Monday, July 10, 2017

Just Keep Swimming

I slept in today. It was a bad decision on my part, because not only did I end up missing breakfast completely, but Sultana and I spent the next hour desperately searching for food in Ithaca. Coincidentally, she was in the same position as me. The RPCC, Amit Bhatia Café, and Cornell Store Café were all closed, despite the fact that it was 10 AM.  You bet I was missing San Francisco and the Bay. There’s no way that any store/restaurant wouldn’t be open that late on a Sunday morning.

Frustrated Culty after finding out Cornell Store Cafe
was also closed. 
Good old Starbucks in College town pulled through. By then, we had walked a good 25 minutes and were really in need of something to eat. I picked up a chocolate croissant and strawberry acai drink, both of which I devoured in no time. It was an adventure, but not one that I am willing to recreate. You will not be hearing about me disconnecting the travel alarm or hitting snooze on my phone in the morning anytime soon.

Thankfully in our walk back, we didn’t miss the bus headed for Robert H. Treman State Park at 12:10 PM. A day before, I had received an email notifying me that I was signed up for the trip. Many of my friends were also going to be there, which made it all the more exciting. Sultana, Pooja, Devanshi, and I caught the first bus and arrived at Treman 20 minutes later.

Our first and only stop at the State Park was the natural pool swimming area by the falls itself. I’m trying to describe the beauty of my surroundings without doing it an injustice. It was breathtaking. Water from the fall gushed out into the pool, teal blue and glimmering.

Crowds of families and friends gathered in this area. They swam, laughed, bonded, and took memorable pictures. I was glad in a way that I didn’t live in the area. I might have spent my whole life there and not accomplished a single thing.

Initially, our group planned on hiking, but that didn’t end up happening. The pool water was freezing cold. By freezing cold, I mean a risk of hypothermia and frostbite cold. At least, that’s what I felt and could barely move in the water once I got in, let alone swim. Nonetheless, we had a good time cooling off.

One of the younger kids from Syracuse kept splashing Pooja while we swam and calling us donuts. I’m not exactly sure what he meant by that, but we thought it was hilarious and splashed back. Pooja and I had a great time talking to our new friend and having water wars with him.

There was a diving board near the pool, but I wasn’t brave or experienced enough to jump in. Pooja and Robson did, several times and ended up staying at the bottom near the waterfall itself. At first, I thought that was the only way you could actually get down there, but it turned out there were stairs leading down. I climbed down and experienced placing my back against the fall and let the cold water run over me. It was shockingly cold, but beautiful and an experience that I will surely remember and cherish.

After we were done swimming and hanging out in the water, Robson, Pooja, Sultana, Devanshi, and I munched on snacks on the grass. We had Kurkure (Indian chips), Pringles, and pretzels. They were gone in no time, so we made it back to the bus before it left, exactly at 4:15 PM.

The four of us had dinner together at the RPCC once we got back. I grabbed some pasta and garlic bread, but it didn’t taste very good.

The food here is starting to get really old and a little bit disgusting. I miss my mother’s homemade meals; the ones at the Robert Purcell Dining Hall are bland and poorly seasoned. Cornell has third best university dining in the nation according to Princeton Review, so this really does concern me. To be fair though, I haven’t eaten at the better halls that we aren’t allowed in such as Appel.

Most of what I ate for dinner was Pooja’s brilliant creation, the ice-cream waffle desert. Okay, maybe it wasn’t exactly her creation, but she makes them for us and they taste great. We have been having them for dessert the past few days and it just might be the only dish that I really miss once I get back home. I’ll miss Pudgey (Pooja) a lot as well; she’s so insightful and lovable.

Sultana and Devanshi took some
really great pictures using my phone.
I noticed that I wasn’t feeling too good the minute I arrived at my dorm after dinner. It had been a relatively cool day, yet I felt nauseous.  My stomach hurt as well, but I couldn’t afford to rest and had to meet up with my classmates Sonali and Steph to go over our assignment that we had previously worked on. We worked on the parts that each of us was assigned and did some practice presentations. I was nervous about having to present in front of our class the next day, but also proud of everything that we as a team had accomplished.

Sultana and I were in the lounge long after Sonali and Steph left, even following check-in. I wasn’t feeling any better, but Sultana helped my situation by being the silly goose that she is. Culty (Sultana) never fails to brighten my day. I managed to get footage of her slipping on the hardwood flooring in Balch and belting out Hindi songs. We had a lot of fun, maybe a little bit too much fun, so I forced myself to walk up the 6 flights of stairs to my dorm room and get work done in there instead. I managed to get half of the blog done but wasn’t feeling any better. In fact, I felt worse than I had before. Eventually, I had to call it a night and head to bed.  

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