Thursday, June 28, 2007

East Coast moments - Take 3

Ready for Mamma Mia on Broadway!

On the horse ride in Central Park

Riverside Park

The wall in Ground Zero

On the steps of Columbia University

Central Park

So now it's New York City!!! You know what? I could definitely fit in as a New Yorker. There were a few times when tourists stopped and asked me the way to so and so street thinking that I was a local. LOL! Too bad all I had to tell them was, "I'm sorry but I'm not from here". You see, I'll have no problem fitting in here later on. ;)

The day we arrived in NYC, we checked in the hotel and my mum's friend, Dr. Susilo who was in NYC on Fulbright scholarship as well took us on the Subway and we went to Ground Zero. The ex-WTC site was still full with cranes and stuff and rumours had it that they were planning to build another one but after 6 years, nothing much seemed to happen. There was a wall near the site to commemorate the deaths of firefighters who died while trying to save other people lives during the 9/11 event.

There was a whole lot of names of firefighters and there were images depicting the whole incident and it really touched my heart to see how many people were willing to put other people's lives ahead of them and I wish I could just be like them. You know, less self-centred and everything. The next day, we got up early and head over to yet another university, Columbia University, one of Ivy League universities.

Columbia was fine though I think Harvard was much better. The uni was not that spacious but I kinda like it cause it was so near NYC, my fave city. ;) We had brunch at Riverside Park which was just down the road. After brunch we took the Subway to Central Park.

Very green. They even had a mini theme park there and it was free! For a second, I was hoping to go on the Ferris wheel and the water slide but the long snakey line where only 5 year old kids were lining up made me change my mind. But we did go on a horse ride around the Park. No offence but the horse smelled like poop and pee!

I'd always wanted to watch a Broadway show and that day was my lucky day when my parents purchased 3 tickets to watch Mamma Mia, a musical based on ABBA songs. The play was fine but I liked the songs. I'm a big fan of ABBA songs now! Mamma I go again.....lalalala..

42nd street Times Square had always been my fave of NYC. It was so vibrant, so full of people and life. Even after 12am, the street was still alive with all those colourful, animated neon signages and people still walking around the street. I definitely like it here!

It was a sad thing but we had to leave NYC the next morning to go back to Ithaca. Never mind, I'll be back, hopefully.

NYC, the city that never sleeps. Darn right it doesn't!

East Coast moments - Take 2

With the statue of '3 lies' (he's not the real Harvard)

In Quincy Market

The 'fam' at Harvard University

Me with the 'tour guide', Roxy (an Econs undergrad)

Cape Cod beach

I'm back again with second take of East Coast moments! So after 2 days in Ohio we flew to Boston, Massachusetts on Delta Air. But the flight was cancelled after all the passengers were seated with the seat belts fastened because, get this, the paperwork to allow the plane to fly wasn't rectified. WTH. That was the 1st time in my whole life that I've been on a plane that didn't have the permit to fly. We were put on another flight and we wasted a day which was supposed to be spent in Boston but instead we were in Washington DC airport while waiting for the next flight.

But we managed to arive in Boston safely. Our first stop in Boston was a flea market, Quincy Market. Whenever my family travel overseas, we, my mum in particular always make a point to visit any universities nearby. This time it was Harvard University, my dream uni. haha. We went on an 'Unofficial Tour' around the uni led by 2 of Harvard undergraduates, Roxy and Megan. Harvard was surrounded with old buildings but it had a nice atmosphere. I definitely don't mind studying here ;)

After the tour we met up with another friend of my mom who was here doing his research, Prof Muhammad Haji Salleh (the sasterawan negara/national laureate). We planned to go shopping in Wrentham, a premier outlet mall where branded stuffs were sold at half price. My eyes almost popped out of its sockets looking at all those shops with dirt cheap prices but too bad we came 2 hours before the shop was closed so couldn't really shop. On the way to the mall, we went to Cape Cod where we had fish as lunch. Very yummy!

After Boston was New York City......again! We went there by bus which took us about 5 hours. But I'll tell you more of NYC on the next post. Later!

