Travel | Let’s Chat For a Moment: Public Transportation Woes… (Boston Area vs Rome)

Image found via GIS.

Image found via GIS.

I happen to be travelling to Boston this weekend and spending a couple of days for a few greatly needed medical appointments.  To be quite frank, living in Rome has meant living without direct access to the doctors who know my illness best. Still, I’m happy that I have the chance to go and see them–many thanks to my mom and April.

Here’s the thing: being frugally-minded, I made a wonderful deal with Priceline.com to travel roundtrip from Orlando to Boston, plus spend the night in a decent hotel, Bedford Motel.  From the reviews on TripAdvisor.com, the Bedford Motel seemed reasonable and its location was in between or close to all the places I needed to be: Lexington, Burlington, Arlington, and Cambridge.

Of course, there is catch, although there shouldn’t be, but it’s not the fault of either Priceline, the hotel, or even my poor self.  It’s the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority).

Travelling from Orlando, where public transportation is basically nonexistent, I thought “Yes! I’m going to Boston. Subways, real buses, even a freaking ferry!!!” I was truly excited…until I called the hotel and was informed that…

The MBTA does not provide bus service to Bedford after 7pm on Saturdays or 9:30pm during the weekdays.  

What?? Seriously? You have to be kidding me. There I was thinking that I was returning to a little bit of a traveler’s haven, i.e. a city, only to be informed that I had no way of getting to my hotel except via taxi at a rate of ~$130 from the airport or ~$60 from the subway station.

With my savvy traveller skills, I imagined that I had found a work-around: Okay, I’ll sleep at the airport, grab the first subway in and catch the #62 bus to Bedford and sleep for the remainder of the day.

I checked online, found out that it was relatively easy to sleep/hangout in Terminal B 28 until the morning, where there are rocking chairs. I thanked the universe and sighed with relieved.

Yes, I thought I had found the answer, i.e. until I actually checked the bus schedule to Bedford.

No service on Sunday.

What?? Really??

This is beyond ridiculous now.  Why ridiculous? Because I expected more from the MBTA.  Not only was the service limited, but the fare had increased as well!

You see, coming from Rome where the buses show up whenever the driver feels like arriving, I had an expectation of refined service, catered to the needs of city dwellers.  I was not expecting this.

Yes, you may say that Bedford is a small town/neighbourhood/whatever.  I say that there must be working people in Bedford, people who need to get to work or simply get about the place.

In Rome, although the service leaves much to be desired, it is available on the weekends–there is always a way to move about the city, no matter the time.  Night bus services takes you into neighbourhoods that are outside the historic center. That service runs until regular service picks up again.  In Boston, I read that they are diminished night transportation services at the end of June.

So, it looks like I’ll be hopping on the subway and catching a taxi from Alewife to Bedford.  It’s sad news, but for this reason I know that I can never recommend staying at any hotel that is not within proximity of the subway system.  At least the subway runs on the weekends.

Until Next Time,

D.

Travel | Night of the Killer Moth and Other Thoughts at 1:40am

Image from Flickr

I’m sure moths can be beautiful.  When, however, you wake up to one trying wage war against you, they seem more like a nightmare.

Now, I aim to live peacefully with all creatures. I even apologize to the ones I know that I am squashing as I make my way through the day. If I could stand still and hurt not even one, I would be a happy person.  And perhaps it is silly of me, but I expect the freaking same from these creatures, too.  Live and let live.  Sleep and let sleep.  All right?

Well, that hasn’t been the case for the past two nights with Mr. I-have-nothing-better-to-do-than-terrorize-you Moth.  Seriously, I’ve resorted to hiding under the covers and leaving the light on…which seems to be a good deterrent.  Any suggestions?

While strategizing to find the best way to live harmoniously with Mr. Moth, it dawned on me that I had learned another important lesson while living in Rome: insects have a right to exist, too.  I always knew that, but in the US it seems like we spend a lot of time trying to keep our surroundings bug-free (which, of course, can be a very good thing).

If you are travelling to Rome and you do not have a good relationship with creepy and flying things, prepare yourself psychologically beforehand.  Here, it’s not uncommon to see flies in bakeries (pitching on your soon-to-be-eaten pizza slice) or in restaurants. Seriously, it happens, especially in the warmer weather.  And the attitude is….well., live and let live. 🙂

Strangely enough, I’ve never seen a cockroach (knock on virtual wood).  Now, I’m off to negotiate with a moth.

Buona giornata!

Until tomorrow,

D.

Vlog | My Vegan Munchies! Awesome YouTube Vlogger

Fruit stand, Venice (2015)

Fruit stand, Venice (2015). Click to visit My Vegan Munchies’ channel!

Thinking about going vegan? Worried that you can only eat lettuce? Frantically thinking about surviving living abroad while vegan?

