Tag Archives: new york

Back in Boston

21 Nov

I’m back in Boston (Sharon now, but who’s keeping track?) for the Thanksgiving break, getting away from Washington, DC for a week. On Saturday afternoon I took a flight out of Reagan National Airport and was amazed to find that we landed in Boston a half hour early. In all of the flying around the world that I’ve done, I’ve never been on a flight that got in so ahead of schedule. My old friends Dan and Scott picked me up at Logan International and we got ready to head out for the night, meeting up with old friends at a surprise party. Really, the Thanksgiving break doesn’t start for another couple of days, but since all of my classes for this week were canceled, I decided to take the days off of work.

The flight prices vary considerably, and by leaving on Saturday I was set to save about $400. The drastic price difference is the only reason that I’ve been able to come back home, and originally I was just planning on meeting my family in New York at my grandma’s. So instead, I had a good night out with some friends, followed by a brunch in Boston with my parents and sister, and will spend the next couple of days at my parent’s house studying and working on my final papers. On Thursday morning we’ll be leaving early to head down to New York, where we’ll have a feast with the family in Brooklyn. On Friday we’ll head down to New Jersey and I’ll visit my aunt and uncle who I haven’t seen in years, as well as cousins and their children who I’ve never even met. Finally, on Saturday morning I’ll take the Amtrak back to Washington to get ready to start up with school in the final stretch. It’s a real life version of “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.”

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One Month Back on the Ranch

12 Aug

A month ago today I arrived back in Boston and ended my three year run in South America. In fact, right around this time in the afternoon (3:30 pm) I was probably pulling into my parents home in Sharon and taking it all in slowly. It was a surreal experience, to finally be back and see how things had changed, as well as the other things which were the same as always. I stood barefoot in the backyard with a beer in my hand and must have looked dazed, the jet lag and toll of the last few days in Buenos Aires adding up and finally equaling exhaustion.

The first month back home has been refreshing and set at the speed of sound. The first week back I reunited with a lot of old friends and shortly thereafter, I celebrated my 25th birthday in Boston. I spent some time up in Maine with college buddies and set off for Washington D.C. to try to find an apartment. In the process I was able to catch up with more old friends and acquaint myself a little better with the city that will shortly be my new home. A short respite at home and it was off again to Cape Cod, again to visit an old friend, and tomorrow morning I’ll be leaving for New York City to visit my grandma and cousins.

The feeling of elation at being home again and seeing familiar faces has made the transition pretty smooth, and even though I was expecting a harsh transfer, I’ve been spared for the most part. I’m cognizant of the fact that keeping busy has kept me in good spirits, and that’s why I wasn’t surprised by a bit of a let down this week as my main goals have been accomplished and I’ve started to see my days clear up a bit. It’s important to keep busy, but also to have enough free time when you return from abroad to process it all in. After everything you’ve been through, it wouldn’t be fair to just move on and not think about it. I don’t think you need to analyze every moment, but you owe it to yourself and those around you to think seriously about what you learned and what has changed.

Though my track record might speak differently, I’m not a huge fan of change. I like ordering the same favorite dishes in restaurants and having a comfortable place to live that I can call home. However, in the last few years I’ve moved around consistently and grown considerably, learning untold things and seeing much more than I’d ever expected. But that’s life, and you have to keep moving forward or you just stagnate. So here’s to another month in the U.S. See you after New York.

Suburban Boredom Sets In

11 Aug

Spending a few weeks at home is always nice and refreshing. It allows you to rest up and regroup, but if you kick around the old town for too long, it gets boring and if you’re like me, you start to feel a sense of uselessness. There is nothing to do in a suburban town in the middle of the day during the week. I’ve already gone through numerous seasons of television shows, have read a book, and have been traveling somewhere almost every week. Luckily those trips have broken up the monotony, but I’m beginning to feel like my days are just wasting by. This is a familiar feeling for summer at home.

If we were closer to the city it wouldn’t be bad. I would easily go in and walk around Boston or visit friends for dinner. But in reality, getting into the city can be a bit of a hassle sometimes. I either need to get to the commuter rail and take the train in or drive to the nearest T station and head in. Then I have to work off of train schedules, and staying over makes me a bit of a nuisance. I feel like I need a purpose, or something to do rather than just sit around and watch TV, waiting for the day to end. I need to get on with my life.

I realize that I only have a couple more weeks of this boredom problem until I move to Washington. Soon I won’t have a minute to spare and that will be the new concern, and these days will seem like a dream, but as the saying goes, the grass is always greener on the other side. I do have things to look forward to at the very least. On Saturday I’ll be heading to New York for the first time in a very long time–at least 4 or 5 years–to visit my grandma and cousins. I’ll be there a couple of nights and then head back home.