East Coast moments - Take 1

Me at Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

One of my fave places in the world, Times Square

On our river trail at Evan's wedding reception

I'M BACK!!!!!I'm finally back after 2 weeks missing. US had been great and I would say that it was the most memorable, fun trip I ever been to out of the many trips I went in my life. I went to remarkable places and met up with people from different walks of life. What I experienced was something so precious that no tours or tour guides could offer. Right now you're about to have a taste on my journey so enjoy!

After 36 hours waiting and being on planes, my dad and I finally arrived in Ithaca, New York where my mum had been waiting and boy, were we whipped out with the plane ride. But our jetlagness did not stop us from driving for 4 hours to Niagara Falls in a rental car. And my dad almost went to jail. Wanna know why? He was issued a ticket from the police for speed driving. He was brought directly to see the judge and it was either he pays the fine or he goes to jail.

Of course he paid the fine as he didnt want to be Paris Hilton cell mate. LOL! Niagara Falls was magnificent. If before this I only seen it in movies like Superman II but this time I was there for real, seeing the whole thing and feeling the splashes of the waterfall on my face as we cruised along the river with the Maid of the Mist boat ride. From the boat ride, you could see both sides of US as well as Canada as it was the border between Ontario and New York.

Next up was my favourite city in the world, NEW YORK CITY. We went there with a bus which took us about 5 hours. It was my first time in New York City since my last visit 7 years ago. There was something about the city that made my adrenaline pumped harder than usual. New Yorkers were known as unfriendly people who just didn't bother about the surroundings as they continue their paces in the metropolitan city. At least that was how the New Yorkers were portrayed in movies and books. But there were some friendly people like this 1 guy who helped me with my bags while I was trying to carry it up the steep stairs of the Subway.

We only stayed in NYC for a day as we had to catch a 13 hours train ride to West Virginia. Yeah, 13 hours. We stayed over at Nancy's, my mum's friend. I really like her as she was very well-read and witty. She's a Professor (Chairperson) in 1 of the unis in Parkersburg. I learned a lot of stuff from her from gays to French revolution to the economic growth of West Virginia.

The next day, Nancy drove us to Columbus, Ohio to attend another of my mum's friend wedding reception, Evan. Now, this reception ain't like the typical white wedding you normally see in movies. Instead, the reception was held in a camp called Camp Mary Orton. Very different. We went on a river trail and met up with Evan and his relatives and friends.

After the reception, we walked around Columbus. It was a nice city. We had dinner at a Japanese restaurant, Haiku. We finished dinner at about 9pm and we wanted to see more of Columbus but unfortunately the shops would normally close at 9pm. But there was this one particular shop that was still opened, Torso. They sold 'interesting' stuff that no shops would sell like 'PMS breath mints' and others (I wouldn't name them) and it turned out to be a gay shop! We only realized that after Nancy saw a brochure in the shop promoting gay parade or something that was gonna be held next week. Interesting.

I would continue my post another time as I coudn't possibly fit my 2 weeks trip under 1 post. Stay tuned for more East Coast moments!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

hasta la vista!!!

School's gonna start tomorrow....Just like everyone else, I'm dreading to go back to all those chaos in school from tons of homework to facing the books again 'till late night. It was a bliss not to have to face the books for 2 weeks, wasn't it? Anyway, while you guys are back at school studying Sejarah and counting answers for Maths problems, I will take my own leave and be in the States for the next 2 weeks. WEEE HEEE!!!!

I've just finished packing my bags. Had a hard time packing cause I don't know how to pack light though my dad constantly reminded me to pack as less clothes as possible. It's because we're gonna go around the East Coast so it'll be insane if we want to drag 10 luggages around the cities. LOL!

My flight is tomorrow night and it's gonna stretch to more than 30 hours of travelling 'till I reach Ithaca, New York. Imagine that, man! I'm sooo gonna have an extreme jetlag. 'Till then. I'll be back with my posts on my trip if I don't suffer badly from jetlag. Hasta la vista!