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Rachel

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The End [14 Jul 2007|04:36pm]
Since I have not updated in several months, I think it is only appropriate that I draw this journal to a close.
I have had this journal since I started college. Four years and four schools later, I have graduated with a BA in history. Needless to say, I'm not much better off than when I started out. I like to think that I've learned a few things though.
I've learned not to binge drink or smoke to solve my problems. I've made a few friends. I've learned how to dance (or at least not to be self-conscious when flailing about with the other people on the dance floor.) I've learned how to travel and not get lost (or at least not to panic when lost.) I've learned what "nonplussed" means. I've learned when to talk and when to shut up (most of the time.) I even learned a little history.
I haven't found my soul mate. I haven't had sex in Venice. I haven't killed anyone with a sniper rifle from a hotel window. I haven't learned to hold my alcohol. I haven't mastered driving a stick-shift or become fluent in another language (although I'd like to think that my Spanish and Italian have improved.) I haven't discovered the meaning of life or overcome my fear of flying. (If anything it's gotten worse.)
But (God-willing) my journey isn't over yet.
Right now I'm working in the coffee shop and trying to find another job that will cover health benefits. In January, I'm going to the Holy Lands with my mom and her old Hebrew professor. Next summer, I hope to be on my way to Thailand to do a year-long volunteer program.
But that could change.
I've had a good run.
College wasn't all that they said it would be. But I've learned that things rarely match our expectations exactly. And it was worth my time.
I bid you all a very fond farewell.
Goodbye.
2 curses| the mirror cracked from side to side

My Lovely Lady Lumps [03 Apr 2007|12:40am]
I am so fucking stressed, when this month is over I am going to drink myself into a stupor. At least, that was the plan, then I saw this SVU episodes about the negative effects of alcohol, so I think I'm going to take up crack.
1 curse| the mirror cracked from side to side

The Week From Hell [22 Feb 2007|04:29pm]
This week has to go down in the annals of college as one of the worst weeks ever. It wasn't that something particularly bad happened, it was that I felt more lathargic than I have in... longer than I can remember. I tried to drag myself out of bed for class yesterday, gave up and ended up sleeping until 6.
Last night i finally managed to get a paper typed that was due two days ago and today I haven't been slap-ass out of it.
I am going to try to recover this weekend and get a lil more bounce in my step. Any ideas for quik energy? (You know, legal ones?) I'd be much obliged.
the mirror cracked from side to side

Coffee Slave Again [21 Jan 2007|05:44pm]
[ mood | drained ]

So I have now commenced my 4th coffee job. I returned to the independent persuation, because it's just more fun to know that you are not just a number. It feels good to be making money again. Even if it is only 14 bucks in tips. (Shut up Katie, we can't all rake it in at Wet Willy's.)
Here's a notion... how about some one else update?

4 curses| the mirror cracked from side to side

Over Before it Begins? [18 Jan 2007|02:07pm]
[ mood | anxious ]

I have finally gotten back in the swing of things and I actaully enjoy it. I have 15 hours of class, which granted is not above average but seeing as they are all upper-level English and History classes, that means a good two- three hours of reading a night.
So, why I am posting...
I applied for this independent coffee house down the street from where I used to work. They probably won't pay as well as Starbucks, but the place is so cool, I don't even care. But when I called the dude back for an interview he was muttering into the phone and people were screaming in the hallways of my school while I was trying to hold a conversation so I had to say "what?!" like 50 times. I hope I didn't bow this interview before I even go because I know I sounded like a spaz. But to give myself a little credit, he sounded stoned. Maybe he'll forget we even had that conversation.

