Location: Oxford, Mississippi, United States

"Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly!"

Saturday, January 12, 2008

When its there, grab it.

I knew it was going to be a good one when it started with a story beginning with "once my grandmother went to Thailand." It started in Miami. Two crazy people staying with others....sort of similar minded, but yet completely different. Only words come to my head: Sushi, Lincoln, Sushi, Delano, Sushi, Bacardi, Sushi, White, Sushi, Beach, Sushi, Photos, Sushi., sushi. Yes, it involved a cruise to the Bahamas and also again sushi. And that reminded me of the snorkeling on the reef just off Nassau. It was breathtaking. Emotions in a span of two hours that ranged from extreme adrenaline when seeing a snake to utter peace of mind and heart, floating thinking of nothing but how lucky these two souls are, and how friendship connects stronger when you share these moments. In some way I wish more people were there, I know of a lot of people that needed that. But hopefully they will find their piece in me.

Moderately sunny. The two added another. Got into his car (1990 Chrysler New Yorker) and left. First stop Dallas. Here the city throws them with its structure. Breath in. Smell. Somewhere it smells like popcorn, no, wait, it must be croissants. Art. Two days later another joined. Suddenly it changes again. The city again, at night this time. A Mexican friend hops into one night for Brazilian fun. On the road again. El Paso. First sight at night. Crazed by how big it is. A nice hotel with a microwave. Budget. A closed embassy, an open local bakery. Up a scenic route and pushed down with a sandstorm. Another day, another OUTLET MALL! On the road again. A stop at nothing. The backwards gas station with an African owner. Hamburgers. Phoenix. A night in yet another great hotel. An English pub. Three quickly enters the scene. Breakfast. Cactus. Uphill. Pine trees. Snow. Another great moment in the snow. Waiting for a fix, but being high on nature. Car fixed, well sort of. On the road again. Grand Canyon. “Wow”, “Look there”, “no, look there!” The astonishment of absence. One of the few places where your everyday person find beauty in absence. But beauty it was…with a sunset. A glimpse of the Hoover dam. Uphill, and down hill. Lights. Vegas. People. Vegas. Lights. Found another place where night time might just as well be day time. Another joins. A bag stays. He brings with him Christmas. A morning where a frown turned to a smile. Feelings deep, expressions low. In a minute the past four months and the past flashes. An ache in the heart for a bit, but not for long. No time. Simpsons in a Kinder egg.

Hit the road again. Traffic, but not for us. A smile in every heart. Five souls, smiling. Realizing the beauty. (yes, the satisfaction of seeing content Germans. Haha.) A few more miles. Welcome to California. Los Angeles. Hollywood Inn. A sudden struck in the head that I do not realize where I am. The Hollywood sign, the club, the stars. Just thinking I never dreamed of walking here, but also I expected it a lot different, and not a city that still lives in 1950. Mulholland Drive. Bubba Gump. Run Forest and have some more! A drive to Long beach, discover a piece of home. Leave the piece of home behind, taking only pictures. The OC, New Port beach. Laguna beach. Again not realizing what I am doing and how lucky I am. A club with great music, a strange older woman hitting on me, and a robot guy looking for robot girl. Next morning a drive to Malibu. Beautiful drive next to the ocean. A planned cocktail with a decision not to. Drive up to San Francisco. Cape Town in America. A blurred vision of home. A contrast between human and nature beauty. People looking at the bridge, maybe one or two, including this soul, looking past the bridge. A swim to Alcatraz…haha…not really. The harbor and seafood. I picked the best one. Life flying by. Another time “Ich bin glücklich”. All souls happy in the real form of happiness. A drive to the Napa. Some bumps in the road. Five. Wine at a price. Different than I am used to. The surroundings are similar but different. A new beginning brings us closer to the end. New years. A club with alcohol, dance, girls, craziness, picking up the other South African because there are Dutch girls you have to listen to. Hollie. A wait for the taxi cab. Drunk but a bit worried about his knees. Sit down and talk. I am happy for her. He is a nice guy and will handle her with care. The thought made me smile.

Packed and ready to go. One soul leaves. An absence in the car. Suddenly in Vegas again. The absence filled with a what seems like a coffin from New Zealand. Drive to Albuquerque. Long drive. Tiredness hitting. Sleep. A frozen swimming pool. On the road again. This time for 20. “U 2 u 2 u2 u2”. “Ok, we can make it”. Shaky shaky. Oxford. It did not feel that long. The drive was fine. A conversation to really catch up with an old friend helped a lot. Friends meet friends. SLEEEEEEEP.

One day later. 3 original souls and a last minute 4th and one with a heavy hart.

“Lets have breakfast, we’ll be fine!” Say our goodbyes. Split up. Realize it does not take long to miss someone when they leave. Run through security, Gate C2, run run run, NO Gate B34, run run run, NO Gate C4, run run run. Ok we are late, its Gate C14, but we are late. Walk. The flight delayed by 40 minutes. YEAY! “Glücklich!” In a strange way 1hour turned into 5 in Chicago. Fly to New York. Reunite. This time with one more. We are five again. Five seems like a good number. Times Square. “Ooh. Aahh. Wow…ok, lets go sleep.” 12 beds, a crazy smelly Japanese guy and us. We sleep nonetheless. South Africans hitting up an orchestra. Ok, wake up. A new day, New York. Walk walk walk. Central Park. Through snow and out at the strawberry fields. Paid our respects to Lennon. Liberty with a sunset. A bit too late, but still some nice pictures. A slice of China town. A bar. A shawarma/Donor Kebab. Another day. More stuff to do. Rockefeller with the Christmas tree. Christmas is definitely fading. Another subway. Walk a bit more. Empire State at night. Another day of tourist stuff. Another bar. Another Shawarma/Donor Kebab. A stare into nothing. A question blows me into reality again. “What are you thinking about?” The answer created a lot of laughter. “My grave stone” I said. Laughter with a “But why?”. I realized in that moment that I want a writing on my grave stone saying something like “He lived his life to the fullest,” or just “he enjoyed.”Another day. A friend leaves. I don’t realize it. The show goes on. Somewhere in the back of my mind he is missing, but we just go on. We split up. Two goes for more tourist stuff, and two sit down and watch and experience the New York local culture. We meet up again. A comedy show, a long walk to freedom to the Madiba bar for a beer. Closed. Lets walk a little more. A random “dive bar”, one beer and a new South African guy. Another wait for the late night subway. We arrive bit less than 1hour before we have to leave. A first time sleeping on an aeroplane. Memphis. Oxford.

Somehow all of this are still just a dream. I do not know if it was nature that brought us together, but these experiences with all these people at the perfect times contributed to a perfect holiday. Something so extraordinary that it will be told for generations, at least to grand children. I cannot really describe what I feel inside, but know that true appreciation is somewhere in there, connected with true happiness, or as one of my professors explained, Ananda.

The only thing I can say to these crazy souls….THANK YOU!

The pictures are not in order, but that is just to piss off the perfectionists out there..haha!

Chillin in Malibu.

San Francisco.

Wine tasting in the Napa Valley.


Imagine. John lennon.

Charlize's star.


Los Angeles beach.

Springbok bar in Long Beach.

Laguna Beach.

El Paso Scenic Drive.

Phoenix Breakfast.

5000 ft. on the way to Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon.

Excalibur in Las Vegas.

Lincoln Rd. South Beach, Miami.

Just arrived in Nassau, Bahamas.

Snorkling at Bahamas.

Yes, on the cruise we did pack away!

Dallas, Texas.

Thank you!


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