traveling is humbling

24.December.08

as i sit here in terminal E (gate E9 to be exact) of the Philadelphia International Airport with many many other exhausted and frustrated travelers, I really can only just sit back and take everything all in as it is.  I would say that I stopped stressing out about traveling a couple of years ago. This also may be due to the fact that I only fly one to two times per year, tops. my flight was supposed to leave at 3:15 pm EST, and right now we are “scheduled” to leave at 6:15-6:30 EST. It may sound strange, but I kind of like the delays. It gives me time to relax before getting on the plane; I can read, get something to eat/drink, listen to some jams, or pay $7.99 for 24 hours of wifi connection (thanks, AT&T). If I were at Newark airport, I would probably have gotten about 2 massages by now at the massage bar (its totally worth it). I love to people watch and just make up little stories of their lives in my head, though this can be dangerous, the whole judging others on only their appearance thing. For the first time ever, I also visited the airport bar/pub..and she didn’t card me! hooray for not looking like I am 15, anymore. I had a glass of Riesling while I started reading Ms. Tricia Rose’s new masterpiece (well, I cannot personally call it a masterpiece, but because it is written by her, I’m pretty confident it is) The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop-and Why It Matters.  It has been on my amazon.com wish list and I saw it in the bookstore during some last minute christmas shopping, so I bought it. Even though I have yet to read a stack of other books I have bought for myself within the past year or so. Rose is known for her monumental piece in hip hop studies, Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America ,which I have to say I have not yet read. I actually found the book in the library of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers, waiting to talk with one of my professors about a paper. Here is a review on Black Noise, just to get the gist of Tricia Rose:

This ethnographic study is the first detailed exploration of rap music within its social, cultural, and artistic contexts. Rose (history/Africana studies, NYU) carefully analyzes each defining element of the genre. For example, her study of the cultural and technological implications of sampling-a pillar of rap-is both impressive and unprecedented. Further, Rose’s hermeneutics extend beyond the music itself to such corollary expressions of hiphop style as rap music videos and breakdancing. Rose constructs a solid bridge between hiphop and academe: she explains the former in the language of the latter and does so splendidly. However, even the most powerful words cannot recreate music. Since academicians may be unfamiliar with the works discussed, an accompanying CD or cassette would have been helpful. While Brian Cross’s less-rigorous It’s Not About a Salary (LJ 2/15/94) remains a better choice for public libraries, Black Noise belongs on the shelves of almost every academic collection.

But back to why traveling is a humbling experience. Way to veer off of the real purpose of this post. On my long train ride from Central NJ to the Philly airport, I sat next to this very nice woman. We chatted about where she was headed to, her grandchildren, her life (she had her first child at the age of 12 and her parents told her that it was a tumor…), and that she recently received her masters in social work from NYU and she works with drug addicts. I actually really enjoy talking to and getting to know random strangers I meet during my travels.  Also, during really stressful times (holiday traveling), you see people’s real colors come out. Some turn inward, angry, and negative. Some try to help others and stay positive. I have learned that taking everything with a grain of salt and attempting to think positive can really make a difference in your stress level and how you treat others around you. This may sound a bit hypocritical to some who know me, for I can often be very cynical and negative. I suppose while traveling, though, I really do make an effort to take everything lightly.

And if your family is anything like mine, and I’m sure it is (for no family is “normal” and we all have our different issues), I found this little article on WebMD about overcoming holiday anxiety and stress.

Someecards really knows how to say happy holidays the right way

chris_41

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One Response to “traveling is humbling”

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