Category Archives: Travel

On Despair

On Despair

I sat on the balcony of a cafe next to my work in Sydney gazing out at the puffy clouds in the sky to the west. It was lunch time, well, the end of lunchtime, I was in the habit of taking lunches later to make the rest of the work day go by quicker. I had tunnel vision, meaning I didn’t care to look around and see if anyone I knew was sitting nearby; all I could think of was how horrible it was to be in this situation.

I just wanted to cry but I was tired of crying, I cried for three days after every phone call because I couldn’t stop habitually ruminated over every detail of the call. He wanted to pretend like nothing was wrong; wanted to call me as if I was happy he dumped me and was now off doing what he thought was what I wanted to do all along. I couldn’t do it anymore. There was no reassurance, no mention that the problem existed other than a Freudian slip followed by a nervous laugh when he accidentally said April 4th (the day he dumped me in a smokey bar) instead of August 4th (the day he was planning some sort of backpacking trip). Regardless of him making such a big deal about leaving me behind for some life experience that he couldn’t do tied to some girl back home, he still insisted on calling me every few days to tell me of his adventures and listen to what I was doing.

It was that day, 4 months later that I realized he dumped me after 7 years to go on vacation.

So there I sat, plagued by cyclical emotions. The current emotion I was in was rather analytical and dry of energy. I realized that the only reason my mind was sick was because this voice kept creeping into my life from far away offering nothing more than a hint that it might come visit. The thought of which only filled me with dread.

Then the phone rang again, as if on cue. There it was again, apparently sitting in some cafe in Tibet or some country near there, expecting to get what it wanted out of me for the time being without leaving me with something of value in return. I was mad at it, but I didn’t know how to get rid of it. So I just started talking about all the boys that I’ve encountered to make him jealous (because I knew it would work regardless of how he denied ever being jealous). I went into detail about how the boys all loved me and complimented me on the strangest things and how they were all so different and all such good friends even though I had only known them for the few months I’d been in Sydney, and how I was really fascinated by one in particular.

Then I just came out with it and asked, “Why are you calling me?”

There wasn’t much of an answer, so I just kept talking, “I don’t understand why you are calling me, you were so mean to me, you said such horrible things, and now you want to call me like none of it ever happened, you just want to go on as if nothing happened.”

Somehow the subject of another girl came up, who I knew he had a crush on because he hadn’t stopped talking about her for an entire year. Then he said, “you always get in a such a rage when [girl] is mentioned, you know you’re just going to have to get used to her and I being friends.”

“No,” I said, “I don’t because I don’t want to talk to you anymore, this whole situation is driving me crazy and I don’t want to deal with it anymore.”

“Whoa…. What!?!” he responded almost with a slight laugh over me saying I was being driven crazy because he always called me crazy for having normal female emotions, “But [girl] and I were going to come visit you!”

“What the fuck do I care about seeing [girl], why the fuck does she have anything to do with this?” I said.

It was at that point someone (the fascinating one in particular, of all people) walked by and tapped me on the head with a rolled up newspaper, as if to say what specifically I am not sure, but I perceived as if, to say “hey I’m here and take it easy.”

“Great,” I thought, “I tried to keep all this away from new people, I tried as much as I could to not be broken, but I’ve failed by being stuck in this tunnel vision of a fog all because the phone happened to ring when someone I knew was nearby.” If I wasn’t pissed off at my situation before I definitely was now. And I wasn’t going to put up with this shit any longer.

“But I’ve been carrying gifts for you for three weeks until I could get to a post office, what am I supposed to do with them now?” the voice pleaded.

“Throw them away, I don’t care, I don’t want them anymore, give them to [girl] sounds like she’ll appreciate them,” I snapped back.

“Well okay,” he said, “If you’re going to be like that then I guess this is goodbye.”

“I guess so!” I retorted.

“Okay, then, bye.” were the last words from the voice I’ve ever heard.

“Bye,” click.

Then sometime later… the phone rang back in Huntington Beach, California.

It was the voice on a train to his next city, calling a friend back at home.

“Friend! It’s [the voice],” came a solemnly desperate voice

“Hey man, What’s up?” asked the friend.

“Stephanie,” sob, “said she doesn’t want to talk to me anymore,” he cried.

Just as the friend was about to respond the call was dropped and there was silence.

Children

Children

When I was staying on the dairy farm in New Zealand, (TWO Whole years ago, damn!) the farmer’s wife was telling me stuff that was on her mind while we were making cheese from some milk we pumped out that day. One piece of information she shared is that when children first start talking to you, you have to keep listening, because the things that they really want to tell you aren’t the first subjects out of their mouth. So if you never let the kid speak and blabber on, or you tune them out, you’ll never get to the deeper layers of what is on their mind.

