Posts Tagged 'travel'

Couchsurfing

While I should be studying marine biology right now and all it’s diatoms and phytoplankton and glacial drinking water, I instead of course find other things to do. While it’s not precisely blog material, I feel it necessary to convey who I am as far as a hospitable host and pull this from my “About the Couch” section on my couchsurfing profile (click that link to see it):

Deep in the heart of Long Beach lies a little apartment where two people wait everyday for the next couchsurfing request, praying and hoping to the gods of the ‘surf that soon the chosen couchsurfer will arrive to sleep on our couch….

Cool introduction, eh? I don’t see why Couchsurfing can’t be a mythical fantasy.

READ CAREFULLY: so we had an exchange student (alonso) move in and he lives on the couch. there is room for a second person on the couch, and he is comfortable with that. we also have an extra mattress that could squeeze a couple, either in my room or the living room. what this means: you will be sleeping next to someone–whether it’s me or good old alonso, you will be in my room or the living room. meaning please understand this in advance and don’t act weird when i bring it up.

we do walk around naked at times, also.

This means that I/we don’t care anymore: there are so many goddam people coming and going it seems that I’ve decided to scrap social/gender/respectable constructs and in the case of a full house just tell you your scant options–which very well may be in my bed–and tell you to deal with it. Yes, this continues with the fantasy.

you will leave a rule (if english isn’t your first language). on the kitchen wall we have the rules of the house in all sorts of languages, and you will add to them. you will also leave a note telling us how wonderful your stay was (in fact, you can write it in advance, as this will help define how wonderful your stay will be!–actually, you should do a rough draft before you come and then revise it before you leave).

I need to take a picture of our rules and post it for you few visitors to see. We have “1) Don’t cry in the living room and 2) Don’t call Jordan a big stupid.” in English, but that’s all. Little Lauren who stayed for a week or two looking for a place came up with these two as she said she was going to cry from all the spicy food I’d made her eat, and I told her no, crying in the living room is breaking rule #1. Then she called me a big stupid, so naturally things went from there. And we wrote them on the wall.

Following, we have “Respect the cunt” in Hebrew, “Don’t drink Jordan’s wine” in Serbian, “Clean up your shit” in Arabic, “Leave a note” in Swedish, and “Don’t walk around in your underwear in front of Christa” in German. It’s fun to have some ironic cultural twists in there, as saying “clean up your shit” in Arabic in Arabic-speaking cultures would probably get you kicked out of your family and ostricized from society and exiled to live in the Sahara until you die. Maybe. And “Respect the cunt” goes without saying. Israel is [essentially] America, as they grow up with the same music and movies and fast-food shit and we can understand each other’s pop culture jokes… and of course ‘that shit ain’t nothin but pussy.’

We drink a lot, I smoke outside because they make me, and we drink a lot. We also like to paint on the walls and play music inside the walls. I don’t really hit the ganj anymore but no problems here.

I smoke cigarettes inside when no one’s home, because I like to feel at home. No one fucking notices because it doesn’t stick to a goddam thing, but the principle means it just isn’t okay to smoke inside. I miss Europe. And windows.

The neighbors hate us because of my music. I say fuck them, too bad. Come tell me and I will turn it down and apologize. Since Alonso moved in, however, we play the radio mainly as opposed to my eclectic shit. It’s refreshing, actually, though commercials are just terrible.

We also don’t paint on the walls anymore.

I don’t hit the ganj anymore because I’m beginning to feel it’s just another way to keep a people complacent and stupid. Not that every stoner is lazy and stupid (quite the contrary in cases), but I feel the common proletariat who smokes because they enjoy it (plus it’s cool because it’s contraband) doesn’t give a shit about the problems we as the common peasants need to begin giving a shit about–and never will. So there’s that, plus just the fact that my mind thinks a lot more without it in my life. Perhaps too much, it’s driving me in malicious circles.

And I like it.

I used to be down with indefinite, longer stays but the problem is space now. If you’re one person you’re more welcome to be unsure of how long you’ll stay, two people we can handle 3 nights max unless things are going smoothly somehow, but generally- things get hectic.

I used to be all “travelers are travelers, we’ll make it work!” But now I’m like fuck it, it’s just inconvenient. This is SoCal bitch, there ain’t no patience for that shit.

