Writer's Block

The USA is the place I was born. Canada is the place I was raised. Taiwan is the place in my heart.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

After a jam packed week in New York, frantically catching up with friends and handling things with my apartment... I was out late and up early every day to take care of business, but I had run myself so ragged that I had to spend a day in bed- feeling like I had the flu the day before I was supposed to drive to Boston. I finally had things more or less in order, so I tore myself away and headed to Boston for the weekend. This time there were no snowstorms, broken sinks or obligations that were going to hold me back. Everything in my apartment was in working order, and I had I decided to let an agent handle the rental of my apartment and any other issues that might, would and did come up.

There's never enough time it seems when I'm in New York!

A Test of Patience: Driving from New York City (via New Jersey!) to Gloucester, Massachusetts

This trip was the ultimate test of patience- a 5 hour drive turned into 8 hours in part due to poor planning, and of course where things could go wrong they did. During my first week and a half in New York, I had wisely parked my car at a friend’s in New Jersey and had simply planned to take the train out there Thursday (July 22) morning (no later than noon) and to drive straight to Gloucester from New Jersey. I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of going into New Jersey Wednesday night- it was an hour and half train ride into my friend’s place. I’d have to drive the car into the city and park it in the city. Boy was that ever a bad decision. In hindsight, I should have gone into New Jersey and driven the car into the city on Wednesday night because I didn’t realize that it would take one hour longer to drive to Gloucester from New Jersey than New York City.

On Thursday morning, I followed up on some things with my New York apartment. Once I was ready to set out for Penn Station, I was extremely behind schedule- it was 12:00 noon. I still had to travel an hour a half train ride from New York into New Jersey- where I had left the car for the past few days. So things got pushed back. I estimated a departure time of 2:00pm from New Jersey.

Well, as luck would have it, the New Jersey Transit train was experiencing some wiring problems and the conductor announced that the train would be stopping in a few stops. 40 minutes into the ride, everyone was asked to disembark. After standing in the hot sun for five minutes, the conductors urged people to wait in the air conditioned train cars. About 10 minutes later, New Jersey Transit buses had arrived to take everyone to their final destinations. That entire process delayed me by 30 minutes or more. By the time I got on the road it was nearly 3:00pm and I had forgotten about the summer weekend traffic out of New York- so it took me nearly 3 hours just to go from New Jersey to the George Washington bridge. By the time I got to the Massachusetts turnpike it was 8:00pm and it was would take another nearly 3 more hours to reach Gloucester, Massachusetts.

I was going to Gloucester to visit my “aunt”- who is one of my parents’ oldest, dearest of friends from their days in Alaska- before I was even born. In fact, she was one of the first people to hold me as a baby. Although I only knew her as a friend of my parents, “J” is special and I have always felt a unique connection with her. It has always been something beyond description- an anachronism, a primordial feeling. She’s like family to me. Over that past 3 years that I’ve been in Taiwan, I’ve returned to North America once or twice a year and each time I’ve promised to visit her but the timing never worked out and I realized that I had to find the time and make a promise to visit her this time. She has a beautiful house with an ocean view and stretch of rocky shoreline as her backyard. Her gorgeous, spacious home and my room with a view, made all the driving I went through all the more worthwhile…

A view from the balcony of my room

The rocky New England shoreline right in the backyard

Enjoying the view or eyeing a rabbit outside?


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