Jun 12, 2010

My American Journey. Summer 2010. A Travel Diary - The Twists and Turns of Life

Yeah, some time passed again without me writing anything. But things haven't been still, though. Where do I start from. Life, life is a funny thing. A strange thing, full of twists and turns, of joy and sorrow, ups and downs. So short to encompass everything and yet long enough to experience a lot. We make decisions and decisions make us. Life is a string of choices, a beaded necklace that we tread with each choice we make. Choices stem out of choices, opening new paths that lead to new destinations. Destinations are never as important as the journey itself and this is always true, as long as it is true that death itself is not the goal of life. Or maybe life is the goal of death?! Either way, the spiral of existence will always loop towards infinity. The main problem with Infinity, from a human point of view, is that when you think too much about it you just loose the sense of meaning to this life and this entire Universe even, as a temporal transient existential structure. I know, sounds too fancy, but these are fundamental topics being described by mere words here. Alright, I got carried out, this is not what I am going to write about. I will share with you something way more down to earth and commonly trivial. The brief story of the past month and how things entangled into an unforeseen outcome. Let's begin with an overview of

The Job

Hmm, the job. Ahh, uh, yes, I should begin with interjections. The job position is formally designated as a Gift Shop Worker, which includes the usual boring duties associated with this kind of unprofessional engagements. Now you'll say "Well, since you know it's boring, why did you applied for it on the first place?".
Well, firstly, because my initial plans on coming over to NYC included exciting endeavors with literary agents and publishing houses, that had to be dropped due to the unfinished book. This was the first turn. Secondly, I am just that adventurous type of person and just wanted to have some fun, new experience and also this is a good chance to come over and meet American culture first hand, to gain some insight and observation from within. It's not all about making cash.
Not that this sort of jobs are that boring in general, I had worked in this kind of environment before, in Dubai Duty Free shop. Though, back then I was twenty and I really viewed things, well, differently. Even though the job descriptions are very much the same, the experience developed quite differently. Maybe because the clientelle back then in "the desert" seemed somewhat more interesting to interact with, telling me interesting stories of their experiences around the world, there was much more customer service and customer interaction. And the colleague environment was much more fun and, how you said it, receptive.
But that alone wasn't the reason why things didn't worked out though.

Lastly, this kind of basic job positions are the only ones available to students, apart from university internships and the like. So, if you want to use your student status to do some traveling, you just have to settle with this kind of work. On this job here, the customers turned out to be boring, basically only asking me the prices of things, as if I look like a price list or something. But at least if the colleagues were cool, but they turned out to be dull with this stereotypal mindset of "I hate my job", always long-faced and not very friendly-oriented. A lot of cons accumulated from the beginning.

And even though, I didn't really had plans on quitting this job, despite its seeming boredomness, but rather I planned on finding a second part-time one to meet different people and boost earnings of course, there is initial investment in this trip, however these ideas also had to be dropped quickly, as I ascertained that having a full-time job engagement just doesn't leave you much room for a second job and I seriously had overestimated my work-a-holic abilities. Yeah, if you are willing to sacrifice your days off and deprive your self from sleep I guess a second job is doable. But I am the creative, opportunistic type of person, rather than the working zombie type. I need my freedom and coming to the realization that people in the "Land of Freedom" aren't as free, as they are taught to think they are, the second-job plans had to be dropped as well. But flexibility is a good trait to cultivate and making fast adjustments to my plans is not a problem. Ok, just stick to this job, I thought, enjoy it as much as you can and just enjoy your free time out, in and around the city. Sure, but soon after another twist came into the scene

The Inconvenient Issue

I will repeat myself from another place, but I am completely amazed at the degree of general ignorance female genital infections are plagued by in modern society. Wait, genital infections?! Yeah, genital infections. I told you it will be banal. I know I have the right of privacy, but there is nothing to hide and sharing is always a good thing, unless it comes to sharing sensitive financial information or company secrets and the like, you know what I mean. Anyway, vaginal infections are a woman's biggest nightmare and greatest embarrassment. Now, I am not going to cover this topic here and my experience with it, since I may repulse my readers, but I will give a link to another blog of mine, where whomever might be interested can read more on this, out of curiosity or seeking some practical advice. It is here.