1 curse| the mirror cracked from side to side

The Beginning of the Last Semester (Hopefully) [03 Jan 2007|03:36pm]
[ mood | restless ]

I'm back in Atlanta for good this time and I'm ready to do real life again. Well, maybe not entirely ready, but I am doing it anyway.
It was good relaxation in Memphis, but I was about to jump out of my skin doing so much of nothing, so I came back to Atlanta early to get some things done.
It's been so long since I've had to rely entirely on myself to get things accomplished. I look back at all of the things that I've done over the past few years and wonder who that person was who did them. Because after one month of vacation and 3 months of sailing around the world on a ship where everything from meals to cleaning your room was done fore you, I feel like I'm too lazy to accomplish anything.
Last night was the first night since the summer where I have slept completely alone. (Well, except for that night in India, but I was so drunk I don't think I would have cared if I were the last person left on earth.) It took me a while to get to sleep.

the mirror cracked from side to side

Pictures of You [11 Dec 2006|02:06am]
[ mood | lonely ]

My throat is killing me. Has been for a week now. And my ankle still hurts. This is just getting annoying.
I got up and went to church this morning. My mom has started a new congregation here. I like the people that go there. They are a lot more interesting that the people that went to the other congregation down in Richmond Hill. Or maybe I've just gotten a little more tolerant. Maybe it's both.
Anyway, then I went home and went to sleep. For 5 hours. Rachel W. would be proud. Or disgusted.
We started decorating the Christmas tree and I felt sad. I can't pinpoint an exact reason. I just miss all of the people that I met I think.
And I miss all of you.

the mirror cracked from side to side

Feels More Like Going Back to Sleep... [09 Dec 2006|03:20pm]
[ mood | sick ]

I'm home again. Well, one of my homes. I'm in Memphis with my parents and sister. It's really a relief to not have to do anything. It's good to be back.
There are a few things that I suppose could qualify as "reverse culture shock" though. Since when I was traveling in country, we were the only Americans around, anytime someone spoke in English, they were talking to one of us. So when I was walking around the airport someone said "Hey" into their cellphone, I whipped around because I assumed they were talking to me. Also, I'm used to the fact that everyone white person or American-looking person being people that I know. So when I'm anywhere now I keep "seeing" people from the ship in the faces of everyone I meet.
It's kind of sad actually.
I will be coming down to Atlanta in about a week.
And then, to Savannah for a few days.
Looking forward to seeing you all and catching up!

the mirror cracked from side to side

Last Leg of the Journey [25 Nov 2006|09:17pm]
[ mood | exhausted ]

Hey Guys. I´m in Granada. Can´t report much on it because I have only been here about 3 hours, but it has a good downtown and it didn´t rain as much as in Sevilla.
We reached Cadiz, Spain 3 days ago (wow, it seems longer that that) and I slept until 11. Then, Lil Rachael and I hit the train station and took off for Sevilla. That night we found a hostel that was kind of dodgy, but had a private bathroom and cool tiles on the wall, so I let it slide. We went out and I drank on glass of beer and felt tipsy (¿how sad is that?) Then we went to see the Borat movie, only we didn´t realize it had been dubbed in Spanish. Luckily, the Borat movie is pretty much the perfect moive to watch if you understand one-eighth of the language because he talks simple and it was mostly physical comedy anyway.
The next day we went to the Seville Cathedral, which is the biggest in Europe, and I hesitate to say, the coolest I´ve ever been in. (Sorry Hagia Sophia.) We shopped a lot. We ate and drank a fair amount. (They really don´t tell you that those Spaniards know their wine AND their beer pretty well.) And that night we went to a Flamenco Show. The woman danced like a Fire Spirit or like a bullfighter fighting herself. It was furious and interesting.
This morning we got up after a rocky night of listening to crazy Spaniards partying and the street sweeper and went ot the Museum of Fine Arts. Then we got on a train and here we are. We are heading off to the Alhambra tomorrow and then to see the palace of... hold it... hold it... Carlos V. (It´s okay to be jealous...)
Then we´re going back to Cadiz, hopefully engaging in a night of drunken debachery and then heading back to America.
So this is my last update from this side of the world people.
I will see you in 3 weeks!

2 curses| the mirror cracked from side to side

It was bound to happen eventually... [16 Nov 2006|05:34pm]
[ mood | calm ]

So two days ago the MV Explorer pulled into the harbor in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The place looks like a mix between Italy and Greece with very steep cliffs that fall into the Adriatic (Take note of this, because this comes up again later.)
So after our ship was cleared, I headed out to climb the walls of Old Town with my friends Inga and Sakib. Due to the fact that we were taking our time and due to my inferior navigatory skills, we took a wrong turn and ended up taking pictures of the Adriatic from the road. Next to the road was a cliff. Down the cliff, we saw our friend Jonny and a few other guys swimming in the ocean. It looked fun so Sakib and I started to climb down.
There was a rock that had no footholds and was about 8 feet above the next ledge. Long story short I fell and sprained my ankle. Only at the time I thought it was broken because of the extreme pain. I couldn't move it at all and so I had to reclimb up the cliff with the assistance of about 5 guys, two girls, Inga and Sakib.
It was an excellent display of teamwork. I am so lucky that it happened where it did and when it did. I had a beautiful view of the Adriatic and several beautiful people to help me up. The only down side was the pain and the fact that I threw up three times because of the pain.
And I've had to miss all of the awesome outdoor shit to do here because I can't move my ankle.
I have spen thte majority of the last few days watching SCRUBS and Nip/Tuck. (That's another lucky thing, that I downloaded SCRUBS when I did. I now have a bootleg of the last 2 seasons.)
I have gone out to eat twice and tonight I went to a Croatian Mass. I hope that tomorrow I can get out to one of the islands and go swimming.
If I'm really lucky, the last day I will go horseback riding.
3 weeks to go!

2 curses| the mirror cracked from side to side

Istanbul/Constantınople [11 Nov 2006|02:47pm]
Thank you for all of your comments, those of you who put them out there.
I love Istanbul. I honestly would stay and just meet my shıp ın Croatıa ın 2 days ıf ıt dıdn't mean beıng confıned to the shıp wıth dock tıme for the remainder of the voyage.
It's cold and raıny (remıncent of London) only wıth mosques ınstead of churches and Roman walls and ıcons and... the hıstory! It makes me so hot! One of the my frıends on the shıp suggested that I publısh a book called 'History makes me Horny' and ıt should be my memoirs of thıs adventure.
I went to the Topkapi Palace today which has a bunch of relıcs that are dubious ın theır valıdıty. (The Staff of Moses, the bowl of Abraham,etc.) I thınk I may have ınsulted my Muslım frıend when ı commented that their authentıcıty was up there wıth the shroud of Turin. Oops.
Anyway, it's been a good last day ın Turkey. After goıng to the Topkapi Palace, Little Rachael and I went to Tksim Square and had a late lunch at thıs pub where these two guys where playing folk music. It was a bit lıke The Decemberists, only, you know... good.
I hope to update from Croatia!
4 curses| the mirror cracked from side to side

Hello!!!! [09 Nov 2006|07:45pm]
Okay, thıs ıs my last try. If none of you fuckers comment on thıs I'm goıng to assume that you don't gıve a shıt about me because I'm out of sıght. And when I come back I won't talk to any of you and we'll see how you lıke ıt.
3 curses| the mirror cracked from side to side

To make up for what the government erased... [15 Oct 2006|10:37am]
[ mood | pensive ]

