Notes from my first ever longish trip to anywhere at all.

Dear Zonk,
I didn’t blog at all while I was away, but here’s an unedited stream of things I thought at various points over the last 15 days.

October 31st – November 4th

It’s cold here. Not a biting, bone-chilling cold, but a thrilling this-is-pretty-cool sort of cold. Philly is way colder than the coldest winter I’ve ever experienced and winter is not even here yet.

Si’s house is lovely. It’s large and warm and the floors are wooden and it has a charm all its own. Not at all like the bare bones decor-less dwelling I imagined he’d keep. He has things. Quite a lot of them. And everything is sweet and comfy.

This city is beautiful. The buildings aren’t all boxes. The Free Library is free for all and completely amazing. The roads are wide. The sidewalks are wide. The bike paths are wide. Every pavement slopes down to meet the road at the corners. If I lived in Philly I’d own a bike and I’d ride it everywhere.

These museums are inspiring. We used to make things once. What gave?

If we lived in Philly we’d meet at a park or sit on these steps and just hold hands and be. We’d walk everywhere. We’d cycle a lot. If we lived in Philly we’d do so much more.

There’s no food here though and it’s only 10 in the night. Americans eat early and Philly shuts down early as fuck. And also everything is non-vegetarian. And all the portions are massive. I’ve eaten only fries for too long now.

I love this pottery studio-shop-thing. I need to start a studio-shop-thing of my own someday.

People are nice.

I’ve saved a leaf that looks like Autumn. I’ll frame it when I’m home at some point, some day.

New York
November 4th – 8th

Holy shit we missed our bus.

Holy shit we missed our check-in time.

Holy shit we only get our keys at 7 now and we’ve got to ride the subway and a bus to Jersey City to get our keys and dump our stuff and come back to Manhattan and Shashank is waiting and we’re late and my birthday’s almost here but this day’s been so stressful and I’m beginning to freak out now a little and also what the fuck. This city is windy and fuck and I feel like I’m walking around in a freezer and do you think you can warm my hands up a little.

Cafe Wha is nice. This cover band is nice. Times Square at 12 o’clock feels new and exciting and different from every other birthday I’ve ever had so far.

I’m sorry I fucked up. I’ll try to be more in control now and less lost in my phone and less… flappable.

This city is insane. All tall buildings leaning up against each other in a hundred finishes and textures and trees everywhere and more buildings peeking out from behind them. It’s…something. I get it. I get it, but it’s not me.

This morning we are aimless a little. It’s afternoon and I’m freezing. The High Line is beautiful. I’m freezing worse now. But it’s worth it. And fuck everyone else all around us it took until today for me to remember that we are a whole small universe all our own and that no matter where I am, you are a whole entire person who’s all my own. And thank you for making this birthday so birthday and so special. How do you do it every single year?

This is who we are, you know. We are cup noodles and pajamas and cheap wine. We are giant t-shirts and rings that do not fit. We are comfy and we’re warm and to us we’re always home. And yes, of course I will. As though there was ever any doubt at all.

I’ve told them all now and nobody was surprised. Nobody. And this is going to be weird when we get back, isn’t it.

The 6th of November. I’m freezing and I’m feeling sick and can we please just go back to where it’s warm.

The 7th, at last. Dan tonight. Look he can sign this plectrum and then I can wear it later. And I should pick this up because you don’t get it at home and this because Rahul will like it and this because it has that one white plec and I can ask Dan to sign it and then I can get this holder and wear the signed pick around my neck. This is going to be epic.

This is my first good meal in this city! I’m learning to like chicken in more forms now I suppose.

I left all those fucking plectrums somewhere. Let’s go back.

It’s lost.

Let’s buy them all again and I think I don’t deserve it but look. Dan signed it. And holy shit it’s priceless now!

November 8th – 11th

So this is what the TSA is like. They’re nice honestly, aren’t they. They’re cheerful and see how they’re putting that lady’s shoes back on for her. What made us think this would be hard?

What made us think we could walk around with these fucking backpacks until check-in time? Did I forget about my frail shoulders and my weak spine and the kilo I lost recently?  Next time, we check in somewhere with better timings. I swear.

HOLY SHIT I’M IN DIAGON ALLEY. This place is like magic. And the theme song is playing everywhere and there’s magical music in every shop and everything moves and creaks and look! I have a wand! I can cast spells! REPARO! Butterbeer is delicious and this is where you buy books for Hogwarts and this is the pet shop and here’s where you get fitted for robes.

I DIDN’T THINK THIS RIDE WOULD BE SO REAL. I didn’t think all of the rides would be so real. And this is the closest I will ever come to flying. I could live here forever and I’d die happy.


We’ll come back here one day and everything will be very different and also exactly the same.

New York
November 11th


We’re 3 hours early for a flight that’s 2 hours late. And there are no buses to Philly till tomorrow and what do we do now? Do we stay out all night? I can’t do it my teeth are chattering fuck you New York. You and your frigid windy weather. I’m wearing only one pair of pants tonight let’s go crash at a friend’s friend’s place. Well go back to Philly in the morning.

November 12th – 13th

Oh man I love this city. It’s so fucking quiet and pretty and can’t I do a PhD. and live here also? I could do with classes 3 days a week and have brunches in the middle of the week and sidewalks that slop down into the street.

I almost don’t want to go home. But I also do. It’s been 2 weeks and for everything that’s nice about it, this country still has no bum showers. That’s really no way to live. So goodbye Si. We’ll miss you.

We’re early again and that’s a relief and our seats suck and the man next to me flew to Florida expressly to vote for Trump and he won’t shut up about it. I’m reading, can’t you see? Sheesh.

November 14th

I’ve slept okay this time around.

Isn’t it sad when you step out of the airport and realise your city smells of smoke?

Fuck it, though. It’s okay. I think that I’m happy to be home :)



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