So, to my complete horror, my body steadily went on its craziest going-wild since I arrived in USA. Not sure why really, adjustment stress, change of diet, other environmental factors, endocrine disruptors in the air!? Just joking on that last one. The real problem is, that having vaginal floral imbalance can be a great social distress for the woman experiencing it and I got my share of distress alright. No STDs here, just plain old bacterial overgrowth that leads to some very unpleasant side effects that can greatly impair your ability to perform well in social contacts, makes you extremely self-conscious in the external type of this notion and generally ruins your day, and days.

Following this unforeseen shift in my health status, my colleagues on the job, behaving with a certain degree of hostility since the beginning, saw this unfortunate biochemical development of mine as a welcome reason for them to harass me about it as much as they could. The increased stress levels didn't helped me at all, so I had to take a leave for a week. That was last week.
I was feeling miserable, like a freak. Good thing there is internet and I found support from other women who experience or have experienced microbiological distresses like this, who gave advice and reassurance. I did thought about visiting a gynecologist, of course, but then I met the American Health Care System face to face.

First, I Googled about near by doctors I can visit and chose a place. I went and presented them with my health insurance Bulstrad Life in association with Coris International. Riiight. They never heard about it. So, I had to pay 150$ just for the consultation. It was then when I decided that I will go for the natural remedies. That was about three weeks plus ago.
The natural remedies do work, but they do take time to start working. And if your body is like mine, usually resistant to everything for a while before it lets it in, whether good or bad, it will take more time for the goodies to build up and take effect. And time was what I didn't had. After two weeks I decided again to give it a try with the doctors. I called a hospital in Staten Island and asked for an appointment with a gynecologist, but the voice over the phone told me that they don't accept new patients until the end of August.

Great, another bummer. Then I looked for another of those private gynecological cabinets near by and found one with an Arab woman doctor. Arabs are usually nice people, generous, they will feed you if you are hungry, so they may as well provide you with medical assistance if you can't afford it.
In short, I went, they called the insurance company, the company spokesperson politely in a politically correct manner declined any responsibilities to my health coverage, the doctor told me I have to pay 175$ for her consultation, I told her I can't afford this at the moment, she asked me how much I can pay, but really I wasn't willing to pay anything or I risked running out of cash with this week off I had taken. I already had done quite a lot of research on the web and established a diagnosis for myself, that actually turned out to be a recurrence, I only asked her to write me a prescription with antibiotics, since this is the fastest way to get better, even though not the longest term one. However, she refused, I tried to persuade her, but she was uncompromising. So I just had to stick with the herbal remedies and the recovery diet. Which is taking effect by now. Though, there are some things that I painfully have to exclude from my diet, like coffee, and I am very sad about this as well. Read if you will at the link above. So much for the health issues. Let's move on to the third intermingled layer of this complex development of the whole situation here

The Love Story

Ah, love, such a beautiful thing. So trivial and yet the soul can ascend to such euphoric spiritual heights on its wings. Day dreaming, pleasant emotions in your chest. So sweet. Let me start from the beginning. Prepare for a soap-romance kind of a story with a big dose of intrigue.

The beginning began, well, kind of a from first sight. Not a cliche. It was a strange attraction that flared up between me and a manager person who was there along with a senior one when I went to present myself to the employer company for the first time.
At first, I just kind of an "unconsciously" cast the occasional look at him, just because he seemed nice and there was this certain charm in his radiance, while speaking with the senior one. I wasn't thinking anything really. However, he did got into my mind for some reason, maybe because I wasn't engaging myself enough with other mental activities.
Then, after a week or so, on the orientation training day this charismatic person behaved in a peculiar, if not strange fashion. The first thing I noticed was the way he greeted me, somewhat personal, somewhat affectionate. I preferred to ignore that, since self-suggestion is always around the corner. Then there were other peculiar elements in his subtle interaction with me that I will skip on describing, because it will just sound weird in words. The behavior of the senior person in this regard was also strange. As if he was cooperating with the younger one, having recognized the mutual attraction. I so much don't like this kind of subtle relations without any direct vocalization. It's so mysterious and prone to self-suggestion. Can't people just openly speak to each other whatever there is they may wish to share?

