To leave is to return. I left Boston three years ago, leaving behind the American dream that many people longing for. Back at the time, Boston was just a city. Saigon was also a city. Wherever would work well for me. I was so wrong as no city would have provide the same experience as other’s. I absolutely took Boston for granted.
Coming back to Boston is to double confirm how wonderful my family is. We were a group of three in love with foods and fun. We had our moments, bad and good. We tried things that we never had done before. We are now a group of, well, seven. Yeah, you read it right S E V E N. Things are not the same as before. Things are greater. I feel like home in here. After long day, all I want is to cover myself in the blanket which had been warmed me up all three long winters. I am happy to see my parents playing with the kids. I am proud of my brother and sister for their super skills to manage the family by themselves. Believe me, that is A LOT of works.
Coming back to Boston is to spend time with my friends. We catch up like no time has passed. We talk. We eat. We drink. We laugh. We bullshit. Just like the other day. I don’t just get blind dates. You want to see me again and so do I. I get my chance for second dates with you all. One even travels from New York City to Boston just to have a drink with me. I’m blessed. Unfortunately, two weeks are not enough for everything and everyone. My checklist is not yet done as I could not make my time to see all of you. Like a friend of mine has said “there will be always next time”, I’ll see you again soon, wherever it can be.
Coming back to Boston is to wander around the most beautiful city I have ever been to. I run after the bus. I take the T. The bus is late. The train is delayed due to disable train ahead. Nothing has changed at all. It is a sunny day to visit Boston common and public garden to see the frog lake, the swan couple and where i had my first snow angel. I walk along Charles River just as I did for the first time with Sarah in a summer day six years ago, as I did in fall, in winter and in spring. I pass by bars where I hung out with either of you. Drinking beers in Boston can never get boring, back then, now and forever after. Surprisingly, I still have the feeling of getting smarter when wandering Harvard university and Cambridge area. Hmm, but no more school for me, I guess. I wander around the financial center of the city to stop in front of the building where I got my first job in the city. I see people in professional dress code being in rush. I’m so glad that such thing as dress code has no longer existed in my dictionary. I take the train back to Malden to get into my favorite place – the library constructed in old bricks. I sit down in front of the church to hear the melody of the bells, like I did when feeling empty. This time I feel grateful instead. I wonder if I have fallen in love with the church because of its architects and music? Maybe. Too bad that I cannot make it to Umass Boston – the place where all the great things has started – the city, friends and everything else coming after that – all great people I have met, all the places I visited, all the crazy parties I joined and all the lessons learnt to grow up.
Boston is never in my travel list. Boston is home, the city to return. See you again, soon.
Boston, Aug 29, 2015.