Un—Do

Unwept tears drown from within.

Unwritten words type blank pages.

Unuttered secrets afflict the soul.

Unfulfilled goals yield frustrated dreams.

 

Undoing oneself is not easy.

 

Do.

Or,

Don’t.

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No Sleep. Only Cheese in Annecy, France

Annecy, France—I am running on zero sleep, only pure enthusiasm to be back in “The Venice of France”.

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This quintessential French town gives you everything up front—the Alps, a crystal clear lake, and pastel colored architecture that runs through medieval canals in the vieille ville.

The natural complexion of the Old Town puts visitors at ease—no need for contouring or filters—just be yourself and enjoy this little gem!

So, it is precisely what I do—I settle into my Airbnb studio in the heart of old town. A tiny kitchen, with the most basic necessities, that leads to the living room and dining area. The bed lies up in a loft, atop the bathroom. It gets a bit hot, but it is cozy—I tell myself. Plus, there is a reading lamp by the loft-bed! (Does it get better than this? I think not.) 

Still running solely on enthusiasm, and dismissing my throbbing headache, I head over to Monoprix, where I purchase basic groceries to stock up my petite fridge.

By the time I return to my tiny studio in Rue de I’lle, I am ready to go to bed. But, I fight it. Instead, I play Selena—the one and only—and chop spring onions to add to the poulet I’ve prepared. As the chicken sears, I prepare a deliciously simple salad—butter lettuce, shredded carrots, diced tomato, avocado bits and boiled egg; extra onion, of course. EVOO, salt and pepper.

I sit, enjoy my salade with a glass of merlot, watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schimidt on Netflix—and wondering if perhaps I should be doing something a bit more cultured. Then, I decide that Titus Andromedon would do the same—and so I watch Season 3, Episode 12—shamelessly.

As soon as I finish my meal, however, my eyelids succumb to temptation. I fall asleep and dream of being on a “Cheese Cruise” with Alex. Yep, precisely as it sounds: an all you can eat cheese buffet in the Caribbean!

I must—I repeat—I must listen to my subconscious and so I plan to make it to Fromagerie Pier Gay after work tomorrow.

Running on zero sleep, who needs caffeine when you have fromage?

So, I bid you adieu from Annecy, dead friends! Bonne nuit

 

Crutches + Mean People

Crutches are humbling. I mean that in the most literal way possible—no fancy metaphors here. In the two weeks since I have been a four-legged human, I have experienced the good in people: family, friends and strangers—everyone taking care of me.

Of course, with the good also comes the bad: distant, half-hearted smiles and stares.

After the bad, comes the ugly in people:

Getting around on crutches is not easy; it’s exhausting. But, so worth it for a night out with friends! We met up at an underground, speakeasy bar that serves specialty cocktails. The bar is reminiscent of the 1920s with dim lighting and bartenders dressed in period clothing. Needless to say—a good time was had! After migrating to two other bars downtown, it was time to go home.

One of my friends pulled up to the curb, so as not to have to walk for long. As I was getting in to the car, a truck passed us on the left and a young woman yelled out, “Were you born a cripple?” As the truck drove off I could hear her, along with others, laughing hard.

Were you born a cripple?

My heart dropped to the pit of my stomach. I am not angry as much as I am disappointed. Hurt. Sad. I have a sprained knee and I’ve been on crutches for two weeks. I can’t help but wonder, what if I had been born with a disability that limited my mobility?

I can’t pretend to know, to truly know, what life on crutches—or other mobility devices—is like. But, I do know this: be kind, because that type of cruel shit hurts. It really, really hurts.

MY TOP 10 TRAVEL EXPERIENCES

travel

10. Seeing an engagement atop the Eiffel Tower. (Oct. 2014)

9. Sled riding down the Great Wall of China. (July 2015)

8. Witnessing Black Bears sleep walking in Vancouver. (February 2014)

7. Eating whale in Norway. (May 2015)

6. Skydiving over the red rocks in Arizona. (August 2015)

5. Meeting a ski Olympian at the real Matterhorn in Switzerland. (June 2015)

4. Paddle boarding and being saved by an Aussie in St. Marteen. (Aug. 2014)

3. Witnessing a giant green turtle birth 70 eggs in Tulum, Mexico. (July 2011)

2. Swimming next to a dolphin in Florida. (August 2014)

1. Visiting Anne Frank’s House in Amsterdam. (May 2015)

MIKAELA 

On August 6, 2016 at exactly 6:55am, I boarded my flight from Prague back to London. Seating in front of me, was this girl who gazed out of her window with a yearning and hopeful heart. I wanted to speak to her through this small crack, but opted for anonymity. After all, there is beauty in the unknown. The following is what my mind conjured up about this wandering young woman.  Continue reading

LA CAJA MÁGICA

Si tuviese una cajita mágica, pondría

El lunar que heredé de mi Ama.
Aquel chorrito, el que se hacia grandote y se hacia chiquito.
Los bailables con mi hermana y primas, con zapatos viejos y con el pelo suelto.

Pondría

El esfuerzo que puse al aprender inglés.
Las naricitas que, con mucho cariño, a mis sobrinos les robe.
Las cartas para el chico del apartamento 512 no entregadas.

Pondría

Mi debilidad a mis hermanos.
Aquellas tardes en bici por Tulum, gritando “tope!”
La luna madrileña quien cuido de mi esas noches azules y frías.

Pondría

Una naranja dulce, y un limón partido.
Un vals, para un día bailar con mi papa en el cielo.
Las alas de mis sueños, para ser libre y feroz frente al fracaso.

Ah sí, también pondría
El consuelo escondido dentro de una tortilla con sal.