Check out My Vegan Munchies‘ YouTube channel to learn great recipes to begin your vegan/vegetarian journey.  I’m super happy that I learned about her channel.  Other healthy living vloggers I love are CharlyCheer (health/travel) and Zipporah G (health/travel).

Well, Check out My Vegan Munchies Living Abroad While Vegan Video:

Daily Blogging & Writing Fearlessly

On Via Fori Imperiali

On Via Fori Imperiali (May 2015)

I’m almost certain that many writers spend time thinking about how to write more, why they aren’t writing more, when they can write more, if they should write more, if they can write more. I’m no exception.

Lately, I’ve been writing, but not publicly. I have an awful tendency to stop writing because I believe I have nothing of interest/importance to state–usually, that translates into “I feel like crap about myself in the world.”  I recognize that writing about true feelings/thoughts not filtered through psychobabble scares the living daylights out of me.  Seriously.

It is a scary thing just to write “I feel…” and not add something about Freud or CBT or DBT immediately before or after it.  What would it mean to simply state my feelings, my thoughts unfiltered, uninhibited in my own little virtual space?  Who knows. This, however, is the starting point.

It’s a promise to myself. Every morning, I will write something, anything on this little blog of mine. It may interest you. It may bore you to tears.  The point, however, is that I am writing what is honest/authentic/true for me. I hope you’ll continue to give me your support.

Also, I an starting a health journey daily vlog upon my return to the US.  It will run from May 25-August 15, and will be tracking my progress with taking better care of my overall (but mostly physical) health, including diet, exercise, hair, skin, etc. I am really ready to commit to a healthy vegan and natural lifestyle, and I would like to document that process. So, wish me good fortune on that as well.

Sometimes it’s when we are about to experience enormous change that we truly recognize the direction in which we are heading.

Until Tomorrow,

D.

Vlog | Mother’s Day in Garbatella & Travel Tips

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Join me for a quick look at Mother’s Day in Garbatella, where I attended the weekend market, tried to play soccer, experience a bit of nostalgia, and give my tips on where to stay (and why) while visiting Rome.

Vlog | Rome Off the Beaten Path: The Conca d’Oro Flea Market (Il Mercatino Conca d’Oro)

Conca d'Oro Market (Photo by D. Blake)

Conca d’Oro Market (Photo by D. Blake)

I took some time out last week to visit the Conca d’Oro Market. It is wonderfully organized and there are many interesting items to be found at low cost, everything from food to cleaning products.  Take a look at the video to see what else is on offer. And if you happen to be in Rome, why not take a quick trip on the metro line B to Conca d’Oro to visit the Market.

Hours: Saturdays & Sundays, from 9am to 8pm

Via Conca d’Oro 143/145

Vlog | Fibromyalgia & Travel: You Must Be Your Number 1!

Thank you so very much, everyone, for sticking with me both on my blog and on my YouTube channel! 🙂

Throwback Thursday | Reblog: Roma, che cosa vuoi?

Statue of Giordano Bruno

Rome is a hard place and I am a hard person.  What I mean by hard is simply that Rome is all stone and little nature.  It is all grit and grime and movement.  I often feel now that I find myself to be same…  That there is no softness, purity, and no patience…  I am eager to build upon the last event and move on from the present one.   I feel as though my life has shown me too much in too short a period of time, and has made me too wise… but not wise enough to avoid this place where I have now found myself.

If you asked me what I want most right now, I would say to be free of all worry… then I would say to remember… then I would say to forget… then I would say nothing… for why should I want?

I despise Rome because it is so much like me – It reflects back to me so much of myself… or at least, who I have been in my many forms.   And it seems that now I am finding myself to be no different from many of my clients, whom I have seen over the years, i.e. wanting the past to go away… wanting to be far away from myself, but finding myself nowhere else but here with me.  I suppose I am human after all.  And so I have placed myself here in Rome, a physical manifestation of all of the parts of me I had come so to resent, but perhaps no so much anymore.  Now, Rome, what do you want?

Nessun Dorma

“Nessun Dorma” (“None shall sleep,” an aria from Puccini’s opera “Turandot.”)

Vlog | 4 Tips for Black Women Travelling Abroad

Snapshot 2 (02-Mar-15 20-36)

My most recent vlog post.  I offer 4 tips on how to survive travelling or living abroad, as well as share a bit about the more unusual experiences I’ve had while living in Rome.

 

 

Vlog | Black Women Dating While Living Abroad: Will Italian Men Feed You Pasta?

DatingAfter four years of living in Rome, I’ve learned a bit about dating, especially as a Black woman. In this video, I offer up my thoughts on possible dating experiences that Black women may meet while living abroad, the (ir)relevance of beauty standards, and reasons for travelling abroad, including cultural expectations.

Hope you enjoy it! If you do, please “like” (thumbs up) the video. Thanks!