Day One – Puerto Rico

I am still not in Puerto Rico. Not even in the plane (of course). I am on my bed, in fact.

This is my solo trip to a beautiful Caribbean island. I am excited, yet composed. I was initially planning to leave my laptop behind, but I don’t want to repent it. I am happy to be getting away, for more than a week. It’s like not waiting for anything, yet knowing that anything can happen. It can change my life totally. It can probably bring me back to square one. Anything can happen. Also, there’s El Yunque, Vieques, Old San Juan, Flamenco and Pata Prieta, Nuyoracan Cafe, Fortaleza Street…

My host’s name is Génesis. I love names with meaning. Génesis means origin of something. I read her profile, and she is studying to be a tourist guide for Puerto Rico. Also, I am getting a private room for just $19/day. What more can I ask for! I called her up today morning at around 11:30 am and she was sleeping. It made me happy that she sleeps till late. Later she messaged me about travelling in Puerto Rico. I told her I wanted to do everything for cheap and use public transportation. I now have the map and guidelines to reach her place from the airport via public bus. I am excited. I also got a small gift for her, a token from Boston. I have been travelling around Boston a lot in the past three weeks. Believe it or not, I have been to the aquarium thrice in less than two years. I know the animals in there, their names, habits, etc. Anyway, I had picked a painting by a street artist about a week ago, which I will be gifting Génesis with.

My plan for today noon, when I reach, will be to settle down for a bit, walk around and get acquainted with the neighborhood. I will soak in the air, and may be have a beer or two, and make plans for the rest of the days. If all goes well, may be I can write about how to enjoy Puerto Rico without giving a damn about money (meaning, cheaply).

When back, I will be painting an eye on my own. I wanted to paint it today, but I had a feeling that I would fuck it up. This song, Porcelain, has touched my heart and soul like anything. I can’t describe the feelings that it evoked in me. I want to paint this beautiful eye:

porcelian

Buenas noches, amigos!

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As I Walk

It’s another day, where I wake up with a smile, no sign of tears

Or the sadness that is the mother of my laughter.

It’s another battle, fought and won

What’s to happen to the war, I am clueless.

I shed my callous skin, I change my shoes

Anew and afresh, the wounds deep inside are too.

I fight no one in particular, for everyone is on their own

I create my own demons, and drink wine with them, and my angels.

I walk. I look back. I smile. I keep walking.

Memorial Day Weekend In The White Mountains

It was eight of us – three from Boston, one from NY, one from Seattle, one from Connecticut, one from Houston, one from Nashua. We left Boston in our handsome Ferrari convertibles a little late in the morning. After a quick lunch break, we reached the pretty state of Vermont some time in the evening. Boston was quite hot when we had left, but Vermont had only started showing signs of warming up. At least there was no snow. We could still spot some on the mountains later.

Our Cars

Our Cars

We hit the downtown at night. Dinner was at an awesome Turkish restaurant, Istanbul Kebab House. Their Zucchini pancake is to die for. Then we hit a bar that played the saddest music ever (Red Square), drank and danced a lot, and headed back to our hotel rooms.

After breakfast right next to the beautiful Lake Champlain, we took a more scenic route to reach the White Mountains. We stopped by a park (I do not remember the name), played Frisbee, rested amply, and then left for the Mountains. Somewhere in between we had also stopped by Walmart to pick up some camping amenities. We did not want to miss the sunlight while setting up our tents.

Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain

along the journey

Along the way

When we reached our camping ground (Dry River Campground), we had to wait for a long time to get out of our cars and set up the tents. They rent out the space for three days at least, and we needed it only for a night. When we did not turn up the first night, they gave it away to someone else. We had to take up a single large spot instead of two separate spots, next to the road. But we could see the sky and be together. Also, we got our money back for one spot. When we started setting up the tents it was already dark. To be frank only three people did the actual work. Then we cooked, which to be frank only one person did. We then went to sleep.

food

Pasta

campground

Campground

The night was extremely windy. The top of one tent flew off. Next day we cooked a lot of breakfast (which only one person did), and played a lot of games, packed up our tents and sleeping bags (the most tedious task ever)  then left for our three-hour hike alongside the very pristine and beautiful Arethusa Falls. It was a perfect day for trekking. A lot of people who were not fit cursed.

small falls 2

Atherusa Falls

big falls DSC_0757 small falls 1

Then we left for Boston.

Some things that I either learned newly or reiterated for myself on the trip:

Either go out camping with energetic people who want to help and work without a leader, or be an effective leader in making the lazy people move their asses. If you are the leader, NEVER be a pushover. People usually do not want to do any work, but give a lot of inputs with their mouths.

Treks are no fun if you do not observe the rocks, water, mulch, leaves and their serrates, flowers, smells, insects, etc.

Use good nails for the tents. Especially the tent you are going to stay in.

If you take care of your body, your body will take care of you.

Your body is what your mind is.

It was me who set up one tent entirely and the other one with the help of some friends. I also cooked dinner and breakfast for eight people. It was every bit enjoyable.

Don’t say sorry or be sorry for things you are not sorry for, or accountable for

Talk less, listen more. Sometimes it is good to not listen too.

