Sat 28/08/10 03:48
Meeting with friends

Today my first goal was to drive around Clovis to see what has changed since I was last here. I did a little of that earlier, but today I took it a bit more seriously, stopping at the more important locations instead of just driving by. My old house that I lived in while I was here is for sale so I spent about twenty minutes checking it out. It looks like it’s been empty for quite a while. The windows to the garage are broken out, the yard looks like it hasn’t been mowed all summer and the front porch has two huge wasp nests. It really makes me want to see how much they are asking for it. Wouldn’t that be kind of funny if I ended up buying my old house back? My only problem with that is the neighborhood has gone down even lower than it was when I lived there, and it wasn’t the best when I left in 2004, but if I could pick it up for cheap, it possibly could be a good investment.

Ken Curtis, Clovis, New Mexico Summer 2010   Sunset over Clovis, NM Summer 2010

About eleven in the morning I made it to ENMU to see some of the friends that I missed the day before. I was kind of nervous because it’s been something like two years since I last saw them and I haven’t kept in contact as much as I should have. My fears were soon dismissed when I saw Mic. I wrote about Mic and all that she has done for me in a page on my regular site (not the blog). I don’t want to go into the details, but let me say that seeing Mic, Cathy, Greg and Greg was one of the best experiences I’ve had, next to seeing my brother, this summer. All those names are professors that I first met in 1997 when I started attending Eastern New Mexico University as a student, and friends when I started teaching there in 2001. I consider them all to be nothing less that my family. They are, along with a few other friends that live in Clovis, the reason that I still consider this area to be my home even though I haven’t lived here for six years.

I hung out with one of the Gregs at his house for lunch and a beer and then later we all went out for an early dinner. It was a great time and reminded me of how much I miss living in Dubai. I’ve been in Dubai for three-plus years and still don’t have any connection to anyone or anything like I do here. It’s probably my fault, but the fact remains that Dubai really doesn’t feel like home to me.

After dinner I headed back to Canyon, Texas for my last night before taking the long trip back to Dubai. As a side note I stopped at an ATM to check my balance and all the money that was stolen from me was back in my account. What a nice thing to see!

I had a pretty good night’s rest last night and have been up for about an hour, maybe a little bit longer writing for the blog and trying to figure out my timings for the day. My flight to Dallas leaves Amarillo at almost three in the afternoon. I have to return the rental car, look for some clothes that I still need to buy, and there are some computer parts that I like to see if I could find. I don’t think that I’ll have any problem doing all that, but you never know. I also have to consider that I have layovers in every stop on my way back. I have two hours in Dallas and two in London, so that will mean that means the next time I will be somewhere to actually relax will be (with the time difference included) eleven at night tomorrow, about forty hours, or about twenty-six actual hours. Speaking of time, it’s about time that I start to get ready. Just like I started to miss my brother before he left about three days ago, I’m already starting to miss Texas and New Mexico. My next post will most likely be from Dubai, unless there’s Internet access from any of the airports that I stop at.

Sat 28/08/10 03:47
It is home…

It’s seven in the morning of the 24th, the day before I head back to Dubai and I’ve already been up for about an hour. I’ve had three cups of coffee, about four cigarettes, and now that I’m coffeed and cigaretted out I’m at a loss to find something to do. I guess I could take a shower and get ready to leave. That could burn about thirty minutes, then what would I do? I’ve got to say one thing before I go on about Clovis, New Mexico. I still miss my brother. I’m not sure why after two days I still miss him, but the fact is, that I’ve been thinking about how nice it would have been if he would have stuck around for a few more days. It could be that the two days we hung out was just enough time to talk about surface stuff, but I don’t know. I sure hope that he made it home. Since I don’t have access to the internet I’m feeling a little bit in the dark right now.

As soon as I could I headed to the bank yesterday to try to straighten out the theft of my money. I don’t know where I got the feeling that banks are nothing more than a necessity and they are, as a whole, nothing more than selfish-money-grubbing institutions that will do nothing to help you unless they benefit themselves, but Wells Fargo is really making me rethink my feelings on banks. Like I said, I went in first thing and was met by smiles, I explained why I was there, they offered me coffee and told me to have a seat. The banker came over and took control of the situation. It was really refreshing because he could see the fraudulent transactions and I didn’t really have to convince him, like I did when I called the bank from England. It took about an hour, and when I was done all the transactions were reversed and money was already being credited to my account. When I walked in, I thought that at best they would tell me that they would investigate and in about thirty days I find out if I’d get the money back. So, without a doubt to me Wells Fargo Bank has earned my loyalty as a customer, probably forever. After the situation was resolved, I stayed and talked with the banker for a little bit longer and he actually walked me to the door just like I would walk a friend to the door as they were leaving. Wells Fargo Rocks.

