notes from the road

Short comings and challenges

08/09/09

Yesterday two things happened that I didn’t mention and I didn’t mention them for two reasons. One: I am not proud of them and Two: they happened after I wrote yesterday’s piece.

The first was when I was purchasing some stone fruit from a street vendor. I accidentally picked up a peach thinking it was a plumb and put it in my bag with two other plumbs. Plumbs were three for a dollar, Peaches two for a dollar. The thing was though, that at first I thought it was a plumb, but upon closer inspection I realized it was a peach, but I still put it in my bag and still only paid the street vendor a dollar for it. THIEF.

So I wasn’t feeling all that crash hot when I ate my Hotdogs capsicum slices and carrots for tea that night, so when my mind challenged me to do something I knew I should do it to save some self respect. I was sitting with my back to the open roof top watching the TV. What I really wanted to do after I’d eaten was read my book and have another night in, but there was a group of people sitting outside and I had challenged myself to go and join them. Next ad break I said, then the next one. Finally I got up and joined in with their convo, and it wasn’t that bad. They were two boys from Queensland and a British girl. We chatted for a while, visited the liqueur store and then went out to a real American bar called ‘The Pioneer’ that played cowboy music and had girls dancing on the bar top. John, one of the Australian’s mates was there and he introduced us to his friends who we chatted with over the loud music. My new friends drank more and more and enjoyed themselves more and more as I felt less and less comfortable. I left them at around one and found my way back to the hostel. It was a fun night and I got to meet some proper Americans, but I’m sure there are other ways to socialize where not drinking would not make you boring and odd. Though, Sabina (the British girl) had said “Interesting” when she found out that I didn’t drink. When I arrived back home at close to two, I wondered if I would have actually gained more by just staying at home reading.

This morning I was still feeling on a bit of a downer as I found my way to the NYC Bahai center for the weekly devotionals. When I got inside my feeling didn’t subside. There was much singing and praying and about half of it in Spanish. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, but I didn’t feel at home, it was a community feel, but not my community. Though, like I forced myself to chat to the people last night, I forced myself to stay there after the devotional for the fellowship part of the get together – the tipping point was that there would be food. While guzzling down the amazing tacos, salad, fizzy drink, cookies and ice-cream (there is only so much I can make with a microwave (mic ondes in French – I’ve been studying with a French girl), hot plate and toaster) I started chatting to a couple of people who were quite friendly, dragging me out of my sour funk hole. I then started chatting to a man whose parents were living in the US when they fell in love – his mother Dutch and his father African. It was illegal at the time for them to get married so they escaped to The Dominican Republic and had children there. We started talking about the Bahai Faith, what happens when we die, how he studies the holy writings from a scientific point of view (he is an electrical engineer), matches, electrons and Hermes. I was struggling to keep up with all of his concepts but gained just enough to know that there was a lot out there that I don’t know. This was something that I was very glad I forced myself to try.

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