I live with Christa, another student/couchsurfer who is a bit busier than I is busy like me, and Alonso (no profile), and we will welcome you. We already love you. We both have school and work so we can’t show you around all the time (but gods know i’ll try!), but if you’re cool with it you can come see California State University Long Beach, or even come with me to Hollywood while I work… Or you can just hang out and finish your novel. And of course, we’ll be around at night to watch the minutes slip by.. we normally keep it pretty cool.

I’d say this is a pretty large lie. I’m wrapped up in my routine. I don’t mind them adding them into my evenings and my usual deal, but I’m not sure if I’d sacrifice my free moments to go show a tourist the city or a good time, if it didn’t benefit me or offer me some sort of way to get something done. I am selfish, and I am proud of that.

Enlightening, genuine conversation nearly every night 100% GUARANTEED. I wish this weren’t true, it’s kind of making my head hurt. But you will hear about my homework and some era of French Literature and/or some esoteric parallels to society today and why it’s bullshit, rest assured.

Actually, my mind hurts and I think many think I’m a little loco at times because these conversations don’t fucking stop, in some weird way, and they never got a chance to get to know me before hearing all my ludicrous bullshit.

Please bring toilet paper if you’ll be a few nights–that shit goes fast (ba dum ch). Don’t feel awkward about bringing food and cooking, and know that when we cook we cook for everyone in the house–so please contribute as we are not as financially fearless as we’d like to be. If you can bring your own shampoo/conditioner/soap we’d appreciate that as well, it seems to disappear a lot faster these days.

Why the fuck is toilet paper ten dollars for 24 rolls?

Okay, so that’s my couch information. I won’t bother talking about the program and my experience with it, that’s a book in it’s goddam self. Maybe I’ll analyze/comment on my profile next time (isn’t the Facebook/Myspace/Internet 2.0 concept of making a profile about yourself an interesting one?).

Have fantastic weeks everyone. I’m enjoying nicotine withdrawals–no, I’m not “quitting”–it’s interesting to see how I deal with it and whether that’s the reason or not I end up smoking a cigarette at night.

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The Subjunctive Revolution of New Age Slavery

After having a meal with some friends a few days ago, I realized how scared we are to give in to eating something that is not from a recognized corporate restaurant. I purchased my sandwich from a local deli slash corner store, the others just had to wait until we reached Subway, as they’d know what they’d be in for.

How has this happened?  Do we fear soul–knowing that a little creativity can go into a local sandwich versus the strict rules Subway must follow? We only acknowledge what’s made itself prevalent in our corporately purchased lives, dominated by the extravagance that we fear living without. We wondered how the Latin Americans could live so blindly—blind to the lack of progress they’ve made due to corruption—yet here we are being trained day by day to listen to horrible music that does nothing to stimulate the mind in any musical or lyrical fashion, to eat food we have come to be told is healthy yet know little about the science behind it, to drink the same chemically inseminated beverages because the marketing has taken us prisoner, to fuck the same type of person we see in our pornography collections, to study in the same styles as generations beforehand, to work towards some servitude of the future.

Imagine if James the Beatboxer really did prove that another method of counting–yes, just simply counting– worked out more efficiently than our own, that there were a DIFFERENT number system that solved all our scientific issues in a more productive manner: where would this lead our civilization? Assuming he wasn’t killed before it was made known, essentially all we’ve come to ‘develop’ or understand in our world could may or may end up fact. In a world based on the assumption that anything that cannot be proved by science is incorrect or irrational, this would send scientists and politicians alike for a loop. The streets would be roaring with the zeitgeist-ers and the conspiracy theorists that have yelled out to us for so long, and soon after our numbers and mathematics started over from step 1 (possibly step 2 or 3, that would depend on where humankind fucked up or decided not to acknowledge that there was another path to take–Freud anyone?).

We’d want to know other things, after seeing that something as concrete as numbers were incorrect. Why true, natural medicine has to be labeled ‘alternative’ when technically, a thousand years ago, there was no other option than this stuff that’s so ‘new age’ to us. Or maybe people will start to speak up about the music—how could it have been so magnificent and majestic and intricate a dozen generations ago yet somehow sunk into what the average persons hears on the radio every day? The lyrics have begun to decline even faster than the music quality—just in the lack of them!—they just repeat the same lines over and over.

