Monthly Archives: March 2009

Last Photo in Miami 2009

I have been uploading some photos about my trips in the US to Flickr. It’s still an ongoing process. I choose most pictures in Miami first. San Francisco and Boston are upcoming next. To tell the truth, I still have some photos for my Budapest and Japan trips, but I am reluctant to upload them all. It’s kind of naive to assume if I don’t do that, those trips would never end. However, I still send out my last photo in Miami. Everything has an end, sooner or later, trips and life all included.

The last day in Miami. Unlike the other days with clear sky, dark clouds come in all directions. Soon it’s all going to be engulfed.

On Nostalgia

New information comes to us, every single day. It arrives, gracefully makes a turn around us, and leave. We try to catch up, but almost always feels lag behind. Many of us try very hard to keep up with the world, and mostly, discover the new world.

But sometimes, in some occasions, with some people, the situation reminds us of the glory (or not) old days.

There may be a chance in our lives, when we have the first eye contact with another, Carpenters starts to sing Close to You besides you ears. There may be a time, when we read a memoir or flip through our past in mind, Paul Anka will eulogize Times of Your Life for us. And in some cases, you couldn’t help but wonder, how can life be more dramatic than The Graduate? But when it happens, you can really hear The Sound of Silence.

In certain stage of our life, people would especially dress up for photos. We want to keep the best images of us, but after many years, when we find the old album at the bottom of a drawer, they turn out otherwise.  Some families choose to look identical, or even hair uniform. Sometimes you can hardly recognize which one is pet. The photo may kindly remind you some things had existed before. They, and many more, are now collected in a blog named Sexy People, with the subtitle “a celebration of the perfect portrait”. Enjoy.

Nowadays we do so many things online. To some people, notebooks only mean laptops, and addresses are only for emails. I am not sure if people still remember what pen pals are, but now websites can even help you make new pen pals, not neccessarily using your pens.

I am probably not quite a digital native, so when reading a paperback on bed, I still want a paper-based dictionary for words not sure or know. I still like the sound when pencils dance and leave marks on a piece of paper. I still, in an old-fashioned way, like to receive postal mails.

The more digital the world is, the more we want somthing in substance sometimes. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why Oso announces he will “one day sooner or later […] write … on paper”.

Good at Hi, Bad at Bye

I like to travel, to know new friends, to experience different cultures, to meet with friends known for a while, and even to enjoy the anxiety of being lost in a unknown place. It is a mixture of excitement, wonder, joy, surprise and shock. It almost feels like opening a present or a lucky draw, even though it could be empty, you still get involved with it.

But I hate to say goodbye. Though it is doomed to come when we first greet each other, farewell almost kills me every time.

Coming back from the US for two days already, I flip/click through photos on screen, trying to capture every incident, big or small, in journey. There are things I should have / could have done, but every trip leaves some regrets, hopefully they would be sufficient reasons for next travel.

I love to pack, as it signifies a new trip in formation. I hate to unpack back at home. When it’s done, the trip has come to an end.

Every night before leaving a place, I wake up in shock in the middle of night, because of the nightmare that everyone’s gone silently. Probably that’s why I should live alone. My insecurity strengthens with company. Where does that come from? I don’t know for sure.

I hate to say goodbye, but I hate even more to miss it, to miss the last words. Each time I hope I will not be the first one to leave. If I have to, I would rather be the last one. To everyone I meet in Miami, San Francisco and Boston, hope we’ll meet again sometime, somewhere soon.

During this trip, I learn that I should never have a pet myself, because it never feels good to say goodbye to them, once I am used to their existence. On the day I leave San Francisco, David’s (or I should say Cyrus’) cat Baran sits in front of the house and watches me. I know it’s not because of me. Baran just loves to sit on everyone’s luggage. Baran just likes to sleep beside others. Baran is just used to standing next to others. I know people should never project their emotions on pets, but it’s still heartbreaking for me to say goodbye to Baran. I don’t know how long she stays at the same place, but I am too afraid to look back.

I always have tears in my eyes whenever saying goodbye, no matter how many times I have done so.

And it hurts, every single time.

Suddenly Noon

I wake up in Boston in the morning. The weather is exceptionally beautiful today as well (“totally unrepresentative”, Lokman’s friend says). Lokman kindly makes some breads and eggs for us, asking me where I am planning to visit day. “I’m probably going to ICA for Shepard Fairey‘s exhibition,” I reply. His famous portrait of Barack Obama, the US president, is selected as cover of Time magazine Person of the Year.

Lokman reminds me: “Then you should be going soon. It’s noon already.”

“No way!” I look at the clock on the wall. “It’s just eleven o’clock.”

“Well, winter time is over. We enter the summer time today.” Lokman stands up, takes the clock and switches to the correct time. It’s noon.

I look up daylight saving time in Wikipedia later, showing it works from the second Sunday of March every year in the US (aka today) to the first Sunday of November. But I am not going to stay here until then. An hour of my life is lost/missed, therefore, in the twist of time.

Greeted by a Cat

I have left Miami for San Francisco. The whole experience overall is a pleasure in Miami. Meeting all these like-minded while opinionated GV people in the same place is a must experience in life. The more, the better. Everyone has different skills, and they all compensate well under one roof, even the housekeeping works.

My flight from Miami to San Francisco is not that smooth, though, as it is delayed, changes boarding gate to another concourse, and worst of all, my luggage doesn’t follow me on the same flight. I wait for three hours at SF airport and finally get it with the next flight.

After spending $60 sharing a van with four other people (no subway after midnight, sorry), I arrive at David’s lovely house at 2am. I get the key, open the door and walk in. In the dark, I see a pair of bright eyes staring at me. Oh, a cat. David has a cat. Now I am nervous.

It’s not that I am allergic to cats. In fact, I have no idea how to get along with cats, especially an unfamiliar one. I always keep a friendly distance from cats, trying not to invade their area. The black cat is beautiful and quiet, sitting in opposite of me, thinking what this stranger is doing in this cottage. She looks at me from up to down carefully, and walks away. After I put the luggage on the floor and take my things out, she quickly occupies it as her cushion, seeming to love it.

It’s been a long day, so I quickly lock the door, check my emails, change my clothes and sleep on the sofa. I fall into dreams immediately.

After several hours of sleeps, meow sounds wake me up. I stand up and look around. Where is the cat? Then I see a small, black shadow outside the front door. She’s there! I have no idea how she goes out (probably from an open window in the kitchen for an adventure, later found). I open the door and she gracefully walks in.

I sit back on the sofa, and she follows. She walks towards me, step by step. I am nervous, wondering what she would do next. She gets on to my thighs, sits, and lies down. I hesitantly touch and stroke her back, no resistant responses. After I lie down again, she still sleeps by my feet.

This in my first night in the rainy San Francisco, confronting, living and sleeping with the cat.