2007

I weathered the storm of the previous year
and in some good company I was here found
to welcome January without a fear

My feet finally returned to solid ground
from abstract worlds to which my maths had taken
me aloft and in many equations drowned

Relaxed anew, my mind it hath awakened
and to far-off lands I found my gaze renewed
my plans to travel, they could ne’er be shaken

So how to plan an epic? What to include?
so much there is to see and so much to do
so much of this choice would boil down to the mood

We start this in Mexico, to get a clue
on language, that is, to learn the Spanish tongue
or else we shall find our plans hard to pull through

In Guanajuato, short of breath, strained of lung
at Don Quijote we navigate our way
through verbs and nouns: language ladder’s first few rungs

After this, we trip through Mexico and stay
at some pretty ‘budget’ accommodation
all the while taking it all in, day by day

Highlands to lowlands, from station to station
we traversed the land, west to east by bus
then to Cuba with much anticipation

In Cuba things were different, it seemed to us
there was no hidden hand, à la Adam Smith
but now how to get around? by train? by bus?

No, a car we hired for the week and with
a sense of adventure we traversed the land
from town to town to find fact and dispel myth

As we drove, we gave to hitchikers a hand
and learned from them that Cuban life’s pretty tough
after this, to Venezuela we went, and

We had not enough time, so things were quite rough
but I was on a mission to come and see
the Angel Falls, and perhaps some other stuff

Following, we flew to the land of the free
the United States, ’twas but a short detour
from our Latin American travel-spree

The reason was that US unis would lure
my friend Nick and I into their hallowed halls
so we thought we’d visit, and receive a tour

Berkeley, Stanford, Caltech from the west coast calls
MIT, Harvard, Princeton rise in the east
and I to New York for Columbia’s walls

But Nick was accepted to them all, at least
and I was not, and sad was I for this fact
nevertheless, in New York I had a feast

But strange, just before I left, I had a smack
figuratively, of course, but still it shocked
me to find my application, still intact

And resubmitted – an M.A. to unlock
but I felt my chances were still very slim
and still the rest of my travels to concoct

Tired was I in Ecuador, on a whim
up to the equator I went to inspect
that red line that circles the globe – it was thin

To Peru, once again with Nick to connect
and so the long hike to Machu Picchu walk
and no walk in the park this, it needs respect

More than just a sight to see, one more to chalk
up on your list of places to travel to
the old Inca City lives up to the talk

Then, salt flats in Bolivia travelled through
to mines in Potosí where I felt quite ill
from the altitude, though it was nothing new

Through to Paraguay, through the Chaco to kill
my love of buses, for a fifty-hour
trip will make anybody’s guts want to spill

Not to mention the crazy girl who could sour
an already brutal transit through the heat
by hitting on me… all I did was cower

But Asuncion, Paraguay was pretty neat
for while there, I miraculously learned that
I was destined no more to accept defeat

‘Cause a place at Columbia for this brat
me, that is, was now on offer for a chance
to change the world, so to New York – where it’s at

So on to Iguazu falls I would then prance
in quite a deliriously joyous mood
while admiring the waterfall’s great expanse

Onwards to Rio, where some would dress quite lewd
for Carnival at least, and the beach so warm
and in Maracanã for a football feud

Then through Uruguay, the calm before the storm
it was May, and I was running out of time
so now a final plan I needed to form

Through Argentina and Chile, I would climb
at least one mountian, and a glacier see
and see how far south I dare travel this time

Of year, for winter approached and a degree
would be considered warm in some places here
so down I went, to Ushuaia the city

At the bottom of the world where I would fear
acute sea-sickness from all the boats I took
then northward went I, bigger mountains to near

Snow-capped cerros screamed adventure, begged a look
at three thousand seven hundred metres tall
Lanín would be the one written in my book

But alas, disaster struck and we would fall
short of the top due to inclement weather
the mountain, it knows how to make you feel small

Though we escaped, and lucky for our tether
of rope, but next through to Chile my bus went
where Nick and I would find ourselves together

But on one more adventure I was hell-bent
so in Coyhaique I flew a light aircraft
and lastly to Santiago – I was spent

We met and retold stories, we smiled and laughed
and marvelled that our trip’s months had numbered five
now set for home, to tell tales both smart and daft

So finally in Melbourne, we would arrive
but there was so much work that was to be done
if I was to have any chance to survive

My move to America, though it be fun
would be via skating world championships
so the pace of life, was still quite a brisk run

I had to pack up my home, pack up my scripts
and relocate my grand theatre of life
but without a clue, I would shoot from the hip

It surprised me, though, the emotional strife
that such a major life-changing move would bring
for this was not the first time in my short life

That I had moved like this, but nowhere to cling
to as home, yes – that’s the problem this instance
’cause home is where friends are – mine the world will fling

To its farthest corners, the greatest distance
and so my heart is flung, but I must hone in
on the making good of my small existence

So first, to Colombia to speedskate in
those darned championships where I have little hope
and in here, I witnessed one more deadly sin

Greed, it seems to touch us all so broad its scope
my laptop, camera, ipod some fool did steal
and sure was I of some athletes’ use of dope

Laptop’s loss was traumatic and hard to heal
but luckily’s New York is just the right place
to catch my breath, find my feet and keep it real

Semester starts, we must read at frantic pace
pity, for the campus has such scenery
but my uni work, I quickly did embrace

My research, location of much greenery
out of the city and upstate where we find
the heart of climate science machinery

But so much more on offer, we keep in mind
and so many new things in this place to learn
I must seize it all, lest I be left behind

But even our happiness takes time to earn
such life-shifting moves don’t come without a cost
to that intangible place – home, I oft yearn

Where is this place? I say, I do feel quite lost
in this big world, much of it I have explored
but my place in it, shrouded by winter frost

Though in this place, to mope, I cannot afford
I thank old frends, whose presence has been heaven
and new ones, and some like Cyrano adored

But now it’s finished, the hour reads eleven
’tis been quite a journey, more love and less hate
I bid goodbye to 2007
can I top this? Bring on 2008!

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