The same applies to me, except you can skip a fewer layers by asking me why I’m calling and I’ll answer the question.

Stepping into a New Existence

Stepping into a New Existence

I love the feeling I get when I step off the life-bus that transported me from one experience into this new experience. Where my mind still hasn’t quiet realized that the previous experience is over and that I’m about to enter yet anther unknown experience. I’m still reacting with the same sense of urgency even though, I can relax now because it is over and I never have to live it again unless I want to.

That feeling is not only great when I’m living it, but it feels just as good to realize that a feeling like that will come again once I’ve finished out this current chapter of experience. There I will be, suitcase in hand, fully in awe of what I have just been through… and in awe of the fact that it is finally over.

Work

Work

The eulogists of work Behind the glorification of ‘work’ and the tireless talk of the ‘blessings of work’ I find the same thought as behind the praise of impersonal activity for the public benefit: the fear of everything individual. At bottom, one now feels when confronted with work- and what is invariably meant is relentless industry from early till late- that such work is the best policy, that it keeps everybody in harness and powerfully obstructs the development of reason of covetousness [this means: inordinately or wrongly desirous of wealth or possessions; greedy.] of the desire for independence. For it uses up a tremendous amount of nervous energy and takes it away from reflection, brooding, dreaming, worry, love, and hatred; it always sets a small goal before one’s eyes and permits easy and regular satisfactions. In that way a society in which the members continually work hard will have more security: and security is now adored as the supreme goddess. And now – horrors!- it is preciously the “worker” who has become dangerous. ‘Dangerous individuals are swarming all around.’ And behind them, the danger of dangers: the individual.” -Nietzsche

In “life as viewed by Me” I continuously make the mistake of assuming people know what I know, or at least can relate to where I’ve learned what I know, which is true in many many respects but not all, and most importantly not always the issues i view as important.

On a typical day I, luckily, drive traffic free to the office, arriving within 3 to 8 minutes late (I’m never quite sure because all my clocks show different times. I do this to trick myself into thinking I am late when I really am not, so then I will be closer to on-time, but the real effect is that I’ve made myself confused as to what time it really is and therefore give up trying to figure out the time…anyways…) Once arriving at work I grab some tea or coffee then start working on the task at hand.

Essentially something needs to be done, pieces need to be organized and processed into a usable and efficient package. Accomplishing this small goal is much the same regardless of what the job is. First I scan the chaos of raw material to pick out the most obvious parts to start with. Using my tools I process the raw materials and after X amount of time have transformed them relevant to the blueprints of what I was instructed should be the finished product.

The repetition of this robot process leads me to grasp to any distraction which provides and excuse for temporary relief of the monotony. My grumbling belly, chance for conversation with my neighbor, the beep of a text message, all these I either welcome the chance and opportunity to tend to or I make a mental note that nature is calling and I must give into the interruption sometime in the near future.

The hour for lunch is my time to indulge in myself, to read and daydream about how I would react if life were this other way or that, or if so and so was here, or what is really going on. I love to spend it alone with my books and only rarely do I find someone else worthy enough to spend this time with.

I leave work at exactly the minute I am allowed to depart and I drive home in a daze, carefully sucking in the life that has been ignored and put on a shelf for the last 10 hours.

“A traveler who has seen many countries and peoples and several continents was asked what human traits he had found everywhere; and he answered: men are inclined to laziness. Some will feel that he might have said with greater justice: they are all timorous [this means: subject to fear; timid]. They hide behind customs and opinions. At bottom, every human being knows very well that he is in the world just once, as something unique, and that no accident, however strange, will throw together a second time into a unity such a curious and diffuse plurality: he knows it, but hides it like a bad conscious – why? From fear of his neighbor who insists on convention and veils himself with it. But what is it that compels the individual human being to fear his neighbor, to think and act herd-fashion, and not to be glad of himself? A sense of shame, perhaps, in a few rare cases. In the vast majority it is the desire for comfort, inertia – in short, that inclination to laziness of which the traveler spoke. He is right: men are even lazier than they are timorous, and what they fear most is the troubles with which any unconditional honestly and nudity would burden them. ” Nietzsche

Caught in Limbo

Caught in Limbo

I got out of bed this morning at 11:30 after being woken up to numerous announcements over the hostel loud speaker telling people to check out and get out….luckily I checked in for 2 nights so I don’t have to move if i don’t want to.

I like to lay in bed in the morning and just think… think think think… perhaps I think too much. No I read too much. I was wondering this morning how many of my ideas are actually my own… this thought, btw, isn’t my own, I got it from one of Schopenhauer’s essays, but that’s why I read because it make me think of things that I would normally never have thought of myself. Still, how much of what i do is actually me? Sure I filter though and pick out pieces of what I encounter that I can relate to, but why those things? and why those people? I swear this social networking that everyone claims is so good really just creates more problems and distractions from what people really want to do with their time.

