Exit the car, enter the food chain
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i love the USA. the sight. the scene. the scent (yes, the country has a scent!). the people. it is a great country.
i had the good fortune to have met someone from the US. i didn’t plan it that way, but with the way things have been going in my life, i have learnt not to plan too much; just a bit, as not to be too reckless!
i have visited the US a few times in the course of my relationship with that someone from there. and i had enjoyed the trip every time. i love flying, so i actually looked forward to the takeoff and landing more than anything else! heheh! i’ve never liked the security procedures though, because i was always a special case, having a muslim name and donning the hijab as i do! i’m more than willing to go through all the hassle for the sake of security, but i couldn’t help but to notice only muslims had to go through all the “extra measures”!
i love the outdoors. i don’t mind indoors attraction too, but it has to be related to the pharaohs, “lord of the rings”, “star wars”, shih huangti, meteorology, geology and architecture (yes, i’m that biased). and no zoos, both indoors and outdoors.
every time i was in the US, we would plan one big outdoors trip, where we would spend between three to twelve days. las vegas. the grand canyon (all rims). meteor crater. casa grande ruins. homolovi ruins. petrified forest. tucson. lake mead. kartchner cavern. sunset crater. red rock nevada. red rock arizona. zion. lava point. san francisco. yosemite. san diego. big bear. palm springs.
and for day trips, because the special one lives in orange county, we would go and visit nearby attractions, like venice beach, laguna beach, disneyland, mission viejo lake, the malls, the outlets, crystal cove, griffith park (all of it!), getty museum, san juan capistrano and the like. it was great!
For our long trips, we would drive there, because to us, the journey is as important as the destination. we would stop at scenic spots and had planned the trip to include those stops too (we didn’t want to drive at night). PCH/Highway 1 is especially very scenic. also the drive along AZ-67 and US-89 towards the grand canyon north rim. the painted desert was named so for a very good reason!
well…, if u think about it, the drive in arizona as a whole was very scenic – tonto national forest and even the sonoran desert was pretty! california too – i remember driving up to san francisco using I-5 and i didn’t want to fall asleep because i didn’t want to miss anything (i remember the smell of the garlic farm in gilroy. it didn’t smell anything like garlic though!)! and when we drove back to orange county on PCH/Highway 1, it was equally compelling!
i miss those places! i miss the driving to get to these places. the snacks and drinks in the car. maps on my lap. camera in my hand. driving directions in another. when it was my turn to drive, i remember sweating a lot even when it was cold because,… come on, driving in the US is very nerve-wracking – the many lanes and the size of those trailers! and i couldn’t take any pictures!
i liked each visit to the country. i can’t really name my favourite places, because i like them all for different reasons. but one thing for sure, they’re all gorgeous!
BUT,… now that i’m no longer with the special one, i guess there’s no real reason for me for wanting to go back to the US. my visa is expiring soon too, so when that happens, i’ll have a reason for NOT going to the US.
so, it’s a good time to start saving money again, since i’ve been pretty reckless in that department ever since my involvement with the american. i have been known to be crazy/stupid whenever i fall for someone. and that someone from the US was no exception. besides, it was a long distance relationship – it was expensive and consuming in every way.
The US recently announced that they’re making visa application easier and faster for malaysians. that’s good news indeed! but “easier” is a comparative adjective – it’s all relative.
i do want to visit the US again: see yosemite at night under the moonlight, climb up half-dome (they’re planning to restrict number of visitors there! must plan one year ahead for that!), star-gazing in hawaii, visit vermilion cliffs, grand canyon, bryce canyon, petrified forest (again), and just go hiking a lot. enjoy the outdoors. we spend our nights in bed at home and our days in the office all day (or at least in my case, either in front of the computer or in front of the sewing machine), then why wouldn’t we want to go out and embrace open space??
all living things die. everything else breaks down, wears down or simply gets destroyed. not good reason enough to live life?