Oh, so it is. I’m usually much more on top of my New Year’s posts, but 2013 was one heck of a year and I wasn’t really sure where to start. Then I thought, I’ll just begin with what’s always closest to my heart: the food. (And drink.) And I’m gonna preemptively put a few dollars in the proverbial jar, because I’m about to sound like a… well, maybe just don’t read this if you’re prone to fits of jealous rage. Right, the food… Continue reading
This Thanksgiving Eve finds me sitting at an Ikea kitchen table that I shared with an ex, once upon a time. It’s now in my bedroom. In my parents’ house. There’s only one chair. (The other one was lost in a flood.) It’s also from Ikea. This visual gets more depressing with every passing detail. There’s even a candle. Unlit. And an opened box of Entenmann’s “donuts.” And a feline reposing in my lap. Just kidding… about those last two things, anyway.
The floor behind me is, literally, covered with books and laundry and 10 pairs of shoes and five pieces of luggage and 37 pieces of cameras and a statue of Ganesha.
So, at 28, this probably isn’t exactly where most people would want to be. But I am thankful to be here.
This has been one crazy year (so far). I didn’t realise until my mum brought it to my attention, but I set foot on five continents in eight months. That’s, like, the definition of a crazy year. But also the definition of a remarkable year.
Bali Cont’d. (Finally.)
I was relocated to a private room (complete with sheer, bamboo “walls,” immediately on the other sides of which my neighbours slept). The ocean was rowdy and the people who lurked near it were always trying to sell me silver jewelry, so I became part of the poolside décor and watched time (and yoga teachers-in-training) pass by in bulk. I eventually spoke to one of them. The yoga teachers. Her name was Steph and she was from South Australia. She invited me to join her for lunch and soon, I had 30 new friends. They told me where I could find good cafes and ATMs. The combination of good company and the (thankfully) shattered illusion of confinement made Villa Serenity infinitely more enjoyable.
One day, we went to lunch and afterward, we stopped at an ATM. This particular machine didn’t accept my bank card, so my new friend Laura told me how to find another one:
“Walk down the beach until you see a big, white building,” she said. “Turn left and keep asking the security guards until you get there. It should only take about 35 minutes.” Continue reading
Bali is a torrid, lethargic isle rife with mosquitoes, mad drivers, and doublespeak. (I may feel differently tomorrow, when I am no longer staying in a room so ill-equipped for paying patrons that it’s actually FREE.)
1. I am watching a gecko-cockroach showdown from the confines of my mossy net.
2. I always wanted to sleep in a bed with a canopy.
3. Previously mentioned free accommodation. (If only for one night.)
3.a. It’s only for one night.
Oh, also, I did have a really good dinner for $3. Even if it was cut short by vicious insects gnawing on every inch of me. Now, I just hope none of my possessions go missing in the night. And please, please get me to the beach tomorrow.
Between “Superstorm” Sandy and New Year’s, the East Coast experienced a run of swell that will probably become Tri-state lore. Yes, the window of opportunity was unusually lengthy. Yes, the Mayan calendar was involved. But the main reason why we’ll be talking about Dirty Jerz’s “Doomsday swell” and its siblings for years to come is that when they hit the ravaged coastline, they turned into immaculate, occasionally monstrous waves. Waves for days, you might even say. The likes of which haven’t been seen around here in, well, possibly ever. Some may call it divine justice, but it’s more like environmental recompense: It turns out that there’s scientific evidence that Sandy is actually behind the Right Coast’s firing good fortune.
“That swell before Christmas (the “Doomsday swell”), I think that might have been the best I’ve ever seen Bay Head [New Jersey],” says Billabong rider (and local legend) Sam Hammer. “There was like a four-hour period there where I’d never seen it consistently that size with the shape it had. And it wasn’t getting smaller. That just… doesn’t happen,” he laughs. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen it look like that.”