I do have one thought (at least) that I feel is pretty much my own creation: All this single life stuff that I have felt so excited to experience and create will mostly be useless for the rest of my life… or at least I intend it to be useless. I’m just to lazy to spend so much time filtering though guys… I never had to do this before and I am so so so glad that I was spared for 7 years from this ridiculous dating scene that so many people I meet claim to love.

I was done typing but I’ve been away from the computer for so long that I just want to type more things for the Aspects of Me:

I love green food,
I’m not always in the mood to socialize, so i pretend to be asleep, read a book, pretend not to notice people, or simply hide in order to stay in my current bubble.
I love to ride my own momentum
I often soak up people’s mannerism or personality traits, so my personality is partly composed for the people who have made a big impression on me, I don’t always like this habit of mine because it can be too obvious that I’m reacting like someone else.
Many of my goals were actually someone else’s and I’ve accomplished them to simply do it before the originator had the chance… or to simply be more like the person who came up with the idea.
If I really like a song I will listen to it for a week or two straight… or in the case of Bjork… two years straight.
I need that spark with a guy
My body tells me what foods it wants more of…

Out of time…

Flash Packing, Faith, and Compromise

Flash Packing, Faith, and Compromise

Next time I travel I want to do it in style. Granted I have learned much about myself but honestly I need another vacation from my vacation from my vacation, which points to home. I really love that home is going to be a vacation for a while and it will be nice to snuggle into my bed where only I exist and all of this will be a dream.

I have so many thoughts to pour out but they always seem to hide when it is time for me to get them out.

Faith and compromise have been the major themes to this adventure of mine. Actually it hasn’t been a proper adventure. The east coast of Australia is extremely overrated. Perhaps I think this because I’m not an 18 years old and I’m not even a backpacker at all. Sure all my stuff is carried from one place to the next in my backpack, but backpacking, truly, is far more hardcore than this. I’ve just been budget traveling… and I’m sick of it. I would have rather done it “flash packer” style with a rented car or camper van and definitely some nice hotels instead of hostels.

Back to faith and compromise:
It is nice to come across people who have restored my faith in, well, people. I have realized that I have become an extremely stubborn person. When I first got to Sydney I felt kind of strange with the thought that I can do whatever I want whenever I want to, but almost a year and a half later that behavior has become natural to me to the point that I really have no idea how to compromise. My first thought at any compromise is “I don’t have to compromise, because well not to many others I know do.” Honestly… I’m just speaking about men here. All my girls are as good as gold. But boys… my gosh… being an adult isn’t about just being proud that you’re doing what you want and proving to me with your actions that you aren’t going to give in to me. There are guys who actually try and try again… maybe because they know what they want and are so sound in themselves that the first ‘no’ or apprehension from me doesn’t shake their path to the goal. Or they actually want to hang out with me…. hhmmm I guess there are people who wouldn’t want to hang out with me… but I really would rather not think about that. This concept is new to me because I have no way of getting to my goals with guys, all my efforts seem to fail or provide little feedback so I abandon the mission.

This is just the first piece of ‘the idiots guide to me’ that I think I’ll post up here… because my verbal communication skills really don’t relay enough information about me. I can only tell when asked and if no one is asking and just assumes, they really won’t know me.

It is defiantly true that I will say ‘no’ to you at first, I just will if your idea is far off from the plan I have in my mind. That plan BTW isn’t concrete and I’m relearning that other people’s plans could produce highly desirable circumstances. I am just stubborn and need facts and perhaps a debate; I like debating, especially with a smile 🙂

All this goes out the window with disposable relationships though… they can’t last without huge compromises offering hopes on a word that may have no history of reliability and probably a lot of time in between… sigh…

I’m just bored with myself.

For Lack of Something Better to do with my Time….

For Lack of Something Better to do with my Time….

…as well as the inability to do a task that disresembles a typical “I really am working hard, really” look… I must just type a note to keep my emotions from flaring up behind my face. If such an event, which is on the verge of happening, does occur, it will take me at least an hour to find the correct emotional antidote that should put me back on track.

If I could access myspace from here, I must admit, boldly and with all my heart, possibly my soul, and maybe a lock of hair – just for kicks, that I would rather leave this blog type-a-thingy on that profile.

Saturday morning I am going to spin down a rabbit hole and see what sort of land I end up in. Seeing as I don’t have anyone to break my fall, I hope I don’t break any porceline people upon landing in wonderland. If I do, I k now I can glue them back together, but it would really break my stone cold heart to see their faces cracked for life.

