Thursday, April 14, 2011

Places I've been: Part I

I live my life in lists. Let's list something! This list is inspired by Ryan.

Paris. Disenchanted. I had this image of Paris when I was leaving. You know, romantic strolls along the Seine, quaint little streets and  music from Amelie reverberating from somewhere above when you use those telephone boxes in Montmartre. Certainly, the fact that I was there with my class didn't make it much more charming. But still I was disappointed with annoying street vendors, plastic crappy souvenirs and the avalanche of uncivilized tourists (I hate tourists the most when I'm being a tourist myself. Maybe a symptom of a desire to detach myself from this crazy mob). Anyway my disappointment with Paris was so deep and painful, a beautiful picture from the head just ruining, that I want to enchant this place one more time. I'm going to Paris this fall and I'm gonna like it.

Vilnius. This was the only time I went East and it was absolutely beautiful. I went there with my choir,we were paying a visit to this Lithuanian choir we're friends with, and we were actually staying in ┼áiauliai, where is the amazing Hill of Crosses (Google it!). I remembered Vilnius as this beautiful place where two cultures intertwine and where you're bombarded with cultural reminiscences from every corner. I also remember the evening when I sang in the street with a bunch of friends, because we wanted to raise money to buy a T-shirt for my friend. No one really cared about our singing so we figured that moving the location to the front of casino would be more financially effective. Well, it worked.

New York City. I love everything about this city. I spend there a lot of time and it's the only place in the world that I remember so complexly. I've got memories from different parts of the city, I associate every neighborhood with different thing. And even though a lot of time has passed, it's still one of the cities that I feel I know. Of course I haven't been to the majority of places but I remember every single one I've been to. And I still want to get to know it better. Because that's the city I feel in tune with.

Outer Banks. High tides, the white beach house we lived in, parties thrown by the pastor and his wife, seashells, poker at night, my mom being hypochondriac about rattlesnakes in the garden, sailing by the moonlight and new Polish-American friends. Oh, and pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast EVERY  SINGLE MORNING! AND that's where Lauren shot her "Outside World" video, I thought that was cool.

Brighton. I love it how I can see the curtains in the window of my room there if I go on Google Maps. I loved the beautiful seaside atmosphere, the shrieks of seagulls that woke me up every morning, the rain that came always in the most unexpected moments making my afternoon beach-wandering look very attractive. I remember the excessive nighttime OREO intake with Christina, Harry Potter-centered discussions with Estela, awesome bus drivers, staying up late at McDonald's with my friends and how they pulled my leg to do a split at the airport. I also remember being transfixed researching the web about swine flu that just broke out, a random guitarist in the street that I ended up spending the evening with and some pretty epic things happening on the pier. Good times.

Babimost. A little village in western Poland no one really knows about, which will be remembered as the first airport in our region in the gloomy days of socialism and, as an ignorant observer would point out, nothing else. However a more inquiring observer would see the cobble-stoned streets which are hell for your very first bike ride, a queue of horses waiting to be hoofed by the most wonderful blacksmith, a field a little red-haired girl would be running away from ferocious cows, a jewish cemetery boys used to play in (I know. Playing in cemeteries. Kids liked it.). Finally he would see an old woman sweeping the front stairs, the smell of cabbage hovering in the kitchen, the smell of naphthaline in the wardrobe in the attic.
My childhood basically.

Anyway, I smelled a lot of naphthaline today in my chemistry class. Hence the sentimental journey to my original hometown. It's probably totally changed now; we had only one grocery store when I used to visit my grandparents, now they probably have even McDonald's.

Song of the day: Rabbit Heart - Florence + The Machine

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