Anyway, the younger one then wanted me to be assigned at the place he was running, so that he can flirt with me, I presume. I did felt attraction to him, yes. Attraction that later developed into falling in love. However, I noticed a ring band on his hand and this was my major draw back. I mean, why would this person behave like this if he was married? And why would the senior one cooperate with him in this regard? Why, why? So strange. No answers. What am I getting myself into? Is he a mormon or something?! Being love-sick at the job place was the last thing I wanted. I mean, I don't have time and mental resources to allocate to day dreaming, I have a book to finish! What is up with this turn of events!? My heart was beating all excited, pumping blood excessively, making me hot and my brain got a headache.
I decided to step back and chose the other place, where I wouldn't see him, otherwise, this fatal attraction was too risky to handle if we were to see each other every day.

So I went to the Tent. And my bad experience began from there. First there were the weirdo colleague persons, looking at me as if I ate their breakfast. Then the Inconvenient Issue set in the picture and totally messed up everything that I had initially settled for this NYC summer, after the Main Plan was postponed. But that was not all. The charismatic person did indeed felt a strong attraction to me, just as I did for him. And all this from the distance of the ocean, even though about five minute distance by boat.
He called in the Tent, probably about a week after or so, and declared something like "I want her over to my place, because I like her". But he met resistance from the minor managers in the Tent place, who were reluctant to let me over due to one reason and another.

Of course, no one was telling me anything, but that again, I am not def and not stupid by any means as well, even if I may seem ignorant to the casual observer. I was just hearing comments and sporadic discussions about this and based on my initial observation on his behavior based on the attraction and everything I was able to figure out the situation.

A very delicate and complex situation indeed. There was hot intrigue unwinding, the conditions inside the Tent were no cooler, pressure was building and gossip was going wild.
In the meanwhile, I was suffering from seriously low self-esteem due to my bad bacteria going on strike inside of me. And knowing that he likes me and it was no secret to anyone, apart from me, just made me feel like wishing to disappear and reappear somewhere in the Himalayas. I saw two Himalayan monks doing some gift shopping on that day, by the way. Probably a Synchronicity effect.

Oh, and the comments later on developed in some really stupid ones, like "He wants to fuck her". Tell me if all this was a self-suggestion and those comments were meant for someone else. Because I kind of a have built a good degree of confidence in my rationality, over time. However, I can't really completely rule suggestion out, although being wrong in my observations and orientation in the situation is rather unlikely.

And so, I couldn't take all this anymore and took a week off to recover from stress on the job and to decide on what to do based on all the craziness that developed in the preceding weeks. I was close to loosing my mind in that place, lol. During this week I definitely felt myself on the road to recovery and regained my confidence. I also decided to try my chances and look for another, a more suitable and somewhat more interesting job. So I went for "work at home" opportunities, something that will not involve specific working hours nor place, but rather specific targets and deadlines. A more self-initiative opportunity that will give me some space to breathe.

And thank to the Universe, that always guides me the right way, I stumbled upon just the right job offer. An eBay Assistant. Oh, well, I guess I have an eBay karma of some sort. Anywho, I called a guy and after a pre-practiced verbal introduction of my skills and qualities he decided to hire me. We signed a contract over the web, well I signed it and photographed it and sent him the photo via email. I guess that works. The job involves purchasing the items and shipping them via the nearest USPS office. Let's see how well will that go. I hope well enough, because after the recovery week ended, I made a final decision to leave Evelyn Hill. Shht, don't tell anyone. LOL. What the heck, it is still a job, right? I will still pay taxes and spend my money back into the US economy, so it is alright. The rules still apply.

I kind of a feel nostalgic today for quitting the prearranged job, not sure why. And it was a tough decision to make, considering all the events that developed and this attraction with this man. I tried to discuss this side of the whole situation with the senior manager when I went to ask for a permanent leave, but I just couldn't speak out a word on this. So I just left feeling very down and unsettled from within. A lot of questions remained somewhat open. I know I should have said something, or maybe not? I don't know. I definitely had a strange experience with this job, due to both internal and external factors. It was crazy. I wonder what else lies ahead. We shall see. Life is a journey full of twists and turns that we undertake or that drag us along. You have to keep walking, be like water, but like a river, not a pond.

This is about all for now. All comments and feedback are greatly appreciated! Tell me what you think, advise, criticize, anything. I would love to hear from my readers :)

D r e a m O n

beatfarmer - The Long Day, Over by beatfarmer