After the bank I headed to Clovis to see some friends. It’s been more than two years since my last visit and to be honest, I haven’t kept in contact with many of the people here. Time takes a toll on all things, and although I still consider all the people that I know here as friends it’s been a little bit strange showing up. The fact that I haven’t had Internet since I’ve been back to The States has made everything a little bit more difficult as well. I can’t warn people that I’ll be somewhere at a certain time. I did get to see two people yesterday though, and today I hope to see a few more.

This morning I woke up to rain. I don’t know if I’m the weather-jinx or it’s just coincidence that every place (except two) that I’ve gone in thirty-four days has rained, but I don’t like it. It’s August, the warmest time of the year… so why has it rained so much? Regardless of the weather, it’s been great to see all the old places that I used to go. Clovis hasn’t changed that much and for the most part I don’t think that it’s changed at all, so it feels like I never left. I can say that the “home” feeling that I get from Clovis is waning. It still feels like I belong here, but that feeling is not nearly as strong as it used to be. If things keep going as they have been, who knows, in five years I may not consider Clovis my home at all. I hope not though, I’ve always liked the idea that no matter where I lived, Clovis was my home.

It’s taken me about forty minutes to write this so it’s starting to get close to the point where I can actually find someplace to go or something to do. If I only had Internet I could kill at least another hour, maybe two and then it would be the perfect time to leave.

Sat 28/08/10 03:45
almost like home

It’s been something like three days since I added anything to the blog. There’s a couple of reasons for my lapse, but tonight I’m hoping to make everything right. First of all, I don’t have internet as I write this. I stopped at a motel and asked if they had wi-fi and they said yes, but unfortunately I’ve been unable to connect, so this entry will probably not make it to the blog until I get back to Dubai. It’s important to me though that I write now as most of what has transpired the last few days is still somewhat fresh in my mind.

I arrived in Amarillo, Texas without a hitch. I usually complain about my flights, but this time I got lucky for the most part. From London to Dallas I sat next to a very small girl from the Philippines that was probably the sweetest girl I’ve talked to in some time. She was a college student heading to New Mexico to go to school. It was her first time in The States, and she was a little bit nervous about what to expect. When we got to Dallas I have to say that it was probably the most pleasant time I’ve had on this trip, the airport was basically empty, the people were extremely polite, and for the two-hour layover I had there, I kept thinking that I could see myself living here. I’m not kidding when I say that everyone was polite either, I don’t think I’ve ever been treated as nicely as I was in Dallas. After a slight delay my flight to Amarillo landed to the warm Texas summer evening. Things were really going well. As I followed the other passengers through the gates I see my Brother standing there waiting for me. I can’t say that it was a complete shock since he wrote that he was in Canyon, but I can say that I was happy to see him. It’s been about five years since I’ve seen him or anyone else in my family and to have him make the trip to Texas, and then to meet me at the airport was one of the best things to happen to me in some time. I been on a lot of flights to nearly every corner of the world and this was the first time in about twenty years that anyone has met me when I got off an airplane.

Palo Duro Canyon, Texas Summer 2010  

Chuck Curtis, Palo Duro Canyon, Texas Summer 2010   ken curtis Palo Duro Canyon, Texas Summer 2010

The next two days my brother and I just hung out, went to Amarillo, and I did a little bit of shopping. I kind of felt sorry that Chuck had to wait around while I went shopping, but the shopping was a necessity for me. On Sunday morning he and I went hiking in the Palo Duro Canyon. I do a lot of walking through cities, in fact it’s how I get to know a city, but it’s really enjoyable when it comes to hiking along a path in the semi-wilderness. The crunch of the rocks under feet, the buzz of insects, and the lack of civilization all come together to make it almost therapeutic. In some ways it is kind of like some of my walks in Dubai, only it’s the sand under feet, the buzz of high-tension power lines, and the haze of the skyscrapers in the distance.

