Friday, October 23, 2015

Freedom Over Ease

Friday, October 23, 2015

There is only a month to go before I leave for South America, yet I haven’t worked out the details of the trip. I haven’t even finalized the itinerary. There are so many reservations and bookings that I have to make and transportation routes that I have to study. How did I let it come to this?  Perhaps we should just wing it this time: be more spontaneous, adapt as we go, and not plan anything in advance.

Why do I insist on traveling independently when we could go for one of those guided tours that would organize everything for us? We could simply be chauffeured all around the continent instead of going through the trouble of finding and booking hotel rooms, buses, and flights, haggling with cab drivers, dealing with touts, and making our way through countries where English is not that widely spoken. The convenience organized tours guarantee is very tempting, I admit, but I’d always choose freedom over ease.  When we travel on our own, we can choose where to go, how to go, when to go, and when to leave. Why spend time going through the same sites and the same route most groups go to when we can skip all of those and spend our time in a small village that we like and do nothing? Traveling independently would give us more opportunities to get a feel for the local culture. And I’d surely get a chance to practice my Spanish too.

Friday, October 16, 2015

The House of Our Childhood

Friday, October 16, 2015

As the sun begins to set we feel the chill of the fog wafting through the windows whose rotten wooden frames, barely hanging together, we painstakingly tried to conceal behind handsewn curtains made of the cheapest fabric we could find.  It permeates each room of the house, touching the sloping, mildew-patterned walls, seeping into the battered couch sagging under the weight of accumulated years, grazing the shelf bursting with books whose presence in that house is our sole source of material pride. It drifts toward the precarious-looking but ever-sturdy ladder then downstairs with its uneven concrete floor, unpainted walls, paneless windows, and doorless doors.The cool air lingers and slowly blends with the palpable odor of molds--the smell of our childhood.
 
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