We left early Sunday morning, just after dawn. The drive to the station was uneventful, and we arrived with a half hour to spare before our train departed. Each of us had a few discs with him, enough to play at least 18 holes. I ate first, and so they kicked in for me first, but one of the other guys ate more and therefore felt a heavier initial surge. Thankfully, we weren’t in the quiet car, because our giggles came on strong enough to make heads turn. By the time the train reached the City of Brotherly Love (and Sisterly Affection), our pupils were dinner plates greedily sucking up stray photons. We climbed up into the 30th Street station and paused briefly to marvel in wonder at its vaulted ceiling and vast marbled-clad spaces. Mere feet from the doors to the outside, the other two decided they needed to find a restroom, whereupon they went to relieve themselves. I waited for them in the hallway near the bathroom and pretended to peruse a restaurant menu while the world around me quietly exploded.
Then we were out in the wind and in the sun with our phones out trying to open applications and figure out how to get visual maps and audio guides going that would lead us to our first destination - the Sedgley Woods disc golf course. We walked, of course, following the river until we hit a police roadblock at a major intersection. At that point we turned north and left the course of the river, climbing a hill and following a shady tree-shaded trail that lead along crumbling old walls. At the top of the hill, in the middle of a field, sat a lone camping tent, which we decided not to enter. Then we almost got killed crossing a major road intersection that didn’t have a pedestrian crosswalk, climbed another hill, made a left, and arrived at our destination. We hadn’t barely figured out how to approach the first tee yet when we met a pair of local guides, two gentlemen who were smoking cabbage and knew the lay of the land. After playing 27 short holes together on the wooden urban course, we took their advice and went for fried chicken at the gas station across the road, which we ate with them, breaking bread together on a rotting park bench under a struggling tree.
With not a minute to spare we arrived at our second destination, a hip brewery in Fishtown. After touring it, I went out to photograph graffiti while my friends stayed inside and kept drinking. Once I was finished we exited into the hot afternoon sun and started for a gin distillery nearby. Along the way we ate more, of course, finishing the bag. At the gin mill we were sipping death in the afternoon when the second round kicked in, prompting us to head for the next brewery. And then the next. The day got sweaty, what with one of us hauling around two filled growlers and another of us trying to enter each abandoned building we passed along the way. We were having a bit of trouble fitting into society but finally made it back to the station with fewer than five minutes to spare, only to find that our train was delayed indefinitely. It left 45 minutes late, long enough for us to fully appreciate each contour of a gorgeous marble panel named The Spirit of Transportation (1895), by Karl Bitter, and for me to get a girl’s contact information.
She’s seeing someone else now, by the way.
americanifesto / JPR / whorphan / 場黑麥
I landed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, around 9 in the evening. Mine was a short layover, for my next flight left the next day around 11 in the morning. After logging into the airport wireless network I looked at a few maps of the surrounding area, read some city review websites, and decided to ride the train into town instead of sleeping on a bench somewhere in the airport.
I emerged into what looked like a settlement for people from subcontinental India, most of whom had already closed up shop. After familiarizing myself with the landmarks near the station and memorizing the time-schedule for early trains back to the airport, I started walking toward the tallest and brightest thing I could see - the twin Petronas towers. I had neither cell-phone coverage nor a physical map and mainly relied on gut feelings when deciding which way would most quickly help me reach my goal. After a few hours I was close enough to the towers that I could take a full-screen picture of them, two glittering white phalluses that dominated the skyline even from a couple of miles away.
My backpack was getting heavy, my feet were tired, and at that point it was nearly 4 a.m. The walk back seemed far shorter than the walk out, of course, and I took a couple of different streets - just to shake things up. The sun had risen by the time I felt like I was near the train station again, and the buildings I had committed to memory looked far different in the light of day, but I eventually got on a train that took me back to the airport.
The airplane took off and as we were flying over the city I was shocked to see how far I had actually walked during the previous night, covering most of the distance between KL Sentral station (Brickfields) the Bukit Nanas station, near the Petronas towers. Sleep soon beckoned, however, and I gladly slipped into Morpheus’s tender embrace, happy that I had seen a bit of KL, at night.
americanifesto / JPR / whorphan / 場黑麥
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Among other things I am barber, bicyclist, surfer, vagabond, writer, and yogi.