Sunday, September 21, 2008


Today I looked up apartments in Boston and spent a little while browsing the travel section of Barnes and Nobles, but while I dream, the reality is that I am still in Virginia.

Today by accident I ended up enjoying it a bit. I spent a night at a friend's new pad on the beach. It's fun to get a glimpse into how rich people live. The condo was, of course, nautical themed. Why do beach-house owners feel the need to cover their places in beach paraphernalia and stock the cabinets with fish plates? I can look out the window and get nautical. Your fat-lady in a bathing-suit sculpture doesn't make me feel vacationy.

To make it home I got dropped off at the nearest bus stop and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

When I finally called, the friendly Hampton Roads Transit guy told me that I could catch the bus Sunday at the Amphibious Base. (No, this isn't a Bond set, it's a naval base.) I walked. No bus stop there.

So I walked some more.

And some more.

Until finally, I thought I'd just walk the whole way home. The day was a rare beautiful, warm one. I spent my time noticing the small things along the way. Beautiful marshland, that isn't visible unless you're stopped, standing on the bridge. Medians recently mown with huge mushrooms sprouted in a perfect circles. Pine trees and hundreds of pine cones. The Ferry Plantation House. It also gave me a view of the horrible strip malls we've paved over everything with and the big cars we speed by in not noticing anything.

In all the walk was good and I'm surprised I made it so easily. Looking at a map, the ground that I covered seems huge and my housemates were astounded by my feat (and my smell since it had gotten pretty warm and I walked fast).

I'm excited to make walking my new hobby. I find it's been my therapy in the past 2 months here. When I was first having my doubts I walked 10 miles on the beach. I had started off the day still depressed by the ugliness of my new city. Virginia Beach, the touristy area at least, is paved right up to the sand. The buildings lack any character, but are just giant cement boxes. The people are fat, ignorant and loud. The restaurant selection consists of all-you-can-eat pancake houses (to make you more fat) or sleazy bars (to make you more ignorant and loud). After having lived near the beaches of Santa Monica, Barcelonetta, and Miami, it just didn't compare.

But walk north, up past 30th and the dunes start--beautiful dunes with walkways tunneled in by overgrown trees and vines. The crowds thin out and the houses lining the shore are old and stately. Go past the 80's and you'll find quiet tide pools, big rocks and no people. At one point I saw a school of dolphins. I stripped down and dove into the water swimming out a few yards. They didn't get more than 10 feet away, but they circled me. After the 8 hours of alternatively sunbathing, swimming and walking I was calmed down and no longer felt a sadness for this place.

Walks are also good for thinking through things. Like why am I here? Where will I go next? What's more important--place? people? purpose? Questions I'm dealing with right now that I still can't quite figure out the definite answer to.

The good/bad thing is that I didn't see one bus pass me the whole time I walked home today. So much for the public transit system.

My route:

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