Road Trips

Gas station convenience stores, how I love thee.

In a valiant attempt to rise out of poverty, I’ve written about 20 articles since Monday. Most are only 300-500 words and the actual writing part doesn’t take that long, but the research can be a bit tedious and tiring.

Luckily, I’ve discovered that the company I write for has a travel section, so I can now write about hotels in New Jersey, Ohio and Kentucky (e.g. Hotels and Motels In Somerville, NJ) rather than the phsychological causes of impotence or how to pass kidney stones. This is a very pleasant development as I now just pretend I’m preparing for an all-American roadtrip with the Bitar family. I just think of all the country diners with checkered tableclothes, gravy-heavy dishes and menopausal waitresses we’d encounter on these theoretical roadtrips. Or the gas station convenience stores we’d stop at so I could buy diet pepsi, runts and Slim Jims (As long as Yohis wasn’t there as she would not approve), or the generic, Indian-owned, truck-driver frequented highway motels where a room seems to cost $49.99-$59.99 a night no matter the state or decade.

These hotel articles also make me nostalgic for the camping days, when the Perilla and Martin families would pack their cars to the brim in preparation for our yearly summer vacation, which included much back-seat sibling bickering, obsessive visits to the camp store, hot dogs and baked beans, national and state park visits, Giles being hungry, Ivan giving Tati wet willies and me watching everyone else working hard to set up camp. All day long, us kids would circle the campground on our bikes, shocked by our campground neighbors’ propensity toward mullets and plaid, feeling indisputably superior because of our “city” upbringing. We felt exceptionally liberated, independent and grown up on those bike rides, never realizing our trajectory only consisted of about 1.5 miles. Such good, all-American days, 10 loud Hispanics gathered around the campfire roasting discount, fruit-flavored Mexican marshmellows my mother found delicious and everyone else found inedible. So despite experiences living in Panama and Colombia and traveling to many, many countries, I’ve decided that America really is the best country for a roadtrip. But then again, maybe I feel this way because American’s the only country in which I’ve actually taken a roadtrip.

In other news, I did my weekly grocery shopping for COL$14,000 (US$7.50) yesterday, a feat I am very proud of. For this small price, I purchased a canteloupe, queso fresco, milk, half a pound of ground beef, an onion, a pepper, a potato, a carrot, a bag of lentils and a bottle of carbonated water — in other words, all the necessary food groups. Having decided that lentils offer “the best bang” for my buck, being a very cheap but nutritionally-rich food source, I will be eating lentils for the next week or so.



Categories: Nostalgia

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