Sunday, May 29, 2011

Home James

So I've been home a month now. I feel like I have taken boredom to new heights. Almost all the things I needed to get done are finished, with the exception of notarizing and mailing some things off; but I can't do that until this holiday weekend is over. I also need to send money to many different places, but again, won't have any until the holiday weekend is over. I recall this time last year I was about to leave for asia. Memories.

I fill my time with watching pre-recorded episodes of four weddings, talk soup, and Chelsea Lately. I also have started many different craft projects that include glitter and feathers, and I go to Barnes and Knoble bookstore every day and copy down a tasty recipe from a cookbook that i wish to try and read an excerpt from the book "jitterbug perfume" by Tom Robbins. I occasionally leaf through a girly magazine, but they all say the same effing thing so they usually just bore/annoy me. "Lose weight, smokey eyes are in, and please a man with these new 75 different techniques of touching his junk." I know I need to lose weight, and I also know reading a magazine is not going to help me with the situation. I know smokey eyes are in. Put on some black eyeliner and some dark shadow and then take a nap. Your eyes will be smudged and you'll feel refreshed for a long night of good times. There are not going to be 75 new ways to touch a penis every month. Besides, I'm pretty sure just showing up and consenting is exciting enough for most men.

Some really exciting moments include the occasional trip to HEB where I buy things to unclog my pores and moisturize my hair. Sometimes I go to the beach, but not on weekends because thats when all the families are out and I don't want to be around the stupid families that think its sooooo fun and cute to feed the damn seagulls. First of all, birds are gross and evil. Second, feeding them makes them louder and more annoying than they already are. And finally, you increase the amount of bird shit that ends up on your car, and increase the likelihood that you will get shit on yourself when you feed the flying nuisances. Just saying.

Hopefully my time at home will speed along nicely. I'm pretty surprised it's already been a month that I've been back, so that's a good sign. I think having a routine and spending time visiting friends in other parts of Texas has been good for hurrying things along. I'm hoping that I'll be receiving some visitors shortly (hint hint) to keep time from screeching to a stand still.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Racism and travel

Traveling makes you more racist. It's just a simple fact. I'm not saying that after traveling you dislike a certain people group more than you did before you explored their homeland and experienced their culture firsthand (although it's a definite possibility); but I am saying that your belief in certain stereotypes goes from, "yeah how funny but wrong to say out loud," to "It's funny because it's entirely true."

Case in point: Asians are terrible drivers. I'm not saying this to piss off any asians out there. I have traveled through the general area by car, bus, motorcycle and tuk tuk, and I have to say- they are the most terrifying people behind the wheel of any automobile. One way roads? drive where you want, the other cars will see you and move. An inch of space? Just get out there and fight for it, it'll open up. The road is closed due to massive mudslides? Carve a new road with just your bus tires and some enthusiasm.

Another interesting fact about travel and racism- The Chinese don't like black people. I don't know why, I don't speak Mandarin or Cantonese so i can't ask them, but there is a high level of mistrust between the two groups. So imagine my surprise when I got to China and discovered that they have all the same food passions that Black Americans do. Fried chicken, watermelon, and grape flavored beverages, all things both people love. There are more KFC's in China than any other restaurant chain.

Another thing- in chinese food places in china, they do not give you fortune cookies. They also don't like cheese, but thats a whole other blog. Back to the fortunes...or lack thereof, in place of fortune cookies its best to look at t-shirts that have english phrases on them. My favorites included "if you're not believing in love then miracles are death," and "My friends are white and rainbow colors too."

Speaking of t-shirts in china-Couples in china like to dress the same. I saw a couple...they looked to be around 13, so they were probably in their mid 30s, wearing matching minnie mouse tshirts and white jeans.

thanks for reading.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


I spent the last 4 days in Houston with my bff's. Here are my top ten moments from the weekend.

10. The old woman sitting in front of me on the way home coughing up mucus and spitting it into a plastic bag she kept in the empty seat next to her.

9. The Old man on the way to Houston who ate an ear of corn half way through the journey. Who brings corn on the cob on the bus as a mid day snack?

8. Seeing baby Violet's reaction to bubbles. Bubbles are awesome. Violet reminded me of this.

7. On my way to the parking lot where I was being picked up, I was smiling in anticipation of a joyful reunion. 2 black guys noticed my happiness and commented, "Look at you! Smiling! You look happy! Whoever he is, he's gonna be happier."

6. Going to the bathroom in the restaurant and redoing the part in my hair to conceal my gray streak better and being scoffed at by a total stranger who was booty dancing and speaking Spanish by herself in the toilet.

5. Eating my first Tex-mex in over a year! (delish, oh how I missed corn tortillas.)

4. teasing my friends roomate and her being totally oblivious to my ever so subtle digs.

3. Spreading the love and joy that is the Miranda Hart show.


1. Being with all my college buddies again. I've missed them since graduation. Eat 'em up cats!

the end.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


After a joyous and challenging 8 months in Australia, I decided to pack it in and fly home. There were several reasons I did this, the main ones being it was going to be a real bitch to apply for visa to the UK from Australia as a US citizen, and my schedule for the school year of 2011 doesnt give me enough time to fly home for christmas. My journey home was significantly challenging because a) Australian airports are ridiculous and B) I was carrying an extra bag that wasn't mine.

