Archive for the 'By Plane' Category

Show Me Where You Live Miss Kakalak!

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Delicious lunch!

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Rock Collection

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Bottle Tree

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Sister and Brother and rifle, aw.

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Eeek

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Then we were done shooting, that bottom left one right in the orange, I did that.  First time, no biggie.

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Katie’s face for ‘you can take a picture if you want but you are missin out on petting this cuteness’

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Garlic bulbs and a beautiful bunny

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Zac, Katie, and their flannel love

DSC_0967Does it get any better than that? Amazing.

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Then Katie took me to the Reynolda Gardens

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Then Katie said ‘psst, come over here’ and showed brought me inside a giant Magnolia tree,

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It was pretty much one of those fantastic moments you keep smiling about.

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Magnolia pedal hat.

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Then of course some used books, Little Richards BBQ, and Basti.

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Thanks so much to Zac and Katie and her whole family for making my trip so wonderful!

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Never in the Same Place

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Ok, so by now I’ve done this a few times.  No big deal.  You live abroad in another culture for a while and coming back to your own is a little less comfortable than you thought it would be.  It’s like the senses are heightened for a bit; all of a sudden you can understand the conversations going on around you, there’s no need for the just checking that we understand one another pause after talking, and the magazines and books well they are everywhere and it feels like someone has put them there just for you. But then you’re back and you remember what it’s like and your old habits come quickly, pretty soon you’re talking fast and not paying much attention to things unless they’re in front of you.

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After my first four months abroad in Florence I flew out to Amsterdam then Detroit then Seattle.  I remember being so confused when I went to grab a cart in Detroit customs and realized you had to pay.  What?! No that’s not right, how am I supposed to have American money let alone four quarters? They’d been free in Amsterdam and Florence, pfft, America.  Then I went out into the domestic flights terminal and wondered if there was some sort of bacon convention going on.  It smelled awful and it seemed like the majority of people around me were terribly overweight.  Friends laughed when I told them and then we’d be back in comfortable conversations like; listing all that’s wrong with the US and how Bush made us want to move abroad.

The next time I wasn’t very phased at all.  I cursed the carts and patted myself on the back for checking all my luggage (this was the time that all my luggage was lost from Dec 17th until Christmas).  I over eagerly eavesdropped and accidentally said ‘grazie’ instead of thanks which recieved skeptical glares.  Right.  Then I raced home to be with my family, cook in a kitchen I knew, and watch Law and Order reruns at my leisure. But that was short and sweet, I savored what American things I could then headed right back overseas.

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This time is different. Maybe it’s because I assumed I knew how to handle it and it caught me off guard or the that I didn’t go back to my hometown first, or that I was coming from Germany instead of Italy, or that this is the first time I didn’t feel conflicted about leaving, or everything, maybe it’s everything.

First I forgot my own currency for a minute and had to remind myself that we no longer use fifty cent pieces, I mean it’s been a while but come on, then days later I find myself at a mall where I feel like some sort of alien sent to observe; I touch everything and have to stop myself from gawking at mother and daughter shopping teams, and awkward groups of teenagers.  The strange thing was a lot of people looked just as confused as me, searching for answers or comfort by buying something from the sale section. I used to love to hunt for things while shopping but even later on my visit in New York of all places I find myself overwhelmed and kind of repulsed by it.  It even hit me on Whidbey, I started pulling out my camera in those touristy places I’ve seen people take the same pictures in all my life, suddenly I had a great need for my own.

I’ve always felt I was pretty quick to adapt.  I don’t get grossed out that easily, I can convince myself that things are going to be alright long enough to stay calm through the things that aren’t, and when I can’t handle things on my own I can be open to trusting the compassion of strangers.  However, I’m starting to feel this lost feeling that doesn’t go away.  I suppose when you feel like you can acclimate to anywhere it’s most difficult to realize there’s nowhere you don’t have to adjust.

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The Icing on the Cake

It’s always nice to see someone who knows you from a different part of your life in a completely new place. Erin and I met in college, shared many bottles of wine together, a couple trips to New York, and those long conversations that never quite feel finished.

After school she moved to London to get her Masters in Photography at Sotheby’s.  This was the same time that I moved to New York, around January we were both feeling a bit lost.  So I went to London for a visit.

