And miles to go before I sleep…

July 26, 2006

I just came back from my trip to Niagara Falls. I’m quite tired but I feel that if I don’t reflect on what I have experienced, I can forget them later on. No, I don’t have the alzheimer’s disease or something but I tend to forget details [they say it is a sign of genius mind but I’m nowhere near being a genius (I would be probably working on something else at the moment. Or at least I would be also caring, aside from knowing, the fact that I will probably mess up my biological clock again.).]

It was an 8-hour ride from where I currently reside to Niagara Falls, NY. If it wasn’t for the Hindu guy at the rental station that quite willingly gave us a free upgrade (because we’re in no way related, but foreign in the US nonetheless?) to a full-size car from a sub-compact, it would be a painful 8-hour ride. Past Buffalo, we arrived at Niagara to find “Welcome” Centers all over the place. A logical person would figure that me and my family have a slightly tight budget, so we’re always inclined to go for the cheapest one. Well, I enter this Welcome Center and the guy tells me he would do the tour for $80 per person. Like a lizard (or a frog, rather) sensing the danger, I was petrified for some time and don’t quite remember how I got out from there.

Roaming around the city, I quickly realised that something was missing at the streets. People. There weren’t any people around, nor were there any cars. The houses had wooden planks nailed on their windows and for a moment I thought there was a civil war going on. I observed that skin color discrimination was rather apparent at the city, and it wasn’t a hard thing, even for me. From the few houses that had American flags drawn at their doors, none of them were populated by any black people (is that word rude? We don’t have many different races from where I come from).

So, heck, I came about 500 miles so I’m gonna sleep well and go to a decent tour tomorrow. We quickly found the right place to stay. The room was smelling of mould but that was the kind of quality you got from a cheap inn. At that time, and to my astonishment, I realised that the guy at the counter too, was Indian. Assuming that all Indians are going to treat me nice, I went on about asking the guy for any other (cheaper) tour. Guess what? The official state park actually sold passes for $25. So much for those Welcome Centers. I would never pay anyone $60 to tell me about a place I already can read about from the place itself.

He also told me about how the government is buying all the houses so they can build a tourist attraction. A proper one!

It was a wonderful experience. I got to all the attractions and never regretted one of them. I read its history too (surprise surprise!) and visited the aquarium. Sadly enough, the animals over at the aquarium looked miserable and tired of living, unlike those at the Baltimore Aquarium.

Looking at the Canadian side (and unable to go there) I remarked that Canada did a much better job at building a touristic city (the abundant number of luxury hotels including two Sheratons helped). The proportions of those who are passing over to Canada was also much greater than those who came to the US.

So here is a poem I can relate to right at this moment. (sudden change of topic but I’m going to sleep at the top of the laptop otherwise)

Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening
Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it’s queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there’s some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

And I realise that I have quite a bit of miles to go, like the person in the poem.

Hope you like the poem.

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