So first off I need to take a bus from Byron bay to Brisbane because the 2 dudes i know that live in brisbane can't drive me up there. In the end the incredibly kind and generous woman I've been staying with, Wilamina, offers to take me So I take the 4 hour bus ride up to brisbane, and, as My plane leaves at 8 am, and its an international flight so I have to be there at 6am, I choose to just sleep at the bus terminal on the floor. The only proboblem with this is that the bus terminal closes at 1 am and opens back up at 4 am. At 1245am a security gaurd approaches me with full intentions of kicking me out onto the street. We end up chatting because I am a girl. Turns out this guy is from Chicago and misses American girls (well I just happen to be one!) so in the end, he lets me sleep on this balcony where he can make sure i'm not being assaulted or stealing anything on the security camera. then at 4 he wakes me up and helps me carry my things inside. At this point I want to punch kadi (the girl whose bag I am taking) in the face because its so ridiculously difficult to travel with her heavy ass rolly bag and I feel like a total asshole for being "one of those backpackers" that has too much and can't bear to part with anything. I mean...the point of backpacking is to travel light and take just what you need, and take only what you can carry. SO you look like a real douche if you walk around with more bags than you have hands for. Any way, my Chicago buddy stays and flirts with me for a while (only God knows why, I looked sooo shitty after sleeping outside on a concrete balcony for 3 hours) and then goes back to guarding the bus terminal and I go to sleep until 545. Now, I am at a point in my tale where I just have to say it...This is why American boys are the smoothest and have the best game, by far, of any country I have been hit on by yet. I woke up and Evan (my Chicago buddy) has left me a note that says, "I didn't want to wake you again but I left already, call me if you pass through again, you can stay with me and not in the bus terminal. Have a good Easter!" He left his number and facebook details, and a chocolate Easter egg. I mean...it doesn't sound like much, but it was nice to wake up too, plus it was the only Easter pleasantry or candy that anyone gave me.

So anyway, I take the train to the Brisbane International airport and I go to check into my flight and the woman at the desk is like..."no, we don't have your booking, go talk to the sales desk." So I go to the sales desk and that girl also cant find my booking and is a real bitch about it.
"I'm sorry miss, that reference number isn't coming up on our system."
me-"Can I pull my email account up and show you that?"
"No, we can't do that."
me- "So I need to find a computer and printer in the airport and bring it to you? that's my only option?"
me- "what if I can't find one, I'm just screwed?"
"you can buy another ticket."
me-"ok, so then yes, screwed, because I only have enough money for the ONE ticket that I ALREADY bought."

I mean...the woman was just SUCH a cunt about it. She didn't seem to give 2 shits about me or my dire circumstances, and she absolutely refused to do anything helpful, like tell me where a computer was, or search the other systems to find my name.

So I find a computer, but the printer of course, doesn't work, so I write down every single number, every single flight detail I can think of ans take it over to her. She glances at it, tells me I need to go to the domestic airport and basically tells me to fuck off. Now, I took the train for $15 to the international airport because that's what my effing itinerary told me to do. So I have to pay another $5 to transfer to the domestic airport, meanwhile the rolly bag I'm carrying is starting to realllly piss me off, because its just so difficult to maneuver around, especially going up and down stares, as it weighs 23 kilos, (around 50lbs). So the bus rocks up, I spend like 15 minutes pissing everyone in line behind me off because I take so long to get the rolly bag and my duffel bag on the bus and in the baggage area. I finally get to the airport, and Im checking in, and the guy at the front desk tells me I have too much baggage and I can pay $20 extra per kilo (which would have been over $400) or i can throw some stuff away. I start crying because I dont even have phone credit to call Kadi and see what she wants me to get rid of and what she wants me to keep. I mean, sure its inconvenient but I wouldnt be happy if anyone went through my things and through half of them away...but thats what I do. It turns out Kadi has a shit ton of paper and books so that really helps and after that i just throw away stuff i've never seen her wear. A woman who has been a part of plight from the beggining of the check in process helps me out by "fudging the numbers a little" (she is by the way, shocked that I would haul an extra bag around for a friend) but she helps me out and I finally get to get rid of my heavy and inconvenient bags and get on the damn plane. So fly to Sydney, and then to Fiji. When I get to fiji I have a few hours layover. I asked a woman wearing a yellow work vest where the toilet was (the fiji airport is a big square and its pretty difficult to see the signs for some reason) and she smiled at me like she'd eaten sunshine and rainbows for breakfast and very enthusiastically pointed me in the right direction. So after about an hour I get paged on the intercom, "will Passenger Jessica Taylor please report to gate 7, you have an important message, passenger Jessica Taylor to gate 7." So I go to gate 7 and they have my passport and boarding pass (eek) and I get another extremely cheerful and enthusiastic tongue lashing from the employees with my passport. "Miss Taylor! You must keep watch on your things or can't board the plane!" this message was accompanied by a delighted grin and hand gestures. I don't know whats in the water in fiji, but I want to go back and find out.

So then I land in LA, and I take another bus over to where I fly to Dallas from and at check out there (virgin american) the woman tells me that I have to pay $50 for the 2 bags I'm checking. At this point I think so little of most transport services that the news doesnt even shock me. I warily ask her why, after flying internationally, I am not allowed to have checked luggage, and she says its the airlines deal, not hers personally, but she feels bad about it and gives me a better seat than the one I originally had. Please note the difference between this lady and the Australian bitch who was happy to make me pay $2000 extra dollars on my way home. SO I board the plane and its got purple lights and all the window shades are down. It looks like one of snoop dogs air crafts from his hit movie "Soul Plane." I land in Dallas and flights into Corpus Christi are cancelled, because Dallas has been having tornadoes and such in the area. So I go to Avis, rent a car, and drive all night. At 3 am I take a nap in an IHOP parking lot (I've never felt classier) and then continue on with my journey.

So i've been home for a week now, everything is good but I am still having trouble sleeping. I'm not sure if it's my bed, the temperature, the time change, or if my body is just super pissed at me. I sleep only fitfully, and only for 3-4 hour increments. Whatevs. I'm getting some sleeping pills tomorrow. For real.