Taking care of my body helped me a lot on the trip. I am all set and confident about my next trip which happens in a day!

You get to learn about some good music on trips. Here’s some for you to enjoy as I get myself ready for Puerto Rico – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6A2V9Bu80J4 Good music will always be good company.

PS: Though I do not have a driving licence yet, I drove the convertible a bit 😉

me driving

A Caribbean Break

I got up and the first thing I did was check my email box. I wanted to know the legal formalities to travel outside the USA. There was no email. I called up the office for International students and asked them my questions. I am all set to travel to the Caribbean!

I had been torn between Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. I started my research because I did not want to listen to the people who have not been to both the places (or worse, just one or none). Here is my research so far!

to go    to do

I got to book tickets tonight. No further delays.

I have not taken a pure vacation by myself. I have visited a different country by myself before and gone around by myself, but it was a business trip. Even when coming to the USA I wanted to make sure that I flew alone. I avoided flying with fellow students I knew from back home. My roommate asked me if she could join me for this trip and I said no. She was a little sad, but I want to do this by myself. I am mighty excited!

I will miss my camera a lot. I could have bought one with all the money, but I would rather travel. My broken stupid phone with cracks on the screen would do for now. This weekend I am going to three different states, and I will be camping in the White Mountains. I will write about my experiences when back. Now I will get back to my research and then probably go out to buy some cute bikinis! Or may be check out my town on a bicycle.

Enjoy feeling hot hot hot!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkGgdIBX1to

Officially, Vacation Time

It’s vacation time in the truest sense after ages. I don’t remember when it happened last. I worked for about 4.5 years with some measly breaks here and there. After ten days of leaving that job I flew to the USA for further studies. All done and dusted, I have a break with nothing to worry about. I also found something – I am the saddest not when I am hungry with no food to eat, or bleak with darkness around, or loaded with work with no time, or hungover with a shitty face, or even dying to feel loved by someone.  I found out that I am the saddest when there is no money in my bank account. Right now I have good money, and been waiting for some more money from my ex-employers. Every penny is hard-earned and I feel relaxed, even happy.

Here is the to-do list that will go on to become permanent things:

1. Get a driver’s licence

2. Learn harmonica

3. Paint more

4. Start running and work out regularly

5. Train my voice to sing better than what I do now

6. Read at least a book

7. Travel. I am going camping this weekend and planning a solo trip for the week after. Also, I want to sit in a plane. It’s been two years now.

8. Find a new house

9. Remember every person who matters, and let them know how important they are. That is last but not the least.

Happy summer!

I know you are, but what am I

My heart aches today. Tears don’t fall, though eyes well up. I don’t even know why. May be because I finished reading The Catcher in the Rye. I went to a beach after that and saw a lot of stingrays washed up ashore. But my heart still aches.

Holden does not like anything, anything at all. Mostly because he finds everything to be fake and phony. Though he loves digression. Like hell he does. He can’t have sex with someone he has no feelings for. He collects things like, say, a broken record. Small things bowl him over. Move him. Kill him. Over and over again. People annoy the hell out of him. He talks to his dead brother. He calls himself a madman. He probably gets some peace when his kid sister shows him that he is not alone, and goes around happily on a brown horse. A carousel. He says good-by. Just like that. Because he misses everything.

I keep the book back in the shelf, and look at the other books, to decide which one to pick. I am so inclined to pick Catch 22 and re-re-read it. But I pick something that I haven’t read before. I had once told a friend, that I don’t like the fact that many people read certain books that I love. People who do not deserve to read it. People who do not understand it. People who just read it to brag about it. I don’t care that that’s how I feel  about the books I love. That’s just how I feel about certain things.

My heart aches tonight. But everything is fine, if you want to know the truth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO1DXfBOl08

Farewells

Last days are overwhelming. Goodbyes, and moving on, and all of that. A lot of things are coming to an end in this phase of my life. A lot of things, that chiseled me and made me more of what I am.

I was never attached to my undergrad college. I wanted to get done with it and get the hell out of there. I hated everything about it. In fact, I did not even know when the convocation happened. It is different for my grad college. I loved almost everything about it. I did not spend a great deal of time on campus or anything, but I have some sweet memories. Also, it’s the first place I can associate myself with, after coming to a new country. I also worked here. Still do. A lot of other things happened in and around the college, which are more personal than work or studies. It’s a final goodbye to everything.

Today is my last day as an intern, at my workplace. I worked here for only about five months, but it was a great experience. I am definitely going to miss it – sitting by the window, listening to music, coming up with ideas, and forgetting about everything but work. I am sitting by the window right now, as I type this. My employer wants me to work for more days, but in a different country there are legal things you got to follow. There’s going to be a farewell in the evening, that my mentor arranged for. It’s going to be awkward as hell for me.

I have started looking for a new house. I will be saying my goodbyes to my roommates. It was a great experience, living, loving, fighting, etc. I don’t know what’s in store in the new house, with new people. My besties are going to come here, and stay with me in this house for a few days. Gathering up memories, before I leave it.

I have a job that will commence in about a month. I don’t have to say goodbye to this city yet.

I can go on and on, but there’s work, of course.

All good things have to end some day. With a hope for something better. Enjoy one of my favourites 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEvBiayarlc