Thursday, July 26, 2007

On the Road

I travel. It's just what I do. It's what I plan to turn into my career, my future, me. Well, I guess that's false as it already IS me. The downside of living this fantastic dream of a life that most people will only ever experience in pictures is the inability to put my roots in. I can't really call anywhere home, I don't have "friends from back home," and every time I pack up that suitcase I'm leaving someone, or something, behind.

This is the little dark truth that no one ever wants to admit. I strive towards independence and pride myself on not leaving any loose ends or anything to tie me down, but the fact of the matter is that there are always loose ends and things tying me down. I thought that by getting an apartment and establishing an address in NY that I would make it my home, but the close I get to having to pack up and go back there the less and less I want to do so. I love the city, and love the excitement, but every time I'm there I constantly miss the normalcy of family and consistency of friends. People are constantly changing but when in NY, the city changes faster, the people are NEVER the same,. Half of my friends graduated and moved away, the other half are going into their senior year...this year's already vying to be tough.

And then there's the little factor that I want to go to Africa my senior year. This would force me to give up my apartment, and halfheartedly live somewhere for a semester....the roots I tried to put down are already being ripped out.

And then there's family. My "last family trip " was to China....on the trip my parents talked about going on their own trips, sans my brother and I. So we are on our own little trip in hawaii. That's right, I'm in Hawaii right now. I should be on the beach, but my brother is sleeping. Sigh. Anyway, before we left my parents realized how boring a trip alone would be, as my dad wouldn't have a drinking partner and you can't play liverpool rummy with only two people. so they invited me along to meet my cousins/aunt, the Saarmons, while they're on their yearlong Caribbean adventure in June. This just defeated the purpose of my apartment...I need to get a job, not live life in limbo any more, and that's what they are pulling me to do! If I do, in fact, decide that Africa is plausible, I may do it. But who knows. Life of a wanderer.

Speaking of which, I'm currently reading On the Road by Jack Kerouac. Interesting novel, filled with little life lessons. I also saw what my...old friend....from Spain...was doing...he wants to BE the characters and tried to become them while in Spain. Maybe another reason why we are no longer friends. He wanted me to be Marylou and he wanted to be Jack/Dean. Except that in New York, with the boy back home out of the picture, I still couldn't be his Marylou. Or maybe I was too much like Marylou. Either way, it never works out, does it? I guess I'll find out when I finish.

As I sit here on the beautiful Island of Maui typing this (faster than it will appear on the screen, so it's really tripping me out) I wonder what the next year will bring me. About a week ago a big change happened...which is truthfully terrifying. Something I can't tell a soul in Reno, but will be letting everyone on the East know...I'm sure they will (and are) proud. But it makes me I really cut out for my self proclaimed life alone. I always say I'll be the unmarried old lady with the birds, or will spend my life jet-setting, leaving no time for a family or a life, but that little maternal instinct its back. Well, it never left. I thought about it...I could be a singe mom, but how HARD would that be? Especially for the child that I plan on adopting...they're already going to have enough on their plate from the orphanage, but then being taken in by me? God save us all. And I'm quite sick of myself. I don't let any one in because I know that friendships and relationships are fleeting. But that just sucks and it really does put a damper on my brain. Why I don't give myself a chance to be happy is beyond me. That's a lie. It's because I don't want anyone affecting my determination and plans. The future me is telling the current me to forsake happiness love or friendship for the unknown of living life on the edge. Bouncing around from place to place, letting life come to me, and traveling around the's what I want to do, but I already foresee the life of loneliness. I hate saying goodbye, so I try to make it so that I never have to.

I should learn from the past 20 years, but I suppose I never will. My life really is like a movie, and I expect it to stay that way.

I suppose everything will work out, right? I just need to pray a lot. Well, if I pray at all it will be more than I'm doing now. I've really friend from high school, Jenna, has myspace now. She was the one person who always kept me on the right path, and now she is totally judging me. I don't really care, but then again, I do. A level of my morality is gone, but I will still be the same[person, good on the inside. I just like to do some...not so good...things. I'm supposed to be an example for the world around me, especially for my cousins, but as I look at them I just wonder if I failed. I was a pretty good kid, but they are younger than I was when I started ANYTHING they are doing. It makes me wonder if I was the reason they are really sucks being the oldest. The full responsibility of their lives falls on my shoulders. Great.

For now, I'm saying c'est la vie and letting my life play out. I have 3 years of school, for my Masters, and so many thing i want to do. I guess whatever will be will be and I just have to wake up and DO IT. I wish that I didn't live in such a fantasy world, but so far, a lot of the things I've dreamed up in my mind have happened, while not always WHEN I wanted them to happen. My life is pretty amazing, it's just a little lonely. I guess loneliness is the price I have to pay. Some day everything will work out, I'm sure of it. Tyler thinks some man is going to completely surprise me, and I sure as hell hope so. It takes a lot to put up with me.,...not even going to try to lie. I'm a piece of work. I am demanding and independent and to match anything that I will throw at you you'd have to be a pretty strong person. Not many people are like that...everyone's a pushover. But I hold my ground and you'd better hold yours. Or else, what's the point? One day someone will match my personality and be able to keep up with me...either that or throw a lasso at me and tie me down. That's probably what I'm asking for. In order for that to happen, I'll have o keep working and trucking forward. I don't want to be tied down, because there's so much LIFE to experience. But what if I'm leaving something behind?? I guess I'll just have to wait and find out.

So, it's Hawaii this week, Reno some of next, Northern California for the rest of next week, Reno, Tahoe, Reno, then back to the big city. I need to buy furniture, but I think I'll keep it minimal...who knows how long I'll need it. I can't wait to see my love bug Ilan as I have much to dish and he has much to dish. he' probably the one person who matches me on travels...New York to Israel, to Madrid (where he saw Bjork!) then Milan...Back to New York some time after me....mhm baby can't wait to see him. We have our differences and we fight, but he (so far) is the one friend who I had a big blow out with and then took back. I actually apologized to him after some tears. His personality is as fierce as mine, but he knows what's best for me and I know what's best for him. I'd marry him if he was my type...and straight. Hehe. Our kids would probably be gorgeous and SUPER exotic. They woud also have impeccable palates. Too bad.

Time to wake up the brother. It's already 9:30 over here off the mainland!! PS: My perpetual jet lag is quite the trip. I travel too body totally hates me. I need some yoga. Toga. :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I'm back. Back from a 16 day extravaganza of China. Sadly blogspot is censored/blocked in the People's Republic of China as is livejournal and the majority of news articles. Go figure. Live in a Communist nation and not have a clue what's going on in the world. I read the People's Daily, the English speaking news paper, which was about...20 pages long, filled with ads. Reminded me of the Reno Gazette. China's doing this to help the world, it's doing this to reduce carbon emissions, it's taking great leaps and bounds to protect it's people--Bullshit. It isn't doing shit.

My tour of China was one for American tourists. We ate at restaurants filled with white people, eating mandarin food that I would never order in the states. Every meal was at least 13 courses (finished with watermelon) and I'm pretty sure I'm dieting after today. Today I needed a double double with real ketchup, pizza with real pizza sauce, and chicken wings. So good. Anyway, we saw all of the tourist things of China, avoided any part that was "dirty" and all of my questions were avoided.

Makes sense since there are so many undercover communists.

Well, as you may know, the Olympics will be in Beijing in 2008. The birds nest stadium...while it is quite innovative. Until you realize how many thousands of people were displaced to God knows where to build it. Oh, and all of the slums of Beijing will be bulldozed by the games. In a city of over 17 million people, how can they POSSIBLY hold the Olympics? And how the fuck can they do this to their people. The shove them into these ghetto ass high rises, elevators not included. You have 80 year olds who now have to learn how to climb stairs. Any gardens are gone, so their already limited (if any) salaries are going to be wasted on food they once grew. A lifetime of memories is swept away with a bulldozer...for what? For a couple thousand tourists to come, desecrate the country, and leave it full of waste and problems? And the have to drink bottled. Think about the number of plastic bottles that will be entering our environment! It disgusts me, it really does. "Civilized" is just a cloak over what is actually happening in that country. I mean, Jesus, the country can't even provide for it's own population. Why the HELL would you want to add more?

Money. Everything's about money.

