Category Archives: Uncategorized

My Inception

This is not travel related, rather a true story I’d like to share.

it’s 4:22am.

I walk outside as I’m with my father, we’re just passing through on our travels via car. He drops me off to visit my maternal grandfather. He opens the door and next to me is beautiful girl appearing to be of Hispanic origin. I am exited to see my grandfather. He rushes out to greet her, his familiar sad but caring eyes outlined with some years of regret. His home echos that of a homeless man’s abode. I recognize the roof, bedroom, bathroom, and lacking kitchen and think he still has everything one needs to live. Suddenly I like this humble, lacking home. I look over to the girl of Hispanic origin, she is his granddaughter. I think she must be my cousin, and wonder if it means I have Hsipanic blood. I remember that my maternal grandfather and I are not blood related, and yet still I wonder why this beautiful girl who appears to have some Hispanic in her, looks so much like myself. And then I realize as the scenery changes perspective; I am her, and she is me. I walk into the house of my Grandfather, my other self walking ahead of me, yet I still see her perspective as if we are one person. We sit down and begin to chat with Grandfather, she is hungry, she asks to invite a friend. Grandfather says he will cook something. I remember the mash potatoes, the taste as real as anything, the butter perfectly trickling, slightly salty. The dish is surrounded by other cheap ingredient. Beans, a little fruit. I make conversation with the other me. Grandfather seems proud to have made, at least, some kind of meal. I am happy and proud to eat this meal. I look over to remember he doesn’t have a stove, so he cooked the potatoes and beans over fire and some odd kitchen utensil I do not recognize. Father arrives to pick me up to continue our journey, I get in the car. Suddenly I remember, grandfather died years ago. His voice echoing “i miss that one time I cooked such a simple meal for you. Not fancy like you like, I’m sure, but I was happy to have provided something”. I wake up in my bed, I can’t recall when Grandpa ever cooked for me. Perhaps a memory of an old dream penetrating this dream? Or perhaps simply a sign representing a greater meaning.

Finally awake, someone who is my boyfriend enters my room. Confused, he takes my hand and says “come! come outside!!” we open my bedroom window, and jump to the roof. Below are hundreds of people dancing, the smell of hot dogs grilling fill the air. I open my phone. It’s 4:22am. A bit early for a party? I asked them three times what this party is, as they explain their voices are muffled. They’re celebrating the return of someone or something thing. Their eyes gazed toward the sky. A boy tries to enter my home, seeking a skate board. Suspicious, I tell him to hold on, as I’ll check in the garage if I have one for him. He angrily says never mind, and skates away. An air bus comes by, it’s floating in the sky. It picks me up, roofless and I feel the breeze on my face as we tour what is my hometown. The scenery reminds me of Vegas, but cleaner and happier. Stores and people, enclosed in a safe area. Arcades at every corner. I feel as if we’re a gem hidden among stone. I return to my apartment, which is spacious and beautiful. I don’t understand where I am. I begin to question if I’ve jumped through time. I wonder if I am living some other life. I have my memories of my old, dirty apartment which stinks of old meat and trash, and yet I have no memory of how or why I got to this blissful state. My kitchen glows with colors of blue, my living room crackles as the fireplace calmly burns. My bedroom is neat, video games and artbooks at every corner. I open my artbook, I have drawings and paintings of anime characters and my own short stories. I am blissfully proud. I’ve never been able to draw a perfect circle, let alone design beautiful characters. I begin to take pictures of my apartment, proud and ready to live whatever life this is.

I awake in my bed. My phone says 4:22am. I am disappointed it was nothing but a dream. I am back in my smelly, awful apartment. I open my phone again, I go to my photos. The photos are those I’d taken of that other life! My kitchen painted with colors of blue, my bed and my art. I play a movie, it’s the children and families eating hotdogs on the street before sun break. I begin to watch an anime, but one I had created myself with my knowledge of design and animation. The main character has long, golden blonde hair. The same boyfriend whom took me outside to see the festivities from that past reality sits next to me, his hand on my shoulder. I show him the photos with great excitement, and wonder if I had visited another time, but my phone has carried over to reality. He says to me, in words so sad yet sweet, “Danni, I do not recall you ever waking up”

Suddenly I awake in my bed, 4:22am shining on my phone. The same apartment, but with a cleaner tone. I rush to the corner room back room, I knock and enter the room. My boyfriend lies there alone in a huge bed consisting of white sheets. I ask him “Why do we sleep in separate beds?” he rolls over, welcoming me with warm arms. We sleep, until sunrise, we order Burger King for delivery. I ask “Since when does Burger King deliver?” and He looks at me with very sad eyes.

It’s quiet. My mind rushing with memories of confusing, vivid and dangerously realistic dreams. I tell myself to move my arm, I cannot move. I tell myself to blink, I cannot blink. It’s dark. I keep trying to move my arm, over and over again, until finally I jerk my arm and my eyes fly open. That familiar pain of heavy eyes, that constant, daily dull pain in my abdomen. My cat meows, my space heater blows my face. A familiar longing filling my chest, worry, hate, and sadness dance with my unstable emotions. I am spaciest. There are no lights, festivities or boyfriend. “Am I awake this time?”. I take my phone, the shine of the light painfully penetrates my heavy, drooling eyes.

