I easily survived my first week in South Carolina. I am living with my boss for the moment, although on Tuesday I will be moving in with the Captain as Sarah has company coming on Wednesday. In the past week or so I have actually written a random collection of things (while not online)...it is amazing what time alone in a car or new city do for the brain. No one to talk to? Must write, although not quite voraciously.
Charleston seems like a nice city. I've gone out to eat more than I usually do...in part because I am determined not to turn down any social opportunities. I am actually learning a lot about the city while doing research for our curriculum and crew manual.
Charleston is apparently (and has been since 1997) the "most polite" city in the world. I can't say I have noticed that, however, I have noticed that it is almost never difficult to merge onto the highways. No matter how busy it is (even during rush hour on Friday!!!), people move over so merging is a breeze. The exception was this afternoon, but it turned out to be a driver from New York so my observation is still valid.
Charleston is the city of drink specials. No joke. Save the deli and pizza place, every single venue I've dined at has had drink specials. I like mixed drinks, and I really like cheap mixed drinks. I am not sure if that actually makes it the city of alcoholics as well, but for now I will enjoy my fancy shmancy mixed drinks for $3 and I'll try lots of different ones since I haven't heard of most of the drinks that tend to be on special! That said, I am currently enjoying free WiFi and a $3 berrytini...I think I have found my favorite free WiFI place in the world!
(from an hour ago)
I’m sitting in a coffee shop with nothing to do but finish my chai. Clearly the world of technology has bested me. I am incapable of logging onto the “best free WiFi in Charleston.” I am defeated but proud. Not proud of a reasonable accomplishment, but proud in the way of the seven deadly sins. I refuse to admit defeat to the patrons and staff. I refuse to let them see me put my computer away and finish my drink, slinking away from my lack of knowledge. Instead, I waste time. I play solitaire and type nonsense, so no one will suspect I am too stupid to correctly enter the passkey. For all they know, I am a computer genius. They cannot see my screen. They cannot know I am a proud moron.
After I leave, I will try another venue. Perhaps somewhere in this city there is a coffee shop for dim-witted folks who don’t understand why the ten digit passkey they were given is not hexadecimal.
I learned this morning that finding free WiFi in Charleston was supposed to be a thing of the past. Apparently, downtown was supposed to have free WiFi everywhere a year ago, however the timelines have long since expired and no one seems to know if that will happen. Thus, I am reduced to feeling of inadequacy.
For some reason, even though I am being too egotistical to ask for help and am simply wasting time typing, I have a strange sense of peace. There is something to be said for being completely anonymous. I only know a dozen people in this city. The chances of having to talk to anyone is slim. There is potential for loneliness and yet, I am filled with serenity. Perhaps that explains my unwillingness to ask for help. If I ask for help, I have to interact with someone and lose a bit of my anonymity.
(from the drive out of Newport last week)
I inched along Ocean Drive, cars backing up impatiently, as I tried to absorb the absolute beauty of the Atlantic. It’s green blue movement speckled with white froth. I would be on the water in a week. I could not seem to pull myself away from it. They way it crawled, lapped, and created upon the seaweed covered rocks locked my gaze…mesmerizing.
What is the ocean’s great power, its mystique? How does it—an inorganic gathering of molecules—capture me so completely? It seems to create within me a yearning, drawing me emotionally and physically in.
I could see myself dieing in the sea. Not now, not yet, but eventually. I remember last summer playing in ten foot waves. Every time a large wave crested over me, I allowed it to pull me in different directions, feeling the power and strength of it. I wanted to fully let go, to see where it would take me, how it would feel to get there. If I didn’t value my life (and the sanity of the friends I was with) I might have just let myself drift away with the water.