I do have some expectations for myself along the way. I plan on meeting a walking pen, with whom I’ll exchange story ideas with and perhaps get some tips and pointers on writing styles. I must indeed fall in love on my journey…with whom? You might be asking…. I’m not really sure who is left to forcast. There has been the wise wizard, the horse rider, the archer, the Hindi drunkard, a few hobbits, and…a skunk…..none more worth noting. I fell in love with them all in someway, for some reason or another. Perhaps I’m in the mood to fall in love with a philosophical sun who has the ability to bottle the happiness in me and pour a drop or two into my mouth when i’m feeling down. Or maybe a moon with a teleporting cloak who can whisk me away to his palace high in the mountains where, when no one is awake, I can walk to the cliffs and ‘throw little things off, like car parts, bottles and cutlery, or what ever I find laying around’….and go through all that so I can feel safe up there with him.

I’ll need companions, of course. I think a clever mouse, a mermaid, an inventer, oh and slithering snake. I’ll be the sorceress, with an apprentice, definately.

The plan is to jump from the cliffs, dive in shipwrecks, and twirl in circles around the clouds, eat some mushrooms and bathe energizing sunshine… all while collecting gold coins along the way. I’ll be the warrior Princess… none of this Peach pansiness, I’ll battle the bad guys with my mind altering super powers and if in a bind, then my dark knight in shining armor will rescue me from the evil boss. My knight and I will then live happily ever after. The end.

The View of the City Lights

The View of the City Lights

We were just getting ready to leave the restaurant in Bondi, at the time I didn’t really know where Bondi was, other than it was outside of Sydney and obviously on the coast because it was actually called Bondi Beach, pronounced “bond eye”.

At the moment, I can’t remember much of what we were talking about in detail aside from the fact that it was the basic things I guess people would talk about on a date, though I wouldn’t know if that is accurate because the last actual formal date I had been on was when I was 16, and that doesn’t really count because I had already known that guy for a long time.

I do remember listening to something more awesome sounding than music music, an accent. I wasn’t really nervous, because I tend not to take serious situations seriously sometimes unless they get super serious.  I could tell he was a bit nervous at times (or maybe I can say that later because he told me that he was nervous at some point in time way later).

Okay fine I do remember something we talked about that I’d just like to forget him asking me about, “So where is your boyfriend? Why are you traveling alone?”

Stab to the heart, I didn’t want to talk about it, the rule I read someplace is “Don’t talk about the ex to new guys, especially on dates.” Oh well, the lightest answer I could come up with was, “he abandoned me, we were supposed to move someplace together, but I was busy and he didn’t want to wait so he left, then I came here.” After saying it I realized from the look on his face that it wasn’t a very light answer, but at that point it was a sunk cost I had to deal with and people were going to know, I just wanted to avoid the excess emotions attached to it and enjoy the night.

We left the restaurant and took the long way back to the car by walking the board walk. He told me about the place and pointed out a romantic spot where he used to dance with his ex girlfriend.

“At least I’m not the only one bringing up the ex, must not be such a general rule,” I thought to myself. I also thought, “why don’t we dance there now?” but didn’t say it out loud because I figured he’d ask me if he wanted to and he didn’t so I wasn’t going to change his plans.

From there we drove up the hill to a park that over looked the Sydney skyline. I was going to sit down on the grass, but he told me to wait while he took off his jacket and started putting it on the ground for me to sit on. I told him is wasn’t necessary, but he insisted that it was leather and that it was fine.

So there I was, watching the city lights….falling in love again.

On How Pick Pockets Aren’t Always after Your Money

On How Pick Pockets Aren’t Always after Your Money

I was walking from Las Ramblas (near the shore front) in Barcelona to my apartment about 10 Spanish blocks inland on a somewhat chilly Wednesday. If you’ve ever been in Spain on a Wednesday, you’ll know what I mean when I say there was no one around. Literally everyone hides inside on Wednesdays, shops are barely open, cafes only open at intermittent times of the day, etc.

So there I was, stretched into my gray jeans and new H&M Jacket I had recently purchased (this was 2004 so H&M had yet to open stores in America) walking along minding my own business.

Ahead of me, I could see two teenage boys and a 10 year old boy were walking along the same side walk going the opposite direction. I walked along the curb to let them pass. The 10 year old had been swinging around each light pole as he came to one, as we passed he intentionally swung around this particular pole next to me twice, which caused him to swing into me so he could wrap his arms around me, face into my chest.

At the moment I found myself in a bear hug starring down at a smiling Catalonian face, one of the older boys reach over and pinched my left butt cheek with a jiggle, then they all ran off yelling something in Catalan.

Despite feeling violated, I couldn’t help but laugh uncontrollably the rest of the way back to my place. I checked for the few items (keys, credit card, and euros) I had taken out for the day, and was relieved that everything was still safely zipped in the inner pocket of my jacket… so the boys got away with nothing substantial except a good pinch.