Those of you who followed me during my trip to New York noticed how enchanted I was by the city. And there was no doubt about it, I found NYC to be full of diversity, impressions and stark contrasts. Colours, street art, details. Live music, fantastic food, and eccentric people. It was busy and it was exciting, and as a cherry on top, I had the company of two of the most amazing girls I know. So yes, I have officially added a new city to my top 5 places to live in the world.
Remember when Renata was invited up to dance when we visited the New York Jazzclub SMOKE and stayed around after most people had left? Here’s the video evidence that it actually happened. Along with some sweet music. Top quality unexpected randomness.
A quick run through my old passport that has been joining me since I started travelling five years ago. I had to renew it as I only had two pages left for stamps and will be travelling soon again. Receiving the new, empty, modern passport felt like starting from scratch, like rebooting the system. What’s next? What now? Was that it? I don’t know.
After speaking to friends who’s biggest obstacle to travelling is the whole process of standing in line for, applying for, paying for, waiting for and hoping for a visa, I have become increasingly thankful for my EU passport that opens doors of trust in most places. Truth is, I’ve only had to apply for visa through an embassy for three of the 38 countries I visited since this passport was printed. Thank you, Sweden.
One thing I certainly have got is yet another set of beautiful and random memories. Like this one, when Den was telling me the story about a funny self proclaimed magician in the New York Subway. It’s just a detail, but it demonstrates perfectly how easy it was to spend time with this fantastic girl – pure sunshine.
I’ve had two hectic but wonderful last days in New York, spending time with the two funniest and sweetest of friends, running for important meetings, visiting a friend in the UN building, walking around, and taking care of all that was left to take care of before my take-off – back to where I will be able to drop off these 23+15kg bags and think about what will be coming up next.
Girls, thank you so much! You gave me a wonderful ending to these six months of both pleasant and unpleasant experiences. You welcomed me to your world, life and magnificent city as if I had always lived here – you made me feel at home – and very eager to come back!
I will miss you dearly!
So I just had really nice chicken with asparagus, mushrooms and white wine sauce here in the airport. As I was done, the beautiful waitress passed by, asking “are you done, honey?” – another thing I will certainly miss about NY is the excellent service – I have never tipped this much in my entire life.
So I took a one-day trip to Washington DC to go for a meeting, wave to Obama and see some friends.
I arrived in DC at 11.30 yesterday, after a 5 hour busride with Megabus which wasn’t bad at all. I took a walk around the Washington mall where many of the big monuments and buildings are and then met up with a friend from Mozambique for a really good seafood buffet. It’s always so much fun to reconnect at people’s home base!
Washington was hot, much hotter than New York, but at the same time it was much quieter, cleaner, and less personal. Filled with huge impressive buildings and monuments, mostly empty or with the presence of tourists and security guards, the city offers free museum entrances and is a perfect place to explore if politics and history are your things. For nightlife it’s pretty quiet, and the seats in the Metro are padded. Random like that.
After talking to the Spanish lady who has been protesting outside of the White House since 1980, and having some German tourists take a picture of me and the building, I went for a very inspiring meeting at an Italian cafe by DuPont Circle.
After the meeting I called Nishant. You remember Nish, the falphin dreamer that I met in Brazil in 2008, right? It was so much fun to meet up and felt as if we had just seen each other last week, we resumed our random and flowing conversations immediately. So Nish took me to Columbia Hights where he and his friends play Bocce ball every Tuesday. Apparently it’s the big thing to do in DC, and it was pretty hilarious.
After the game, we went to a bar with a couple of friends, where we were soon joined by Nish’s girlfriend, Hollie – she is even more hilarious than Nish! I had an absolutely wonderful time with the two, as they would come up with ideas and complete each other’s minds in that playful ping-pong kind of way. It was beautiful.
On our way back home, Nish and Hollie took me for a drive around the city, where I got to see the monuments once more, lit up and with explanations worthy a professional city tour by the two – “Many people give DC a hard time for being boring – but this place is packed with interesting history.” Nish said, after throwing out the rumour on how the city was planned to confuse British spies and talking about the grandeur and details of some of the buildings – including the story of the sculpture of Darth Vader’s head on one of the big Cathedral towers.
“Actually, DC is like the old and wise parent of the country, the foundation of our history. So when people say that it’s boring because they want to go clubbing, that’s pretty mean – you can’t take your parent out clubbing because that would just be awkward. Right?”
I spent the night at Hollie and Nish’s new place and got up early this morning to go to the zoo that is just next to their house, and free as everything else. I don’t like zoo’s, but Nish and Hollie insisted that I should see the baby panda that had just been born and it was actually a pretty pleasant zoo. The panda wasn’t there yet, she was still sleeping – but at least I didn’t miss my bus back to New York.
N&H – Thank you so much for your hospitality and kindness, you always have a home wherever I happen to find myself. :)