The Curly-Haired Geeky Stranger

The train left Grand Central, and I was on my way back to my aunt’s house. Seated in front of me was a geeky guy with curly hair. I glanced at him. He said, “Sorry,” taking in his outstretched foot, mistakenly thinking that I was giving him a look of disapproval.

I said, “No, I just noticed that you were writing. I’m a writer too.”

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The Twin Towers of Asia

Note:  The information in this piece is a mix of research and personal experience.  I’ve been to the shopping mall at the Petronas Towers, but I didn’t get to go to the top of the towers. This was a practice piece that I wrote to try my hand at travel writing. 

A trip to Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is like hitting two birds with one stone—sightseeing and shopping. In 1998, it was the tallest structure in the world, but Taipei 101 surpassed it in 2004. In terms of twin towers though, it is the tallest one still. Petronas is short for Petroliam Nasional Berhad, which is the government-owned oil and gas company. A modern structure that rises above the city, it is a sight to behold.

Malaysians are very proud of these towers, but we Filipinos should also share in this feeling. Two Filipinos namely engineer Deejay Cerico with the consultancy of designer Dominic “Minick” Saibo were involved in the creation of this architectural masterpiece. They worked together with architect Cesar Pelli and another consultant J. C. Guinto. This team of experts carefully constructed this modern edifice. Laminated glass, which bounces off dangerous ultraviolet rays, covered the towers. Stainless steel wrapped around the towers for support, and this material allowed the buildings to glisten in the sun.

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The Golden Temple of Chiang Mai

Note:  All of the information in this piece was researched and not personally experienced.  I haven’t really been to Chiang Mai, but I have been to Thailand. This was a practice piece that I wrote to try my hand at travel writing.

Going to Thailand’s ancient city of Chiang Mai, I visited the holy grounds of Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep. A colossal structure near the summit of Doi Suthep mountain, this temple towers over the city, easily standing out among the 700 Buddhist temples in the area. Drenched and lit with gold, I was sure that Midas would have envied this grand structure.

To get to the gold on the mountain top, you could climb the Naga staircase.

Serpentine railings that have green and gold scales and eight hissing snake heads slither along the 309 steps. Now that’s a lot of exercise! If you have achy-breaky bones however, there’s always the cable car. I had some doubts about my knees, but I couldn’t pass up on a challenge. Each step elevated me toward a beautiful view, so walking up the stairway was a pleasant experience.

When I was finally heaving and panting, there was small voice inside of me that mocked I told you so, but I still took the next step. At last I reached the top, and the prize was the wat—a breathtaking view that was rich in history, sanctity, and culture.

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The New York Anaconda Hugger

It was my first time to get a Metrocard, and I didn’t have a clue on how to do it. I was in Grand Central when a man noticed that I was in distress. He asked me, “Can I help you?” That’s the thing about New York, you don’t even have to ask for help because New Yorkers would volunteer to help you. I met several people who gave me directions when I was lost, ran after me to give me something I dropped, and several people even asked me, “Do you want your picture taken?”

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My New York Vacation Schedules

When I was in New York, I explored the city on my own. I wanted to make the most of my trips, so everyday I would make a detailed plan for each lakwatsa.

Next New York day out (Tuesday July 24):

Things to remember:

  1. Bring sandwiches so I don’t have to buy food, and bring water
  2. Possible trains to take (Weekday schedule) To New York: 9:43am-10:23am To Crestwood: 9:30pm-10:00pm
  3. Wear Rubber shoes

Places to go:

  1. Met Hours: Tues 9:30am-5:30pm Not prioritizing special exhibits because can’t take pictures Priority areas: First Floor: Egyptian Met store Medieval art European sculpture and decorative arts Second Floor: 19th and early 20th century European paintings and sculptures Modern and contemporary art European paintings Met store Buy Met notebook
  2. New York Library

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The New York Subway Weirdo

It was crowded in the subway and all the seats were taken. I was standing in the middle of the subway car holding on to a metal pole when I noticed the man seated in front of me. Red in the face, he was talking angrily to John, jerking his head to his left. I looked at the person beside him, lips were moving, but the lips had lipstick. I don’t think her name was John.

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Snippets of New York

I haven’t made a full blog post about my experience in New York, but I have written some snippets of my impressions and observations. I decided to collect those snippets and post them here.

1.)   I went to a talk in Bryant Park which featured writers who had successful debut novels and I wanted to buy all their books.

2.)   In response to a question about whether the authors thought of the reader while they were writing their novels, one of the writers said that he imagines that he is a stand up comedian who tries to think of something everyone thinks of but no one has bothered to talk about, so when he says something, the audience is amused, thinking “Hey, how did a complete stranger guess my thoughts?”

3.)   New York Fashion:

  • Black leggings, black short sleeved long cotton top with nude colored ankle length gladiator sandals
  • A sleek and posh basic black dress with flat plain brown slippers
  • Basic black dress with black sneakers and black ankle length socks
  • Fuchsia tshirt with orange short shorts

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