Planning Upcoming Trips

6 Apr

In three weeks I’ll be taking off for my long awaited vacation to southern Bolivia and northwestern Argentina. Though I’ve been slack on planning or reading too deeply into what I can do, I’ve got some things in mind for what I’ll do during the two week period of traveling alone. I’m excited by the prospect of traveling again for longer than just a day or two, and being able to go at my own speed and leisure. So far, all I have planned out are the round trip air tickets to Salta. The idea is to show up and then catch a bus to the border, arriving in Bolivia by the morning. Because the train from the border only leaves twice a week, I need to get there that day before 3 pm to get my ticket and head to the city of Tupiza, where I’ll hook up with a tour of the Salar de Uyuni. If I miss the train, there’s always a bus.

I’m wary of buying my bus ticket from Salta to the border in advance because of my experience with Aerolineas Argentinas, which I’ll unfortunately be flying again this month. With the last flight of the day, I can almost guarantee a delay, and I don’t want to waste money on a bus which won’t get refunded.

Apart from this upcoming trip to the north, I’m starting to think about what I’ve avoided all along while down here in Buenos Aires: planning my return to the United States. The time is coming when I now need to look more deeply into flights, and over the last couple of days I’ve been searching heavily, and come up mostly empty as I find that even through consolidator Web sites, the cheapest airfare available back to Boston is close to U$1,300 with a route heading up to Toronto, for example. I was considering going to Atlanta for a couple of days on the way back to visit some friends, but it’s more expensive for some reason than flying 3 hours farther north. That part boggles me, but just as well I suppose because my friend Lauren will be out of town during that time.

Today my friend Vero passed me an email with flight offers from a travel agency just a few blocks away, and they actually had incredible deals. A flight to Miami was something like $250 and to New York would run $490. This was round trip and before taxes, but I wanted to double check before getting my hopes up. After work I went to check it out and though I had to prove that I work in a travel agency (it appears to be a special deal), the price was the same. Taxes are heavy though, and in the end flying to New York will run me about $1,100, which is still pretty good. It’s a round trip ticket which doesn’t have many strings attached, except that I can only use the ticket during low season (winter in the Southern Hemisphere) and during the week). Though it was listed as an offer expiring on Friday, the guy told me it’s basically available all the time, subject to availability.

I took the liberty of checking the price on Rio de Janeiro as well (listed at $148) and it would wind up being $300 round trip. It’s not too bad, but I’m still going to shop around a bit online first and see what other carriers have to offer. If this works out, I’m planning on returning to the travel agency tomorrow to buy the tickets back to the United States, which at least for now, seems to be fixed on taking the red eye on July 11, arriving in the States on July 12. From New York I could either fly back to Boston directly or go the cheaper route of taking the bus. There’s time to think about that, though.

It’s sad to see time winding down here, but it’s also a nice thought to picture myself back home and enjoying so many of the things which I have missed while being away. And with a round trip ticket with a changeable date, it doesn’t mean that I’m just going to leave and forget about this place. That would be impossible.

DNI Update #50…

19 May

Today I went back to the Registro Civil on my lunch break for the 11th time. I went to a different this time, however, located in Recoleta. I was a little nervous about making it back to the office in an hour, especially since it took me 20 minutes just to get there, but my boss knew that I was going and said it was okay. This Registro was much smaller than the other one I have gone to repeatedly, and I quickly went to the back where everyone else was waiting.

I sat down with my number and papers in hand, ready to explain the entire process all over again. In just a couple of minutes I was called up, I handed over my paper, and the woman went to the file cabinet. She immediately came back with the new photocopy of my mom’s birth certificate. It looked exactly like the copy I got in January, only with a new stamp that would keep it valid for 6 months. I was a bit taken aback and asked her if that was all and she said yes. No ID necessary. It might have been the best experience I’ve had at the Registro yet.

I even had time to get back to the office in an hour. The next step is to receive the new copy of my birth certificate which was ordered from New York state. The copy was sent to my parents home in Massachusetts, but then we found out that it needs a Hague Apostile, legalizing it as an international document. So the birth certificate has been sent off to the agency that does that, and it will then be sent to me here in Buenos Aires. Once I have it, I need to get it translated into Spanish by a licensed translator.

This process was undertaken over a year ago in order to get my inscription in the first place, but that original copy will always stay in the Consulate in New York, and I can only get photocopies. For some reason we can’t find the birth certificate copy with the Apostile. But even with these progresses, it’s not completely solid yet.

I’ve been in touch with the Consulate General for Argentina in New York over the last week or so, trying to figure out what to do. This helpful woman has been in communication with my mom in the past when she first started to arrange all of the papers for me. Just yesterday she sent me an email saying that my papers for inscription, which should have been useful in Guayaquil, won’t do me any good in Buenos Aires. Apparently, I need to do the inscription again. I don’t understand this part at all, especially since I’m already inscribed as a citizen of Argentina in the Consulate in New York. So why would those papers be of no use now? Especially since the last visit to the Registro didn’t reveal that those papers were invalid.

This will require more investigation, time, and as always, patience. In the meantime, I have made a back up appointment at the Registro for the end of June, and might have to make a couple of more throughout the winter just to be safe. We’re hardly there yet.