Leaving California: A Summer Odyssey on Wheels
So another September is almost nearing its end and this time I cannot stop myself from seeing these weird late afternoon dreams (yes, that means I am sleeping too much these days!) where, and this is absolutely true, a girl called Ishagaki calls me on the phone and tries to lure me into a marriage and yeah during one of the other dreams I find myself crossing the DMZ and entering North Korea, unharmed, untouched lol!! Maybe such glimpses into some illogically imaginable circumstances are fuelled by the restless wanderlust burning inside me. So before its reading week when this globetrotter flies to Seoul, let me try to get this tinker a bit nostalgic and let him relive the train trip that we took, post my exchange, through forests, deserts, mountains, prairies, canyons, national parks and yeah across the Pacific coast- from LA-SEA-CHI-SFO, so that he doesn’t make me dream of going scuba diving in the Bahamas without oxygen cylinders in the coming weeks!
Me: Hey Mo (That’s what he prefers to be called while travelling- easier to pronounce and remember than our full name!), remember the night before we left LA, it was our birthday! Remember the party at my professor’s house and the farewell chitchat with our friends from China?
Mo: Oh yeah it was a really special night. I remember you were feeling really sad of leaving your friends and the university and also extremely worried of our trip. I told you la its gonna be fine, see now we both are here and wasn’t the train ride fun?
Mo: That’s so tough- to choose the best… definitely I loved the ride along the pacific coast, it was one of the top things I wanted to do during your exchange. Also I really liked Chicago- just made me go crazy to see in person all the elements of the city present in pop culture!
Me: Ya on one afternoon we were just hunting down and taking snaps of all the locations were The Dark Knight was shot, even running into some dangerous guys underground haha! For me the highlight of our trip would be the journey from Denver to Sacramento. Before Denver, it was just that same old grassland and farms, we had seen the better version of it, sleeping underneath snow in Canada, but OMG from Denver it was such an amazing ride! Day spent snaking through the Rocky mountains and towards evening creeping along the edge of gorges and canyons and waking up next morning to the sights of naked deserts of Utah and strange pink sand of the Salt Lake City and as the dusk dawns closer we say farewell to the lush green forests of Sierra Nevadas. Those two days were probably our most beautiful days in the states.
Mo: Whoa but how can you forget our days during the new year eve in New York?!
Me: There’s something really special about nature. New York was definitely fun and its my favourite city in the states but that tranquility of the sky, the innocence of the rivers and streams and the wisdom of trees is missing from the life in the city. You know life is already so stressful in HK and I had to work with OISE the next day right after I reached HK so those two days in the wilderness are very memorable and precious to me. I don’t how to explain it to you, those moments were simply beautiful.
Mo: I understand la. I feel the same but maybe not as much as you coz I love the cities, its rush and noise. Maybe that’s where I belong.
Me: And that’s why you brought me to HK for studying :p!
Me: Yep! But there’s two exams right after the reading week.
Mo: Don’t worry, you will be ok.
Me: Hopefully… (speaking to myself- especially if you stop making me see those wacky dreams of yours!)