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Alice Yang
Yang is a contributing columnist for the Fort Bend Star.
Alice Yang is a student at Columbia University. She can be reached at gy2151@ Columbia.edu.
This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.

On the road


The past week a tornado has just swept through my room, whirling clothes away into bulk bags, furniture bouncing back and forth down the stairs, and me across town buying last minute whatnots only to forget some other thing back at the store.

Oh yes, it's moving time.

After getting back from China deliciously jet-lagged for 13 hours, I, bloated on bloating airplane food (chewy beef and rotting lettuce), started the Big Move.

Systematically planned, it was supposed to go like this: clean room from left to right, the shelves, the bed, and then the closet. Move on to the restroom to collect toiletries, then office room for school supplies.

And so I started; patience my only friend helping me with the daunting task. But after a couple of hours folding shirts and bubble-wrapping furniture, I realized how many things I was missing off of the college check-list.

I started to panic. With less than a week before me and more than four suitcases to fill, I was in a race with time.

The whole day, I paced around the room, multiple arms flying out all over the place cleaning, sorting and packing. Finally, with three trips to Wal-mart and a clean sweep around the house, I finally got everything.

Friday came, and we were to leave at 4 in the morning. By car. Driving two days. All the way to New York City.

Yeah, I know. Crazy. But plane ticket prices have sky-rocketed due to the college cramp and I have too much stuff that won't pass airport security.

Thus I, and two trash bags full of mattress sheets/pillows, a laundry basket, my new printer, boom box, and the mini fridge sat buckled in the back. My parents were up front driving.

Our goal the first day was to go all the way to Knoxville, Tennessee. That takes just a mere, oh, nineteen hours.

As the Texas plains turned into Louisiana marshes, as the marshes rolled into Mississippi trees and Alabama mansions, as the mansions became Georgian houses and finally the Appalachian foothills, Tennessee came as the sun went.

I drove about six knee-shaking hours, by the end my right thigh muscles so sore from the pedal-pushing workout that I swear my legs are now an uneven size.

The daily fare was deluxe. Breakfast potato chips and popcorn, and lunch and dinner were combined into one fabulous foot-long feast at Subways.

Sometimes, the car dipped dangerously low in the back, huffing and puffing from the weight of a fridge in the seat and four suitcases in the trunk. Stepping on the gas would only elicit a tortured groan and a lackluster forwards push to go on.

The poor thing.

By late afternoon the second day, emerging from a restless nap, I realized we've reached New Jersey. Garden state lives up to its name, with some leaves of trees already flaming under Autumn's coming embrace and little wooden houses dispersed in the greenery. It was picturesque New England at its best.

The next morning, the grand final morning, we drove down the New Jersey turnpike and through the Lincoln Tunnel. As the neon light rims of underground cylinders flashed like a time warp before my eyes, it felt like I was taking a tour through the phases of my life. Elementary school sun daze. Middle school insecurities. High school trials. I'm going back to the future.

And finally, emerging, New York City, Manhattan, was shining right before my eyes.

Alice Yang is a student at Columbia University.
She can be reached at gy2151@ Columbia.edu.

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   Last Update:  September 27, 2007