Jun 28, 2010

My American Journey. Summer 2010. A Travel Diary - Staten Island

There hasn't been much development in the past week. Been mostly contemplating on fundamental matters, wandering around and seeking out unconventional job opportunities in the fields of 1099, freelance or a project job. There is a lot of scam and fraud in USA, no wonder Hermes is everywhere in the architectural elements. The place for thieves, tricksters and fraudulent-minded people. Also there are a lot of psychos, I know, so I have to be especially careful for this one really. Scarry. Anyway, my funds are running out and with it my time here as well, unless a reliable opportunity finally finds me. Contacted a few people looking for someone to fix some work for them in Ebay, but no answer so far. Will be moving out of Staten Island in the days to follow, not sure where yet, we'll see.

Not that I didn't liked the place here, I'm sure I'm not finding any better one for these money, but the hosts began to annoy me too much really. They started asking me questions am I working, why I stay up at night and sleep late, this and that. I'm beginning to feel as if on a student camp and the teachers supervising over me. Beat it. It's time to move in the city full time, this way I can explore it in the evenings as well, since I'll be living closer by. However, don't get me wrong, my hosts here are very nice and helpful people and they are hospitable on the whole.

I've been exploring Staten Island these days and toured it from coast to coast with the bus and on foot. In all, it is a really nice place to live. Suburban, plenty of nature, peaceful and quiet. From its central part southwards there are very nice, clean and tranquil streets lined with very nice houses. There is a great architectural variety of the houses and the people take care to decorate their lawns in front of the houses too, which is pretty neat. Some houses have their mailboxes designed as miniature replicas of the house itself. Cool. I rode the train the other day, but I was really tired for I slept very little the night before and fell a sleep several times. The tracks were above ground and I could observe many houses of different sizes nevertheless, mostly large ones, with swimming pools and clean, small streets in between. I guess, for the most part, the part of SI closer to the ferry is the not so nice one and the not so clean one too, as there are large amounts of litter on the streets, especially on some streets, where lower culture prevails.

It was a funny thing that, in the bus riding to the last stop in Tottenville, a woman asked me about an animal clinic and how far from the bus stop it was. I didn't knew and then she shared in a low voice, even though it was just me, her and the driver in the bus, that she has never been so far and she wanted to feel safe. Wow. She is a SI resident and has never been so.. far?! Some people are living like muslim women here, lol, only in and around the house.

The bus driver was a tattooed youth with piercing and punk hair do. Anyway, the buses have GPS, I thought. I got off on Main str. in Tottenville. The place had this typically American small town feel with low rise brick apartment buildings from the 1920s and small groceries and caffeterias at the ground floors.
Then I followed the street and walked on some half an hour until I reached a dead end street with a grassy trail leading from its side. I asked a woman there standing in front of her house if it was safe to follow the trail, and she said it was ok. So I did and went to the beach, sat there gazing at the waves in quiet. Naturally, there was no one to talk with, lol. Only the sea birds and distant speed boats and yachts, everything else was still. My mind sat still too, comprehending the moment. There is so much beauty in this world.. The setting resonated with the way I feel my life at this moment; standing on a shore line, gazing at the unknown ahead, on the border between the land so far and the unexplored depths of what is to come. The mysterious is so mesmerizing. And I feel so lost and confused, unsure which path to follow, where to go, so widespread and uncertain. Like an electron cloud.

I continued on the serene trail along the beach with marshy woods on my right side and it led me to a nice park with some old community buildings from the late 1800s, when people lived differently. Though not that entirely different. At least a woman has much more freedom today, thank human reason for that. Sat on a wooden bench there, surrounded by the auditory joyfulness of the birds and wrote a poem. Well, a semi-poem, more like a moment of self-reflection put down in words. I don't want to be single for the rest of my life, not at all, but I need to find the right one, one who will share my vision and views. A like-minded friend to share a life with. And have many friends together. Not sure about kids, I don't really see myself having a child at this moment, maybe later on I could feel like it, but that again maybe not.

As I walked back towards the bus stop, looking at those large, clean and well-decorated houses for a moment I felt overwhelmed by the prospect of such a dull family life, even in a large and beautiful house. Nope, that's not for me. I need excitement, adventure, freedom and action. I just can't picture myself as a mom, preparing dinner, while my husband watches TV, lol, I just bursted in laughter for real. I am a creative personality and need a man that will love me, support me morally, like a best friend, but one that will give me enough space to move free. One that can trust me and I can trust him. Such strange contemplations come in my mind, I never thought about such things in this way before. I guess I've grown up now (raising eyebrows). I am just a one-eyed weirdo in the land of the blind.

In all, Staten Island is a nice place in New York, away from the noise and hassle of the city, set among trees, plains, hills and marshes. There are many old houses around the island with authentic architecture in different styles. The ferry ride is one to enjoy too and provides great views towards Manhattan and the surrounding borroughs. So now I'm moving in the city, let's see how that's going to be.