Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Boston, MA

I jetted over to Boston to visit a friend of mine earlier this week. I think I stayed a grand total of 39 hours and forgot to bring my camera charger. Ergo, I did not take very many photos.

Despite the lack of photographic evidence, I did get to see a lot of cool things. We spent one evening in Harvard Square. Drinking hot boba tea for the first time (which takes a few sips to get used to, but is just as delicious as cold boba), we perused the bargain basement of the largest Urban Outfitters I've ever seen and split a noodle dish at my beloved Wagamama.

Being in Harvard Square, we obviously couldn't leave without seeing Harvard itself. So, we turned through one of its gated entrances along the bustling sidewalk and all was immediately silent. I was amazed at how calm and almost somber the campus was. Just behind the brick walls was a noisy, clambering city square, but here the monumental buildings preserved sacred academia.

The fresh snow on the greens was still untrod and the stillness of the whole place was getting to me. So, after a failed attempt at a snow ball fight, I decided to disrupt the perfect, glistening blankets of snow by leaving my mark (at least until the next snowfall came in a few hours).

What I enjoyed most about Boston was simply that it is a city. My permanent residence as well as my old school are in suburban towns, which can be very asphyxiating. Besides that, growing up in suburbia means I'm always a little rusty at normal city life. Using public transportation without looking like an idiot, for example.

It was also great to be in the snow. This time next week I will be in The Netherlands and it will be very very very cold. So, I was glad for the opportunity to test drive my snow gear in the four inches that blanketed the sidewalks my first night in Boston.

To indicate how different that is from my normal life: it's January (as you all know). I am sitting on my mom's apartment patio barefoot wearing a tank top and looking down at people swimming in the unheated pool. I actually can hear a train in the background, but it is not any form of public transportation. It is a tourist train that people drive in their cars to get to and sit for an hour while cowboys entertain them.

Yes, this Texan will be experiencing quite the culture shock (and, perhaps, frost bite) come next week.

Thankfully, I got a little taste of it (in a rustic, New England type of way) with one of my good friends to show me the ropes. Now, perhaps, I won't fall flat on my face in the snow as I struggle to get out my bus pass.

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