Travel Tales: United States

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Oh, Meiguo, I don’t even know where to start.

I’m broke, two tones darker, and have the worst eyebags in this side of the planet but I’ve come home with a wealth of learning and experiences I would never exchange with a hefty bank account or a fair and light skin tone.

These past few weeks were interesting. America, it may take another few years or a decade to see you again, but that’s something truly worth waiting for!


Hello from the West Coast

Hello and greetings from the land of the free, or how they call it to be!

Hmm… I kind of regret not having to write something during my first few days of stay here, even if I had the chance to (or I had none, perhaps?). My energy is always drained at the end of the day that I’d rather catch up on some sleep that being jet lagged has deprived me of (it’s a terrible feeling, now I know). There’s a very tight itinerary to follow, and we’re out pretty much for the majority of the day. In other words, there’s always that hint of adventure awaiting us everyday. Haha, wew. Tired, yes, but happy.

I don’t remember being this stressed for a trip, having packed my luggage literally hours before departure, as I was also having to rush things for school (read: college duties) the last three days before we left… even had to rush to my high school to have some document processed. A day before enrollment. Apparently my mind was in its travel state the whole time that I forgot about the reality I have to face… terrible of me, but eventually, things sort of fell into place, and here I am.

But at the same time, I don’t know, honestly, I wasn’t even thinking so much of this trip. I mean, yes, I was looking forward to it, especially seeing my relatives whom I haven’t seen for quite a long time, but it was partly because of all the stress that I had to deal with. And I remember telling someone who called me over the phone that, I don’t know, going to an Asian country gives me a different kind of thrill. Well, because, you know, for a person like me whose interests and “knowledge” on certain things don’t really originate from this faraway region, I sort of figured it would be hard for me to relate. Or adapt. Or whatever.

But what the hell was I even saying? I love this place to bits! Well, I’m actually past halfway through my stay here and I dread the thought of having to leave. I really do. 😦 I hate how time extremely flies so fast.

Once again, my random, spur of the moment thoughts in bullet-form:

  • Whether in or out of my country, I’m Japanese by default, and I don’t know why… but here, I’m Filipino! It’s really not a big deal to see fellow countrymen around here, but it’s quite refreshing to be able to engage in a conversation with them.
  • I thought we Filipinos are nice? I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the people here are extremely nice. Yes, I take it against you if you don’t say you’re welcome. Haha.
  • Apparently lemonade is an acquired taste. Lime chips, what!!
  • Seeing a multitude of races is overwhelming. I like it. And, I love how people here don’t care about you at all.
  • Can’t believe how clothes are so expensive here! I never really buy from F21 in the Philippines because I think it’s expensive compared to what I can get at Divi or Greenhills, haha, but… yeah, that’s pretty much what I can buy here with the lowest price. But at least clothes from the clearance rack of a lot of department stores are half their original price, so I guess shopping here teaches you to be creative by scouring through the farthest stalls and shelves. Target is awesome for that.
  • Nobody wants me to try Panda Express, haha, but why? Fast food, I don’t mind. Hohoho.
  • I can never get used to different units of measurement. 3/4 mile, how far is that? What is 3 lbs. of potato? Pounds for edible stuff, whaaat? And don’t get me started on Fahrenheit! It is such a pain. All I know is that 60 is 16 degrees Celsius, and then I sort of estimate from that, but whatever. Hahaha.
  • This country is so organized, it’s crazy. Everything has a system of sorts; no wonder it’s such a progressive place.

And I repeat, I love this place to bits, where things are so different yet so familiar, usual yet extraordinary. Well, there’s walking to the pizza place at twelve midnight, hanging out with cousins who are older than my parents, smelling a weird, different scent at some hippie beach… haha, yep. As familiar as this place may seem to be, it is also where I continuously have a ton of culture shock encounters. And no matter how many times I get pushed out of my comfort zone, it’s something I truly enjoy.

So cliche, but… time is running like the speed of light—gotta spend it right.