Friday, July 24, 2009
The USA Wrap Up
The whirlwind begins.
The house closing finalized, I kissed my dear sweet mother goodbye, and hopped a red eye to Miami. I was headed there to meet my friend Terry Allen in order to help him move his family to Dahlonega in northern Georgia. We filled a 27 foot Penske-rent-a-truck and then packed what was leftover into the car that we were hauling behind us. I thought parking my 41 foot boat was tough. Somewhere near Macon, GA I ran over one of those protective pipes at the gas station and caused $5,000 worth of damage (they had fortunately purchased the zero deductible insurance). We drank ourselves silly in Athens and arrived in bad shape on July 2. For those of you who know Terry, I can report that he’s happy, nowhere near healthy, and I still love him.
The next day I flew to LAX and Chris Miller picked me up. He refused to sign up for the mayhem that was The 4th of July at Newport Beach, but I was all in. I thought Sweden had the most beautiful girls but I think I’m going to amend that to California. Why did I ever leave?
My cousin Randy drove me back up to the Indo consulate (I forgot to bring my passport the day before when I went with Chris) and I was told that they would rush it for me. Randy dropped me off at Union Station and I took the Surfliner down to Solana Beach in North County San Diego. For a coastal tour of Southern California you are nuts to forsake the Amtrak. It’ll get you closer to the water than a car and you can gawk all you want without causing an accident, and for $27 it’s an e-ticket value. My uncle Jerry picked me up and I was lucky enough to spend the evening with my cousin Brina and her husband just before she had her baby boy.
Then it was back on the train and the completion of the rail trek to downtown San Diego. What a city. I really love that place. My buddy Jeff picked me up and I stayed at his place with his wife Gwen and their 2 cute kids. We surfed everyday (thanks Jeff, sorry Gwen). One of the nights I even got to sleep at my own house in South Mission. My tenant is doing weekly rentals for the summer and no one had it booked. I got shipwrecked at the Pennant and stumbled back to my old bed. That was the first time in 4 years I’d slept at 802 Dover Court. That house deserves its legendary status.
I bought thousands of dollars worth of boat gear while in SD, and caught up with old friends but my time was running out. I took the train back north to Santa Ana and Chris again picked me up from the station. Mike Beale joined us for an alcohol soaked outing in Costa Mesa. I can’t believe 22 year old girls still talk to me.
Randy drove me back to the Indo Consulate only to find that they hadn’t processed my passport because they were waiting for my itinerary. What! This was the 14th and I was set to fly to Tokyo the next day. My pulse quickened. Agung took my case under his wing, ushered it through, and after one more night at Randy’s house in Monrovia he drove me to pick it up in the nick of time to catch my flight. What a cousin. Ask me to do my Randy impression the next time you see me.
I changed beds 14 times in 24 days. That’ll grind anyone down. But it’s what I signed up for and I have no regrets. I like the freedom of movement and I was physically built for this. I can sleep anywhere and I’m no longer allergic to dogs or cats. Things just keep improving.
So I left the land of my birth, and it’ll be years before I return. That’s a very disconcerting feeling. It would have been made easier if I didn’t come from such a noble country with friendly citizens and In-N-Out Burgers. I leaned on friends and relatives and I thank you all very much. For anyone who gave me a ride, a bed, or a car – you have sponsored the dream and I grant you partial ownership. I had a flawless 3 months and I even managed to have a minor epiphany while surfing with Jeff one early morning – I was thinking about the sale of my house and my 4 years without a paycheck. The light bulb that went off was this: It’s not that I’m making poor financial decisions. The truth is; I’m not making financial decisions at all. I’m making lifestyle choices, and they are often contrary to wise financial strategies. These are my peak earnings years but I’ve purposely chosen to fill my memory bank instead of my bank account.
“Remember what the door mouse said; “FEED YOUR HEAD. FEED YOUR HEAD.” – White Rabbit / Jefferson Airplane
Your man on point,
P.S. / Stay tuned, Japan and Korea are next!