Days 43-47 Surviving the NY State Fair

Trip Start Jul 13, 2005
Trip End Sep 20, 2005

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Flag of United States  , New York
Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hi everyone, I'm back again after yet another hiatus from the travelogue. You know, as much as I enjoy writing and reflecting, experiencing is always a nice alternative =P. I pretty much am always thinking, I gotta put this in my log!, but then somehow, come time to relax and rest, I choose the beach or sleep (go figure =P). Anyways, life has been going great this past week, we survived the grueling marathon days at the state fair, enjoyed a rainy drive through the Catskill Mountains, and have had two mellow days tabling here in Connecticut. I'm actually on the train over to NYC at the moment to hang out with a friend from home who's visiting for the long weekend. We're up for a night of merrymaking in the big apple and I thought to pack my laptop with me for the ride so I could update all yall back home =).

First, cuz motherwu was worrying about this: everything with Rebecca and me is going well again. Seems like the second things hit their low point, they go soaring back up. Last night we actually had what felt like dinner as "friends" even. I wont go as far as to say that for the general feel of things but friendliness levels are up and exasperation levels are low. So yup, that part of the trip is AOK again. WHEW. =)

I guess what really excited me about this past week were all the people I met. From Saturday until Tuesday we split the 12 hour days at the state fair right in half and were lucky enough to have a press event scheduled on Monday (even though no one showed) which brought the hourage for that day down to 8 hours. Six hours for a work shift normally wouldn't be so bad with any other job cept that these 6 hours were spent on our feet, talking endlessly to the hoards and hoards of people that rolled past our table. At times there were so many folks walking by that we would accost people as they were held captive in the standstill traffic. =P When I went to relieve Rebecca after the first long shift and heard how shot her voice was, I was like, she's crazy, there's no way that's happening to me! Of course, the next day, when it was my turn for the morning shift (more people, more noise to yell over), my voice said toodles! as well =P. It was AWESOME though. There were so many people (along with letters written), so many characters, I cant even remember them all now. There was the 20-something chick who was really interested in what we're doing as well as the non-profit world as a whole and kept asking about how I got the job and what I majored in school, etc. (There have been three girls just like her on this trip who stop by, all starting college and all super interested in our story. Kinda makes me feel like a big sister which is cool.) When Sarah said she's particularly into animal rescues and what not and I was like, DUDETTE, go work for Farm Sanctuary--it's right here in NY! I gave her pretty much every bit of info I have in my head about animal welfare issues and really wanted to send her off with Peaceable Kingdom but alas, my two copies were in the van. I managed to email her more links though and hope she goes with it! Monday night there was one dude who came and sat down for probably half an hour during the evening when it was slower and we chatted about the environmental movement and fighting the good fight and people and passion and complacency and communicating and on and on and on. I totally cant remember his name now but he was probably 60-something and you could tell that he had done a lot of observing through his years. After we chatted some more and he had to leave, he surprised me by coming back to the table to bring me a oh-so-nice-and-cold bottle of water (it had come up that I forgot to refill mine before starting my shift during which I would be stranded at the table). What a nice dude! Another fun visitor was this crazy old lady (lotsa old people on Monday and Tuesday which were Senior Days) who kept yell-ranting vs. just rant-ranting. I thought I'd even have to nudge her away from our area since she was waving her arms around wildly half the time and going "BAH!" and "GAH!" a lot! It was hilarious and kinda scary at the same time. Man, and she didn't even write a letter. I also got lucky enough to talk to an ex-dairy farmer ask him and his wife about how they saw animal rights activists. He said that they were never personally bothered and that as a small family farmer he didn't feel like he was really a target since his cows were out in the pasture all day except when they were being milked. He agreed that their story is a far cry from dairy farms these days and that his major qualm was with veal farms and his wife nodded and said, and those horrible egg farms! Super interesting to hear from the "other side" and such a good reminder that the line that divides most of us is a lot thinner that we may think. It was so cool-- as they were going to leave, the farmer's wife, shook my hand and so genuinely thanked me for chatting with them. Oh, and I can't forget Rob, this investment advisor that I met in the hotel exercise room and ended up talking to about the tour, the environment (he has an arboretum as a hobby kinda thing), fitness stuff, etc etc etc. He gave me some good investing tips too. No charge of course =P.

Mkay, some quick random things about Syracuse-- the city wins the award for most humidity and most bugs-- I went for a half hour run to the lake (with an hour long limp back since I got a narly blister) and got the oh-so-desirable windshield effect from the combination of sweat from the heat and so-thick-you-can-reach-out-and-grab-em cloud of bugs that I was running though. Yum. Also, most people here have clearly not been around enough color-- got the most, are you from Alaska and/or are you Native American and/or something other than Chinese American questions out here. It's usually been a game of "which one is not like the other" out at the country fairs since practically everyone here in the NE is white, but in Syracuse, its almost like there are enough minorities for people to have ideas about where everyone else in the world is from (no matter how off target) and for a bit of exoticization as well. Along those lines I definitely got the most cat calls here (haha, everyone else just stares and points =P just kidding). Double yum.

Man, there are so many other things I want to talk about. Still don't know what to do now that September is here. Do I roadtrip home across the country with my friend Phil whose friend needs his van driven back from PA, or crash with Clara in Philly, move to NYC with Minh Huyen, or just sit atop a big mountain or something to decompress after this job? Who knows, and now that this entry is over 24 hours overdue for posting, Ima just end here. Hope everyone is doing well =)
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