So I wrote a lovely journal entry in a half intoxicated stupor from a budget hotel in Yagon, Burma and it was proptly erased when I tried to post it. Because the Burmese government does not like its citizens to have a voice and that includes keeping blogs or anything like it.
I have to say, that while I was there I saw few signs of outward government harassment towards the citizens. (Our driver from a small town called Twante to Yangon did have to pay money to bribe the police so he could keep traveling.) But apparently, that is what keeps the people in fear... the silence.
We were told not to bring up the subject of government to the people while we were there because while we would not be punished, the people could be imprisioned or killed. Nevertheless, when I was at the Schwedagon Pagoda, a monk confided that the government's policy on education was atrocious and the reason that we had become a monk was so that we could get an eduation and help protest the government from the inside.
Burma was an incredible place. Beautiful in some places, but what it lacked in wealth, the people made up for with their friendliness. They were probably the most genuinely kind people that I have ever met.
So now, I am in India. I have to say that the first day has been a bit of a disappointment, although I can hardly blame India. Everything in the city of Chennai shuts down on Sundays. In addition, whenever we asked our cab/autorickshaw driver to take us some place, they would drive us to these tourist souvenier shops where they get commission. Thank God I was with two seasoned bartenders who had learned not to take shit from anyone.
Basically, we wound up going to two markets and getting overpriced clothing and bindis. Now we are at the only establishment still open in this town, a five star hotel. Luckily, they have a business center, which is how I get to talk to you fine people.
I'm just pissed because after India, we are back on the ship for another 10 days and I don't want to waste it. I certainly feel like I'm wasting it now.
Tomorrow, I'm planning to take a train down to Pondicherry and stay there for two days by myself. That will be nice because I will get to do whatever I want to do, plus, hopefully, I'll get some culture. (Chennai's turned out to be pretty Western, or maybe I'm just not looking hard enough.
I also have two field projects from different classes. In one case, I have to do a reportage piece form my nonfiction writing class in which I have to do some immersion reporting. On the other, I have to interview someone about the gender biased ramifications of the Ramayana.
So I am planning to stay in a Hindu Ashram (which is like a temple for lay people) and hopefully interview some people. If not, I'm going to have a lot of bullshitting ahead of me.

2 curses| the mirror cracked from side to side

3 days out... [05 Oct 2006|09:12am]
[ mood | sick ]

Hey guys,
Sorry for the hurried updates. The satellite on the ship hasn’t been working in this part of the world for one reason or another. (We get a new excuse every day.) And in country the internet is even less reliable.
So, yeah. One month down. 2 to go.
There are some days I miss home more than others. I’d say days like this (one of the few on ship we don’t have class) is one of the hardest. I want to be able to drive my car with the music on to downtown Decatur, getting a Raging Burrito, hang out with my excellent-good friends, and go home and watch X-files and read Firefly FanFic.
How sad is it that the thing I miss most about home is my DVD collection?
Maybe not too sad, it is a rather impressive collection.
I hope ya’ll are making good use of it in my absence. Nothing better be scratched when I get back.
So Vietnam was so much easier to navigate and more comfortable that I expected. It is a third world country, but you can really tell the progress that they’ve made recently. Even if the jobs that they had were meager, I only ran into a few people that were unemployed and begging.
And it really is beautiful, especially down on the Mekong Delta. There are 18 million people that live there but only a handful of cities. They are all dispersed out in the jungle.
I spent the last night in Saigon walking around and picking up some last-minute souvenirs (for some of you fine people.) I was by myself the entire time and I didn’t feel unsafe at all. I rode back on the back on a “taxi” driver’s motorcycle and I wished that we could have stayed a little longer.
Myanmar (Burma) next.

the mirror cracked from side to side

A Whole Nother Country [30 Sep 2006|11:12am]
[ mood | sick ]

I'm updating on a computer in the lobby of my hotel in the Mekong Delta. 2 Nights ago I slept under mosquito netting in a hut on the side of a river. We're leaving to go back to Saigon today.
I only have one minute left before they start charging.
Vietnam is weird and beautiful. I ate pigeon and drank snake wine with a dead crow in it.
Hopefully I"ll get to update from India.
KIR...

1 curse| the mirror cracked from side to side

Hardy Succulents [16 Sep 2006|05:33pm]
[ mood | tired ]

Oh man.
I am spending my last hour in Japan in an internet cafe. I can hardly type on the keyboard because the keys are all wonky and Japanese like.
Japan is an awesome place and anyone who gets a chance should come here. I would say something less cliche and obvious, but I am exhausted and my feet less cliche and obvious, but I am exhausted and my feet hurt from walking around all damn day.
I landed in Kobe, wen to Mt. Rokko, did the nude hotsprings thing, went to Kyoto, saw a bunch of temples, went to Nara, saw a bunch of temples, went to Himeji, saw a feudal castle, a garden, went to a tea ceremony, came back to Kobe, did Karoke, and shopped. The five minute recap of an awesome 5 day trip. Ask me about it sometime. Oh and at one point I was attacked by a fellow student. (Chelsea, don:t tell mom or dad.) (Chelsea, don:t tell mom or dad.) Im okay. Ask me about that too...

3 curses| the mirror cracked from side to side

Cabin Fever (Ah) [09 Sep 2006|05:55pm]
Okay, I'm getting a little stir crazy. It's been 13 days at sea with a one day repreave. 3 days 'til land.
You bastards need to post some fucking comments.
2 curses| the mirror cracked from side to side

Hawaii [03 Sep 2006|09:00am]
[ mood | content ]

So yesterday I spent in Honolulu, our first port of harbor. Turns out, it’s pretty awesome. I spent pretty much the whole day on beach after my plans for hiking up Diamond Head fell through. (It took us 2 hours to depart the boat because the card-scanning machine broke down.)
I walked from the port where we were docked to the beach. It’s not as short a walk as it looks on the map. It’s a good four to five miles. That was strenuous, but it was nice once I got down to Waikiki Beach.
I shopped around a bit in the International Market, got suckered into buying 4 necklaces (for the low low price of 20 bucks.) And then I camped out on the beach. After 4 hours passed and I had run out of sunscreen and my plans for meeting up with another group of people fell through (we kept missing each other, it has to be the most crowded beach this side of Europe,) I caught a but back to the ship.
I got cleaned up and met with 3 other people down on Waikiki for dinner, where I had my first 21-year-old purchased beverage. (A Mai Tai, how appropriate.) Then we stopped by one of the multiple ABC stores and I got some Hawaiian Lion coffee and a macadamia chocolate bar.
Then we hauled ass back to the ship. If we are even a few minutes late, then we get dock time at the next port.
We got back with 10 minutes to spare.

1 curse| the mirror cracked from side to side

A Life Aquatic [31 Aug 2006|11:24am]
[ mood | happy ]

Hey from the middle of the Pacific! (You gotta love modern technology.) I’m on a boat halfway between Ensenada, Mexico and Honolulu, Hawaii. This ship kicks. I’m going to be so spoiled after this trip I don’t think I’ll be able to go back to civilian life.
We are waited on at every meal, a guy cleans my room, and we have our own spa! I’m getting a Happy Birthday Massage today.
I do miss everyone in Georgia and I wish you could be here to experience this with me. I have met a lot of really cool people though. (2 of them are named Rachel, oddly enough, and one of them is my roommate.)
I’ve put off doing my homework for too long though, so I will write more once I have been somewhere to write about.

1 curse| the mirror cracked from side to side

Crazy-Ass Weekend [13 Aug 2006|11:43pm]
[ mood | excited ]

This has been the most stressful weekend I have had in a really long time. I got into two fights with my roomate, made up, drove halfway to Athens, then turned around because no one was picking up their phone, and then I went to an Alumni Meeting of the people who had been to Semester at Sea. They were all very nice and enthusiastic and insisted that this trip will "change my life." It was a positive experience but after two and a half hours of talking and smiling and pretending to be outgoing I collapsed on the couch for two hours.
How am I going to handle 3 months of being around people constantly? I need time to recharge the old social battery. I can forsee many an hour spent alone in a cramped shower.
None-the-less, I feel that I am as ready as I'm going to be.
Apprehensive, but mostly excited.
My fear is close to what Stribling's was when she left, I would love this experience to change my life, but not so much that I cannot reconnect with people when I get back home.

the mirror cracked from side to side

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