Chuck left Canyon after the hike and although I understand that he has a life that he had to get back to, I really wish that he would have stayed longer.

Wed 13/08/08 11:00

Right now I”m sitting in the airport and trying to use my computer but the screen is really dark…so dark that I can’t read what I’m writing. I don’t think I’ll be able to check my email until I get back to dubai in about two days.

sorry if you sent an email, but I hope that you understand…. I can’t see anything on the screen.

Ken

PS: I’m writing this part a few days later now that I’m home. When I was going through security at Albuquerque’s airport I saw a girl that looked just like Karen, a ex-girlfriend. It was kind of funny looking back at the situation now, but at the time my heart dropped down into my stomach and the “fight or flight” mechanism kicked in. I timed the security check so I was putting my shoes back on when she was collecting her belongings and went up and asked her if her name was Karen. I could see when I was close to her that it wasn’t her, but she could really have been Karen’s twin… and she said that she wasn’t. I had a butterflies for about 20 minutes after I asked her.

Sun 10/08/08 23:56

It’s late and I just got home. Since I don’t really feel like going to bed I figure it’s a good time to update my journal, this entry will be real time… meaning I’m not writing about something that happened a day or two ago.

I had a great day. 🙂 After my last post I took off to do get some more shopping in, but I took a detour and decided to go to the Cadillac Ranch. I can’t give you the reasons for it, but I can describe what the Cadillac Ranch is, it’s a bunch of old cars that have been partially buried. I don’t know the reason for it, but it’s an art piece that is pretty cool.

Later on I went an hung out with Mandy at her shop. She and Alex have an art gallery and framing shop in the heart of Canyon. That was about 5, and at about 7 Jan came over and we went to dinner. Great dinner and great company. We finished the night having coffees at Hastings.

Tomorrow I’m going to finish all the things that I need to do before I leave to go back to Clovis. I should be on the road early evening.

Sun 10/08/08 13:40

I’m in Canyon, Texas right now. It’s about 100 miles from Clovis, and in many ways it’s very similar to Clovis.

Yesterday, I got into Canyon and rented a motel room and decided to go for a walk. I really like to walk for some reason, and since I got to the States I haven’t done any. Considering with the amount of walking I did on my trip, I was starting to feel confined or maybe a better way to describe it was like I was getting into a rut. I’ve actually been watching tv. 🙁

So I emailed friends here to let them know that I was in town and then took off for one of my long walks that I used to do when I lived here. What I didn’t take into consideration was how the weather burned me out. When I got back to the motel about 2 hours later I was so tired that I took a nap. Nothing wrong with that except that I told the people that I emailed that I’d call them when I got back… oops, my bad. Anyway, I’m laying on the bed trying to wake up when I hear pounding on the windows and door. I put on my shorts and look outside and Jan, Alex and Mandy are all there. Talk about feeling stupid. 🙂 They were there to pick me up for a party tonight in Amarillo.

They were nice enough to give me a few minutes to take a shower before we left.

The party was fun, it was more of a get-together than what most people consider to be a party. About 14 people all hanging out and playing games. Well, I was the only one that didn’t play any games… I don’t know why sometimes I am so anti-everything… I just didn’t feel like it I guess. We stayed there until about 1am.

It was a good time.

Mandy

This was the team that lost. Notice they’re sporting the “L” for loser?

Today was more of a work day for me… not really work, but more of getting ready to leave for dubai day. In dubai I can’t really find clothes that I like. It seems that everything I find there is all fashion stuff, and if you know me, I’m nothing about fashion. So the last few months in Dubai, as my clothes were wearing out, I planned on when I was back here to stock up on jeans, shirts, and all the other stuff one needs. That’s what I’ve been doing so far today. I may need to make one more trip in a few hours to get make sure that I have enough for another year in Dubai.

Tonight I’m planning on dinner with friends and then tomorrow I’m going to the school to visit with some of my old profs. I hope that they’re there.

One thing that I don’t know if I’ve mentioned or not, is that I’ve been pretty vocal about losing the “sense of home” about Clovis, but I need to mention that it’s not just Clovis. I don’t want to go back to Dubai either. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a good time as I did on my travels around the world and I don’t want that feeling to end. The places that I’ve seen, the people that I’ve met, and all the other things that have happened to me have made it the best time of my life. I don’t want it to end… I want to book a trip back to Europe and probably head right back to Venice, and start again.