Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Birthday Bicycling

        I made a little list of a few things I wanted to buy, such as essential oils and empty containers to start making my own homemade products, like bug spray and deodorant. I couldn't think of where to get the containers but Wal-Mart, so I took a bike ride out to North Bergen. It was a beautiful day and a lovely ride until I got to the road where Wal-Mart lay. What else should I have expected but a beaten-up, under construction, 55mph mini-highway? I stopped at the graveyard first to have a couple brownies that would give my day a little extra gaiety. Then, I popped into Wal-Mart, mozied around a bit, and popped out, with supplies still remaining on my list.
        I didn't know where I'd find these items, but since I had checked out the area with Google Maps prior, I headed up the hill to Hudson County Park and assumed I'd pass some shops. I noticed Easy Street coming up on my right. I didn't have a definite path, so I asked myself, "Do I take the easy street?" Once I looked down that street, I saw a "DEAD END" sign, as well as lots of other signs that read things like, "$1,000 FINE," "CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR DOG," and "NO PARKING." It made me chuckle since the street was only long enough for four houses. I couldn't believe such a short road had so many rules. Looking uphill, I saw broken-up pavement in the right lane and a graveyard at the top. With only one no parking sign, it looked like one would not be as easily guided by society's rules on this path. This giant metaphor, appearing as a palpable experience, made me realize that no matter which road I choose to take, both end up in death; however, the truly rewarding one is the one in which you can see that you've accomplished something at the end. I certainly did feel good about making it up that steep hill.
        Hudson County Park was a wonderful bike ride. Plenty of green and people-watching smooshed in between the tightly-packed towns of Jersey. I ended up in Guttenberg at the end of the park toward the Hudson River, which was coincidental since my father had recently told me about his midtown Manhattan view when he lived in Guttenberg. Now, I was able to see that view too.
        On my way back to Palisades Park, I explored the streets of Fairview and Cliffside Park. I stopped into a small health store and picked up the rest of supplies. I was a bit shocked by the expense of the bill, but that inspired me to ask the storeowner if he would consider buying a line of natural products off of me. He told me he'd be happy to, so I'm currently playing with business ideas in my head to stir in some extra cash.
        I stopped into a couple Korean-owned shops so I could practice my expressions and learn new words. One establishment was the Bergen Spa, where I met 순니 (Sunny). I bought a spa day for Eliott since I knew he needed/wanted one. He was going to give me a birthday gift later in the day, so I wanted to get him something as well (I wasn't around for his birthday in February).
        In Fairview, I was getting a lot of attention. It's a largely Hispanic town and the curves of my body tend to attract men in that category. Sometimes, I get annoyed by whistles, beeps, and the casual "Hey mami" with elevator eyes, but on this day, I was feeling so good that I was soaking in the compliments like it was sunshine. At a red light, one man opened his bus door and yelled some words in Spanish to me that I didn't understand, but of course knew what he was implying. I replied, "No comprendo!" so he then began to tell me how nice my figure was in English. He pulled out his phone and tried to get my number. I was so happy to be able to use the Argentinean phrase that mi amigo, Carlos, taught me the night before during our skype call. "Segi remando!" I yelled back with a flirty smile and walked away.
        I couldn't have asked for more joy in my day. That night, I had the friends over that I've become closest with in these past two months. I felt so much love and positivity in my room as we all talked, drank, and sang the night away. I can hardly believe it. I'm one lucky duck.


  1. Thanks for sharing your journey! I highly recommend trying the 10 day Vipassana silent meditation course. It was the most challenging/life changing experience for me. I think it would be a powerful experience for you, also! :) Check it out at www.dhamma.org
    -Dorian Normand

  2. Happy belated Birthday!I just found your blog today, after finding a link to your speech. I look forward to reading your blog, even if I find the cursive font used in comments fairly difficult to read (one of many things I learned only to pass a test, no doubt, and have since forgotten).


  3. may i just say ... you are a inspiration at best. and have quiet a way with words!!!! stay beautiful stay bright stay free . much love . and good vibes your way <3

  4. I just viewed your val speech. Your convictions resonate with myself. Thank you for being so brave to speak out against the "establishment" that controls public education and enslaves both students/families and instructors through legal threats and other tyranny.

    I too share a passion for the paranormal. I was wondering how your "magic, witchcraft,...etc." class went. What did you like/dislike? Your conclusions thus far as to your spiritual existence?

  5. Anthony,

    The material could've been interesting if the professor didn't have such a droll lecture voice and was more apt to answering student's inquiries. I enjoyed the movies of other cultures, and therefore know that I'd enjoy actually immersing myself in such cultures.

    Thanks for the comment,

  6. in your birthday, sorry for i had couldn't enjoy with you.T_T
    this sentence is right? kk...

  7. Oh my, I never thought a Facebook post would end up sending me to the blog of a raging leftist. Not that that's a bad thing, of course. I like the way you think, ma'am.

  8. Hey Erica,
    You're coming to Philly on Friday -- I have a small essential oil business called Shaman Scents. Let me know if you want any tea tree, grapefruit, peppermint, eucalyptus or lavender essential oil -- I can give you a good price! :) Send me an email and I can give you a quote!


  9. Sorry I missed you in Philly. I once had a shop at 5th and South a lifetime ago. Look me up Harris Egendorf. I believe I wouldn't be typing on this machine right now if I wasn't the seed to all of what you see. This computer is not business it's Home Entetainment. See Twitter link Apoe2 and good luck with the numbers, you're a 1. If you need that explained contact me, you'll figure out how.Harris

  10. Hi Erica! I have only recently started following your blog after watching your graduation speech, which I find absolutely amazing.
    I wanted to share with you this video I saw on YouTube "College Conspiracy" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpZtX32sKVE
    Have you heard of Sir Ken Robinson, watch his top viewed videos on YouTube - he has great views on education system and how it needs to change.
    Take care and keep up the good work!

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  12. Hey,
    I just saw your graduation speech and while looking at the rest of your post I noticed this post because I live in Guttenberg. It was interesting reading your adventure through Tonnelle Ave to get to wal-mart, which isnt very biker friendly haha but atleast you got to see hudson county park and the view of the nyc skyline. Since I've lived here my whole life sometime I dont admire the view like others might have =\

    Thanks for the read,

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