But, rumor has it they will be lifting their adoption regulations for the influx of tourists into the country. The hotel we stayed at in Beijing was the pick up point for the little girls. So cute. SO cute. I have wanted to adopt a baby girl from China for as long as I can remember...this just made me want one even more. Christ, I'm 20 and I want a child. That's so not normal...but the orphanages...are...awful. Just awful. The innocence the girls are born with leaves with the separation...and don't try to give me any bullshit about them not remembering, because they do. Just talk to them. Well, with the current regulations, you have to be married 5 years and be less than 35. And on the bus we worked it out. I have to be married by at least 30, so I'd have to meet my husband to be in the next ten years. Eight to be safe. And not just meet...that's meet, date, pursue. Blah blah blah blah blah. All of that shit that I have absolutely no time for. I actually have to think about someone other than myself...factor in another person's commitments into my daily life? I don't know about this. Tyler and the boys are convinced I'm going to be taken by complete surprise one day...I'm convinced that I'll end up the lady with the birds (I'm allergic to cats.) Life.

My jetlag is ridiculous. I actually think it's the worst. Our seats from China were incredible--exit row. I got the window, so it was perfect for me to curl up in my little ball...but i wasn't tired. At all. The plane of little asian kids didn't help at all. I got up at the end of the flight to do my routine refreshing (face wash, teeth brush, sometimes makeup (not this time), shave, lotion, clothes change etc.) to make sure I don't smell and four kids SHOVED me out of the way without saying a word and cut in line to the bathroom. I was furious. And the little shit behind me kept kicking my seat. 10 hours of's just too much. I watched 2 movies (the last mimzy and lookout) and had wild hogs in the background while I read. Wild hogs played on the way from New York and on the way to China. It's a terrible movie, although people over the age of 40 love it....anyway, I got to America and immediatley got coffee. YUM.

China's Starbucks. Oh. Right. My whole moral stance on not going to Starbucks in a foreign country shattered in Shanghai...I had the headache and i just wanted iced coffee. They don't have the venti size. I wanted to cry. They didn't have the white chocolate mocha my cousin wanted and their frappacino flavour was Red Bean. Um. Hello asia. But well, it was worth it. They actually fill their cups to the top, despite the lack of a Venti. The man working their was named Cocaine. The lady's was Congee (which is boiled rice). The names these Chinese people have is just awful.

I've grown attached to my Chinese name. It's Jun Mei, meaning Beautiful Pearl. Like all Chinese names, it has meaning. The perfect pearl is produced after much hard work and effort, taking risks and risking life. It's sort of become my life motto, and i never actually realized it until I talked to a Chinese lady on the boat about her name which meant Beautiful Rainbow. After the rain, there is the rainbow, a sense of hope during troubles. Way better than Jaimie.

On this trip, I learned a lot about myself, my family, and the world. I found out what my dad was actually doing in China--when he worked for IGT Sydney, he traveled to China a lot, I never knew why. Well, coming here I see it. Gambling is illegal, but it is everywhere. He was attempting to regulate gaming. This was also the beginning of the end of his career at IGT as he began to see how corrupt the people were. They could have succeeded had they not only wanted a personal profit. So they failed as you can't try to have personal gain with a Communist nation. My dad's meetings were top secret--no talking in public, only in the hotel room with the phone debugged and the radio on. My dad's life that I never knew was like the movies.
My family is amazing. My dad is the best brother/son/father in law. He and my mom fought at the beginning, which sucked. But my dad constantly helped his mother and mother in law up and down stairs. When my aunt fell down the stairs in Wuhan, he held her shoulder together as he tried to take her down the rest of the stairs. He then carried her everywhere, up stairs to the planes, around places, etc...sounds simple, but my aunt is bigger than my dad. He's a trooper.
The old man on my trip was racist and his wife a rich whore. She had had too much plastic surgery and complained non stop. He called every asian woman Suzie (even my grandmother) and spoke in Spanish to them. Slap in the face when one said Muy bien, y tu. Fucker. He also said that he goes to every black funeral he can because the more he goes to the less of them there are. The old man, Toby, and his wife, Jean were really named Werner and Eva. We called them Faggot Fuck and Kankle Cunt. They were bad people...inside. I don't know how people can be that way! I just don't see how....

Every white man in China has Yellow Fever. Especially if they speak Chinese. And they're all cute! It's ridiculous. There were a lot of yellow fever white boys. I loved it. I think it's so funny when they speak see a big muscled white guy speaking chinese is sort of hot, not gonna lie.

There are a lot of creeps in China. I've decided I'm just a mutant, which is why they stared and took pictures. My dad almost beat a couple of them up. One for following me around the Terracotta soldiers taking pictures of me, another for stalking me on the boat. My dad got a lot of looks from the asian ladies. A white guy speaking english. WHAT?! Yea....

I did learn a bit of Chinese. There are key phrases I did not know though (at least in Mandarin)--our Cantonese was useless there. But the day I ordered bubble tea with no milk and she understood me was one of my best days ever. Zheng Zhu Nai Cha, bu yao nai. Bing. Bing! :)

Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding Hao.

My cousin and brother were convinced our tour guide wanted to rape me. He only acknowledged my presence, never theirs, and constantly asked how I was. When I hugge him good bye, he said OH WOWWWWWWWW. But it sounded like Ooohhh Waaaaaooooow! It's hard to type out. his accent was funny. he was strange.

Altogether China was great. It was a family trip, and probably my last. When my mom and dad started talking about taking trips together I finally turned to them and said, I'm not invited any more, am I. It makes me really sad to think about...we've traveled all over the world together. But my parents are getting old. As much as I hate to admit it...they aren't invincible. A HUGE eye opener was when I outhiked my dad up the Great Wall of China. For the first time in my life, I had more energy. When I saw how tired he was when I pushed him to go to the top of the Wall, I realized that he no longer had the same fire within him. All of the long days at the office, battles with the IRS, battles with IGT, battles with IGo, battles with the French and American government, battles with the gypsies, battles with a man who disappeared with all of his money in France...since I left to college, he's gotten old. Really, really old. And it's probably the saddest thing. I feel so guilty, leaving him to deal with all of this, to pay for my college, to deal with all of my little stupid bullshit problems. It actually is bringing a flood of tears to my eyes. Maybe it's the lack of sleep. But he's always there for my petty shit. It's time to get my shit together.

I love my family. I miss my family. But I am no longer part of this foursome. They keep pushing me to find someone, to get my life in order, to start a life because they want to be around to see every aspect of it. That just depresses me even more, because I am still too selfish to let it happen. After my aunt fell and we continued the tour of Wuhan, we saw this statue. There are tons of them as China is filled with symbolism, but this was different. It's the body of the dragon, with the head of a unicorn, a baby one intertwined. The creature doesn't have an anus. It symbolizes taking everything in as a dragon would and experiencing all of the magic, but never letting anything out. She said it's the motto of businessmen. It's the motto of my life. I spend so much of my life building up this shield, not letting anything out, not letting myself feel anything, but absorbing everyone else's feelings emotions pain...I am there for everyone, but won't let anyone near me. It scared me. A lot.

I wish I could be more carefree, but the life I have had prevents that. Sure, I can blame my parents, but it has also led me to my independence and desire to give. Catch-22. Give happiness to others without letting yourself experience it.

When I talked to tour guides and Cindy and Bill, the couple from Florida who met 4 years ago on (still honeymooners, so cute), I realized that I don't know if I'll end up in Africa or India or South America or even China, but I'm needed. John, the guide, said that I would be so helpful in China. Take some classes, learn the language...and I saw it. They do need help. The world needs help. I can't wait.

Maybe someday I'll end up like the asian couple behind us in Shanghai. They were so cute. They fed each other carrots with toothpicks, helped each other wheel the bags, and tried to figure out what was going on without speaking a word of English. With my more than limited chinese I attempted using gestures and nods and shehsheh's to help them out. They showed their gratitude by speaking chinese, even though they knew I didn't understand it, and waving. They would come up to the area we were sitting (emergency exit) and talk to us. In Chinese. Pointing, smiling all the while. We helped them figure out how to open the door to the bathroom, fill out the customs forms, and they just smiled, spoke and waved. The old man came and did his exercises as all elderly chinese do in the morning. Getting off the plane, the look they gave me was worth more than anything. The gratitude at the mere attempt to help them...and then further when the frustrated American customs officers couldn't explain to them where to go and I guided them. They were amazing people. Truly inspirational.

Life's journey's. You never realize how much you actually grow up with every new place, every new adventure. I went from acting 20 years old being 20 years old. I change as a person, I see others changing, and I catch brief glimpses of a future so unknown to me, it terrifies me. But somehow I know I'll be ok.