I live in the future

Cambodia and Thailand are 11 hours ahead of home. I live the whole day before the people I love have even woken up. So I wrote this poem about the way I feel here in the future.

I live in the future
And in the future
I lean out of windows
Gazing into the heat
Letting my hair cascade into the past
For my friends to use
As a ladder into my mind

In the future
I go fast
Kicking up the dust in my lungs
And the tuk tuk drivers
Make me feel safer
Than my last love ever could

In the future
My heart is steady
It doesn’t get dressed
Or put on makeup
It simply is fully loved as herself
Warm and beating
Basking in the sun

 

In the future
I am so free
And the whole wide world
Will watch the sunrise alongside me
And the sunrise
For all her heat and struggle
Will let me through the clouds of doubt
And she will hold me close
Letting me love her
In my broken way

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Three Cities and a Poem

 

I recently went traveling through three cities in Eastern Europe and it was magic. Here are some photos and adjectives and a poem I wrote on a train.

 

Bratislava, Slovakia

Alleyways and early mornings

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Vienna, Austria

Palaces and colored lights

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Budapest, Hungary

Glittery views and sunshine

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I walk through cities you have never seen

and may never see.

Palaces are my living room.

 

I make my bed

out of a window sill

and a city skyline.

 

Do you envy me?

Do you wish you saw

everything through my eyes?

 

When I wander

through back alleys made of stones

You are so far from my mind.

 

It is only when I stop moving

that I think it would be nice

if you were here

 

What if you saw

everything through my eyes?

Would you understand then?

 

Instead of beautiful winding roads

I see a maze of bones

and strangers voices whispering through the cracks

 

I walk into my palace living room

and the prison door slams behind me

nothing can get in, I hope

 

I make my bed

in a room full of people who don’t care

I listen to emptiness drip from the ceiling.

 

When I am still

and floating in the sky

I feel the phantom of you in the space next to me

 

If you look through my eyes

you will see yourself

forever walking away down a city street

 

If you see through my eyes

you will see through the ache

and it makes everything more beautiful.

 

Paris

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Ah Paris. You really won me over.

I’m going to start by saying something that will make you roll your eyes so hard and think that you cannot relate to me at all: I have never wanted to go to Paris. The only reason I decided to go was because it was on my way home and I wanted to check it off “the list.”

Let me explain.

“Paris is always a good idea,” said Audrey Hepburn, to which I would respond, “sure if you’re thin, rich, white, and own a lot of black clothing.” The movie Midnight in Paris is wonderful, but I couldn’t help but watch it and think how if Owen Wilson’s character was a woman, it would be a much different movie. Think less quiet strolls among twinkling street lamps, and more like Morroccan dudes yelling at you as you power walk to your destination with your hood on and head down.

I’m also just not a huge Ernest Hemingway fan, and he goes around claiming Paris is a “moveable feast.”

I know that you can apply some version of these anecdotes to any number of cities, but I had fastened them all onto Paris; and honestly, I just wasn’t in the mood.

For all of that, I must apologize.

As I walked out of Nord railway Station at 9 am, I was wonderstruck (to borrow the T Swift term). I spent 24 hours wandering through Paris, and in my short time there I found it to be beautiful and diverse and complex.

It felt like art and life, the intersection of the two.

I stayed in Montmartre at Vintage Hostel, which was totally lovely and perfect. It was just a five minute walk from Sacre Coeur so I walked up there first thing to see the view of Paris.

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I walked from there down to the Seine to see the Notre Dame Cathedral and the [outside of] the Louvre. I bought bread and cheese and sat in the sun by the river to eat. Then I walked along to the river till I reached the Eiffel tower.

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“A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and the point of life.” Bold claim, Thomas Jefferson, but I get it. Paris is so many things.

I took the metro back up to Montemartre and went back to the Sacre Coeur to see the view of Paris at night. I bought a crepe on my way back to the hostel and ate it under a twinkling street lamp (and a good distance away from the yelling Moroccan men). It felt like life and it felt like fairytales. And I think that’s what made Paris beautiful to me. It’s magic, and it’s real.

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“The chief danger about Paris is that it is such a strong stimulant.” -T.S. Eliot

Balkan Adventures

A couple of weeks ago, I rented a car and drove with some friends to Matka Canyon in Macedonia and Rugova Gorge in Kosovo. It was glorious. Cars are wonderful things.

(Here are bits of a poem I wrote last week)

We shake too much.

That’s our problem.

My breaths

My knees

Your hands

The rental car

 

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There’s a canyon just outside the city.

“Let’s go” I said.

You wove the car through narrow roads,

following the Macedonian signs.

There was a mosque

(with double minorets!).

You braked so I could take a picture.

 

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The canyon was cold.

We walked the path along the water’s edge

stopping every few feet to gape at the mountains

“Around one more bend!” we said,

over and over again.

You like to have a destination,

I don’t.

 

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The rental’s tire was shaky

so we turn back too soon

before we reach the valley,

and before we reach the wild fields that slope out of Kosovo

and roll eventually into Montenegro

 

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But the canyon is enough for me,

Because it is just cold enough

to make me shake.

 

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I’m going to be traveling in England and a tiny bit in Paris over the next two weeks! Be sure to follow me on Instagram (@elizabeth_ee) if you want to keep up with my adventures :) Happy holidays and happy travels!

-Eliza

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Montenegro Part 2: Podgorica

Crystal and I were incredibly sad to leave Ulcinj, but she had a flight out of Podgorica, so we took a beautiful bus ride along the coast and through the mountains to Montenegro’s capital city. I had read before hand that as far as cities go, Podgorica was pretty dull. I get that. There’s nothing much to see there really (except giant transformer-like sculptures everywhere…?), but the river and the surrounding mountains make it beautiful in its own way. Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset We stayed in a great little apartment-turned-hostel with the friendliest and most helpful owner. We found a sushi restaurant which was heaven, and we also found a thrift store which made Podgrocia the most wonderful city in the world to me at that moment. IMG_5269 IMG_5276-1 The best thing in Podgorica through, has to be the cafe/bookstore, Karver. It is situated by the river and underneath a bridge, surrounded by green space and beautiful blooming trees. There was cool, colorful graffiti covering a lot of the bridge which reminded me of the Atlanta beltline. The cafe itself is actually an old turkish bathhouse that has been converted into a coffee shop and bookstore. It is the loveliest. I went there three times during my brief stay in Podgorica. One night was their anniversary so they had live jazz and a very young eclectic crowd. It’s a fantastic place. IMG_5264 IMG_5262 IMG_5257 Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset Thanks for being you, Podgorica.

Where I stayed: Hostel Podgorica

Best place I ate at: Wasabi Sushi Bar

Favorite Cafe: Karver

Favorite thing I did: Thrift store shopping (there are several in the city center)

Montenegro part 1: Ulcinj