…Three, we are now held within un-, sub- or super-natural forces. Discuss.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

If I don’t know which direction my destination is, and I take a blind guess, I am wrong 100% of the time. This result does not approach 50% with repetition. Map=mangled, shoes=worn, muscles=strained.

And now to other news. Yesterday, I met two of my students in real life! 

P is from India and now lives in the D.C. area. She doesn’t have a job or car, and so she’s bored as a gourd all the time. So when she finally got an excuse to come up to New York and hang out, she snatched it! It was her first time traveling alone in a strange city, ever ever, and although I could hear the panic rising in her voice when she called me from the bus station, where I wasn’t yet (to be fair, the station is right on Times Square and is more than a little overwhelming), we had a fabulous time after that. By my calculations, we walked more than 7 miles, not including the many times I got us lost (see above). I got on NYTimes.com and found a walking tour of Midtown, which took us past a lot of places we didn’t care about, plus the NY Public LIbrary building, Central Park (ok, not so much “past” as “to the edge of”), St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and more, after which we walked about a third of the Brooklyn Bridge, visited the new WTC, and viewed the Statue of Liberty from across the water. 


After I dropped P off for her bus back home, I took off for Newport, NJ (easy peasy commute) to meet D, a now-former student who taught me more than I taught her about the TOEFL. Her husband and their four-year-old came along, and I was surprised to find that Newport is actually a really nice place–especially if you hate speaking English. Indians and Arabs e v e r y w h e r e. Which is how I like it. Saw an ad for a support group for women on dependent visas, about which I would like to know more, was subjected to Egyptian hospitality (“You have to have something! Anything you want! What do you want? You have to be thirsty! Hungry? Have something!”) had a nice chat, and wandered through a little park by the Hudson River. 


Yeah, this was the view from the Starbucks. Why does NJ get such a bad reputation?

I have photos of my darling students, but am not posting them for obvious client privacy-related reasons. 


After leaving D and making it back to Manhattan, I walked to the green line and took it across to Brooklyn, where my new hostel is, and as was described to me in my reservation confirmation e-mail. Now, I don’t have a map of Brooklyn. I have a subway map of Manhattan; I tried to buy a Brooklyn map, and some kiosk guy tried to sell me a map of Manhattan with the word “Manhattan” covered by a sticker for too much money. Nobody succeeded. So my first chance to actually visualize the route I was taking home was after I had taken the green line and had exited the station (there are maps outside, but not inside of, the stations). Imagine my surprise when I discover that (1) there are TWO green lines, (2) I took the wrong one, and (3) I have landed myself in a part of the city from which it is practically impossible to get home, since in stupid Brooklyn the train lines all pass under and over each other, but never actually intersect. Also, it’s 9:30 at night, and I have no idea where I am. So I sketch a map that will take me to a different station along a route that is long, but is the only way to get home without backtracking to Manhattan and starting over (NOPE). An hour and a half later (yes, I got lost on the way), I finally arrived. Bed never felt so good.