With any luck, the population would begin to question why we aren’t taught to look into our dreams more, or at least acknowledge them. Or coincidences. Synchronicity. Science can’t prove what they are, so it doesn’t matter to us. It can’t be proven by any means our civilization has claimed to be legitimate, thus it is irrelevant. Maybe students will start asking themselves as they take out their textbooks why everything has to be set to a standard and to abide by a system already so firmly in place that even ideas that strike its surface aren’t allowed to make but a peep as our minds imagine it, because it’s coldblooded blasphemy to think otherwise. Slavery doesn’t exist? Tell me what mandatory education from age 6 to 18 is. Tell me what credit is, and why without having had debt, you can’t find a place to live. Why without a house and car by age XX, you’ve failed.

Tell me what a society encouraging their young to follow in the same exact metaphorical footsteps as every asshole that walked along the same road, leading to bigger televisions, more comfortable cars, and a heavier wallet is, if not enslaved.

Tell me why the word paradise springs forth an image of a palm tree, white sands, and an azure beach calling you to get in shape, order a margarita, and lay down next to it. Tell me why they look at me funny after asking me how Mexico was when they find out I didn’t go to a beach.

Tell me why they’re there in the same building as me to begin with—to make their wallets greener, their noses browner, with their souls more and more translucent, as they forget what an evening without aesthetically stimulating distraction is: passion doesn’t exist in the world of speed.

I’m glad I’ve been/am being educated. I’m glad I can eat whatever I want, whenever. I’m glad I can spend my money on worthless consumption. I’m glad I can listen to this shitty music that gets girls horny on the dance floor. I am a product of my society, and I’ve accepted this. But I’m scared for those who don’t even recognize it.

A Step Inside

The new day brought fresh, foreign light to my tanned skin as I stepped outside for a moment, but however bright it may have been, it was tinted with envy seen solely through my future lover’s eyes, as mystic emotions silhouetted the relentless cityscape and skyscraping traffic, molesting the peace of the contented homeless.

I saw this new day’s light embracing the accomplished hopes and dreams of the unknowing poor everyman, never to feel enchanted on account of his eternal evasion of mystery and enlightenment, forever trapped under the pollution of his repetitive day that seems to shine in the same manner every so many hours, after every so many drinks and nights of wondering what will come at the age when he’ll be unable to accomplish what he once read about in fairy tales, imagining himself to sleep.

I saw this day’s light on my skin, felt the heat on my forehead, heard the roar of the steel river, smelled the city’s nature, tasted the tar growing on my tongue, and I endeavored to resist the urge to wipe away the first drop of sweat caused by this intense new, aberrant heat. As I sensed the dread building up in my stomach, I realized I was graced to realize what we read about by the greatest writers, drunks, philosophers, and political prisoners of our race’s time. The day suddenly darkened, and a twilight engulfed the skyline as the sun dissolved into snow falling along the horizon, and my whole life disappeared from under my feet as I found myself somewhere I’d never seen before.

Everything was dark, yet there were a few lights I could see at different depths of field that didn’t seem to exist to anything but what I was looking at. I didn’t walk towards these few lights, but I arrived. While I couldn’t make out what the lights were illuminating, I felt an overwhelming hurricane of happiness, a torrent of tenacity, a flood of love siege and penetrate my blood, and I immediately understood where I’d found myself: in myself. I was staring at my passion, my love, my idea, my moi. I arrived at another light, and this one was dimmer. I absorbed the emotional emissions and I knew I had work still to accomplish with this one.

I wandered for what could have been hours, if time truly exists inside yourself. I was but a sponge in the presence of such power, lost to rational emotion and romantic instinct, introducing myself to what I know one can’t help but hide for so long.

At some point I found myself back in the world, being touched by the light of the new day once again. I took a deep breath, and realized that while I preferred the lights inside my dark cave of the mystery of myself, this light was what I would have to live under as I found opportunities to illuminate my own.

So I took another deep breath, walked inside, and closed the blinds.


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jayurbzz


Another twenty some odd young adult who believes he sees things from a unique perspective. Here be my poetry & prose, short stories, favored school papers, rantings, and "blogs." Comment, critique, and profit.