It’s 4:22am

And I am very hungry for a hotdog and mash potatoes.

Jordan Continued…

First off to those who do follow me and read my blog I would like to apologize for how late my post is. Indeed, I am extremely late. Life, you know, caught up to me rather fast. I hope this update finds all of you well and I hope you can forgive me for my tardiness!

Let’s continue with Jordan, shall we? These are my thoughts during my final weeks in this new country.

Jordan is scary, but it’s not scary? Often I found myself worried, concerned more than I should have. Indeed, I had rather strange experiences. For example, traveling to the grocery store was often an ordeal. I would travel, alone, by foot to the store about 1/3 of a mile from my apartment. Eyes were constantly on me. “Aren’t I dressed modestly enough?”, I would often think to myself. Alas, my failure was that I often thought of Jordan through my perspectives of Morocco. My flowing dress, with sleeves, and length below the knee, was certainly appropriate in Morocco, but in Jordan? a whole new story. The way the dress fit the shape of my feminine  body, the length, reaching a few inches below the knee..this, in Jordan, was not something appropriate. Oh how I was astonished, ashamed, and confused. That’s something about me; I will not carry my Western views to an Eastern country. Proudly, I admit, I was ashamed of my mistake. Promptly I traveled to the mall with my roommates, I purchased garb that would be more acceptable in this beautiful and different culture. Expensive, but without regret, this garb served me well. I made a fantastic friend while in Jordan. She was born and raised in the U.S.A, a Muslim-American who decided to study abroad in Jordan in order to study her families language, and meet her Jordanian family members. I connected with her instantly. We shared a cute interest in the Asian culture: Japanese and Korean culture/language, Anime and K-POP/Drama, I knew the moment I met her that her and I would become great friends. Eventually, she invited myself and another student to enjoy dinner at her families home. It was Ramadan, so sharing dinner during this time was something especially beautiful and special. She requested, kindly, that I dress respectively for this occasion. I wore the new outfit I purchased at the local mall, a scarf around my neck (meant to be worn around the head if necessary) and a rather cute long-sleeved and lengthened dress. Her family ended up being rather open, so a head scarf was not needed 🙂 I had such an amazing, beautiful dinner with her family. And her family would not stop feeding me! I had fasted (not eaten) that day, so the food was so good, and I was beyond grateful to have been offered such a meal. The conversation and dialogue I exchanged with her family is not to be forgotten; it was one experience I longed for and I had gotten it! Jordan is scary, but when I am able to truly immerse myself within it’s culture, I found that the country is beautiful beyond measure. Jordan was not so scary after all. That which we do not understand: it is terrifying. Always strive to understand that which you fear, and you will find, often, it is not so scary.

Okay enough of that! Let’s move on to the pictures, eh?

Oh my God! I’m sure some of you have heard of Petra, right? Petra is a historical site to see. Petra often referred to as “Rose City” due to the color of the stone, was established before 312 BC. It was once the capital of the city of the Arab Nabataeans. Today, Petra is a symbol of Jordan, and one of the worlds most beautiful wonders.

There were tombs, like that you would find in Egypt, buried beneath them were the dead. I found myself crawling inside strange crevasses, and even once an area that was marked as “forbidden” a local Bedouin offered me his (rather suspicious) hand inside a tomb forbidden to most tourists.  I also hiked up an endless amount of steps, covered in the stench of Donkey poop to reach the top of this beautiful area. Bleh. I should have hitched a Donkey ride! Worth the work-out though, considering I spent much of my time in Jordan sick due to some strange evil Amoeba that decided to enter my poor body…

Enjoy the photos!

 

Yes, I’m cool (oh yeah, I chopped my hair and dyed in brown.  I’m not saying you need to do this, but as a platinum blonde female I did find it beneficial…I changed it back when I returned though xD )

My necklace: I went to my universities book store in Jordan to pick up a notebook and the kind shop-owner, he offered me that necklace as a welcome to Jordan! I love it so much! Isn’t it cute? :3 It’s in the shape and the national color of Jordan!

IMG_0835

Help my friend

Sorry this is kind of off topic guys, but would you be willing to take a look at this petition? A friend of mine went through a rigorous process for applying to a large scholarship to study abroad in Germany for a year, fully covered. He was selected. He turned down all colleges, all other scholarships and started to prepare his life for Germany. However, when this scholarship program found out he suffered from an anxiety disorder (when he filled out medical forms and was honest with them) they revoked his scholarship only a month before departure, completely messing up his life plans. Please take a look at this petition for more details, and possibly sign it so we can give him a chance to stand up for himself (they never gave him a chance to appeal. even his doctor was willing to write a recommendation for him, but they would not take it) this is a form of discrimination. Please consider signing this petition! http://www.change.org/petitions/yfu-youth-for-understanding-usa-allow-marcos-cortes-to-appeal-their-decision-that-revoked-his-scholarship-2