This visit was like coming full circle, last time it had been cold and unsettled with lots of wondering.  This time there were answers and specific destinations, favorite things to do, and people to meet, plus the sun shined the whole time.  Plus, something I always love to be around, everyone was just so grateful to be having the experience.  Pure happy.

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Back to Berlin for a Minute

Coming back was great, but after going every few days for the last few weeks the idea of staying put felt strange.  Especially without any work or immediate need to go.  So I slept in, checked my email more times than necessary, read up on some blogs, then found myself searching flight prices to go anywhere.

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The next day I headed out to catch a plane.

Meeting Up with AA in Amsterdam

My backpack was huge, I had a painting wrapped in some crumpled paper and a scarf, and I was ready to unpack.  When I arrived at the Ron Mandos Gallery in Amsterdam I was disoriented, not just from the early plane ride or only sleeping the night before but because this was the plan, the idea, the layout that we had been imagining for months.

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I walked through the forest room, noting how the trees had come together since they’d fallen apart on moving day.  The Cabaret Room wasn’t done yet and when I saw the worktable and the tools I knew, it was comforting.  Within a half hour I was back to working along side the other interns again, hearing all about the highs and lows of the weeks I’d miss.

“It must be completely different for you to see it, since you’ve been away.  You have kind of an outsiders perspective.”

It was different for me.  I had been so enveloped by my responsibilities as an intern but after Rome and non stop working when I got to Morocco my brain kind of put it aside to look at a bigger picture.  To be honest in my bigger picture, AA wasn’t nearly as important as I had made it during the work.

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I also felt quite guilty about abandoning the other interns, it was obvious they’d done a lot of hard work while I was gone.  When it’s 4am and you’ve been working since 10am, you share a kind of look with the person who’s been working along side you, I had lost the right to have this glance exchange and honestly I think it was that rather than the work that kept me going most of the time.

Check Out the Work

Although a few days later, on opening night, I think we all felt it.  We were proud and excited about finally getting to this moment we had worked towards for so long.  We enjoyed ourselves at the after party, complete with Dub step DJs and the crew from Fuck for Forest.

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Then it was time to part ways, Pedro on the train to Berlin, Serena, Winnie, and I in the car with the DJs, Sebastian stayed to visit some old friends, and Ford’s parents were meeting him to drive through France.  All of a sudden we were wearing clothes that weren’t covered in paint and baushaum and it was kind of weird.

Casablanca You Weren’t My Favorite

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Flying into Fes

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I fell in love with a stranger sitting in front of me on the flight over, turning courteous considerate gestures into a personality I admired.  He only carried a newspaper onto the plane which is something that always attracts me since I am the girl with the giant bag of two or so books, an iPod filled with podcasts, and some postcards to write in case.  We didn’t speak at all but in the course of the flight I imagined how we met, why I loved him, the troubles we faced together, and the happy conclusion of why it was better that we go our separate ways.  We were both better for having had the experience and would always reflect fondly on our time together.

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The colors of Morocco instantly awoke me and the giant back pack felt like nothing compared to the weightless excitement I was experiencing.  I hoped into a taxi and showed him the address and the hand drawn map I’d copied from google maps at 6am that, no wait, the morning of the day before.  I tried not to think about how little I’d slept in the past week. Too many good things were coming up.

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The taxi driver taught me the word for sunset in french as I clicked away with my camera, he kept looking at my grin and breaking into a smile himself, “you will love Morocco, you are welcome.”  This phrase would come back many times in the next two weeks but hearing it for the first time it felt like it was just for me.

After arriving to the landmark closest to the Riad where I was supposed to meet my Sister (which she had warned would be impossble to find) the driver apologized, he couldn’t drive into the medina.  He grabbed a shop owner nearby that seemed to be a close friend.  The driver pointed to a cart that looked like a backwards wheel barrow, “he can take you.”  I politely declined and started to walk when they insisted I let the shop owners son take me.  A shy boy about 6 or 7 lowered his head and stepped forward.  Soon we were walking throught the medina, a little wobbily in my state, attracting attention from each group of people in each narrow passage.dsc_0137

I made some friends, felt a bit helpless and overwhelmed, but an hour or so later my Sister and I were hugging and swapping travel stories.  We had some delicious dinner before heading to the Riad where we started our Rummy tournament, Morocco 2009.


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