to be celebrated, cherished; every moment is an adventure, and the people of Tyrammet understand this better than any.
As I made my final lap around the village's marketplace, I stumbled upon a young Kacheek. "Ugga ugga, gal-aka-ugga-aka. Aka-gal ugga." I wasn't sure what he was saying--the boy hasn't learned the fundamentals of Neopianese, you see, as he's too young, even though he seemed wiser than me by a millenium--but his intentions seemed clear enough: I had just tripped over his foot, and yet he spoke so kindly and smiled. This Kacheek is not the only inhabitant of Tyrammet to have behaved so. So many of them were of the sweetest nature; they wanted only to enjoy their time with me, with each other. They wanted to toss confetti and show newcomers that life is the greatest celebration.
Oh, and by the way, Tyrannian Victory Day is today. The celebration will surely be larger than ever as the Tyrammetans dance and feast and laugh over their glorious victory. I wish only that I were there to throw confetti with the Tyrammetans. Rejoice, Neopia! And be happy! Aka-gal ugga.