The Pleasure of All Things Local (Minus the Thai food)
On Saturday Stephen and I took an afternoon trip through Lake Cayuga. It has been a while since I went out with my camera to capture the beauty of New York State. Stephen was finally done with his summer classes so we decided to go out for a day trip. His idea was to drive through Auburn continuing to Seneca Falls, stop in Ithaca, and tour a town where he once lived in, Owego.
We had had some bad weather in Syracuse for a couple of days but by Saturday morning, the weather cleared up and it turned out to be a perfect summer day for a little roadtrip.
The journey began from Stephen’s house in Liverpool. We took I-9o westbound for a little while and got out at the Auburn exit to be on the local road. We were just on this road in May when I drove out to pick him up on his biking trip. After about 30 minutes on the local road, we arrived Seneca Falls. This is my second time in this town, I fell in love with it the first time I saw it.
After a couple of minutes of stopping to stretch, breathe in some fresh air, and take some pictures, we followed route 89 along the beautiful Lake Cayuga. It actually looks kind of like Lake Seneca except there are fewer wineries and less touristy. Around 2.30 pm we stopped at a Thai restaurant called the Taste of Thai in Ithaca to get some Thai food. The pineapple curry tasted pretty good!
Ithaca is a cute little college town that I think has more character than Syracuse. The majority of the population is actually college students, who give the town all these cool edges. The town also has a couple of cool waterfalls, which we did not get to visit. It’s too bad 😦
After Ithaca, we then drove to Owego, a town where Stephen grew up in. It is a cute little town next to the Susquehanna river. It is at the border of New York and Pennsylvania.
This is the view of the whole town overlooking from the Evergreen cemetery.
The ride along downtown Owego was nice. There were many old shops and restaurants. The town was flooded late last year due to the overflowing of the Susquehanna River. It was pretty bad, many people became homeless and some ended up having to leave their home because the lack of renovation money. This actually happened around the same time as the Thailand flood.
Stephen has a really good friend, Dan who is still living in the area with his wife, two children and the in-laws. Since we were in town and Stephen had not seen Dan for two years, we stopped by to say hi to him and his family. The drive from the town to Dan’s house was amazing. We drove through a little of the woods and then the farmland. Absolutely gorgeous.
A Typical American Farm on a Gorgeous Summer day.
Dan, Cute Baby Devon, and the Lovely Olivia.
One of the most important things I enjoy and appreciate about living in another country is to have the chance to really get to know and learn about local people. This is something that I find hard to do when “traveling” because you would never really get the “living” mindset. Hanging out with Stephen gives me a lot of opportunities to really enjoy living in America (Thank you Mister!). This trip he introduced me to Dan and his family. We spent our evening at Dan’s in-laws. It was not a long stay but I think they really are nice people. It is one of those moments when I feel I am lucky to get to do all these things.
Throughout the years I spent outside of Thailand both in the US and in Europe, I met so many different people. They are those who make sure you know your place as a foreigner and in many incidents as an invader, those who are nice to you because they want something in return, and those who are genuinely nice, open-minded and sincere. I consider myself lucky to have come across a lot of local people who are the latter kind (My host family and many friends in Europe are up there! – you know who you are!).
I have recently added Stephen to this list of mine. The characteristics that he has in common with others I mentioned is that these people would make sure I would not feel alienated when they are in presence. They will not make any silly assumptions about you or apply any stereotypes toward you. Most importantly, they will not hesitate to introduce you to their world.
Stephen sneaking out of my car.
In fact Stephen sometimes liked to treat me as an American. He would jokingly assume that I know everything about American pop culture and literally made fun of me when I did not know something that he knows (e.g. trivia questions at a restaurant, pictures on DrawSomething, some random American bands etc.) LOL :P. Thank you for reminding me that I was probably a caucasian in my last life lol – and you an Asian.
However, sometimes I noticed that the more local I get, the more foreign I feel. It is funny how when I travel, I often do not feel as foreign as when I live in a country and start hanging out with local people. It makes me feel strange at times but the experience I gain is definitely worthwhile. Of course, this feeling would not happen if you were with locals of my latter kind. In return, I would not forget to give back and refrain from being judgmental about their culture.
As far as my experience in the US goes, I don’t know why CNNGo audience listed America as being among the rudest countries in the world. I certainly do not agree.
The cow looked straight at me for the shot, thank you Stephen for the moo background sound to get their attention.
Heading home with the glorious last light of the day.
I hope you enjoy my Owego photo diary. Feel free to give me any feedback or comments :). Thank you very much for stopping by! Have a great week!