Posted by: nastypen | October 12, 2006

A train adventure and the Washington DC nightlife

Ok, it’s 12 midnight here at the capital of the most powerful nation on earth. I’m staying at my sister’s friend’s pad. I’m going to sleep on her inflatable bed. I hope I don’t burst it.

I am very happy that I am here away from the dreary of New Jersey. I’ll just walk around the capital and go to museums. But I am here for the International Comics Art Festival at the Library of Congress. No, this is not a convention with geeks in costume speaking in Klingon. This is a three-day event discussing about comics ACADEMICALLY.

So, I can’t wait for topics like comics in the light of the Rwanda Genocide. I could not attend the Komikon at the University of The Philippines Diliman but, man, the topics here are much more interesting that seeing people dress up in their favorite comic book character. I hope I get to meet some really nice people and we can talk about comics in lieu of Marxist Dialectical theoretical frameworkand all that brainy jazz. hahahaha.

I’m just happy to be here. As in really really happy.

I like D.C. I will have tears streaming down my face as I revisit the places my dad took us to. I miss my dad. It’ll be his death anniversary soon and I think this is a nice way of celebrating his life.

I took the Amtrack train from New Jersey. It was chaotic. The trains are on time and fast to board to give way to the next train going somewhere else. If I boarded the wrong train, I could have ended up somewhere in Delaware, which is not good.

So, at exactly 6:37pm, i boarded my train to Washington DC. I sat next to this African-American guy with cornrows and the whole ghetto look bobbing his head as he listens to Lil John’s Crunk beats with his laptop. My trip will be three hours. I was reading my book, minding my business when an altercation happened.

This lady confronted the train’s conductor. She was saying with a European accent “Give me your name!” She was flicking the guy’s chest searching for a name tag. Now, the conductor is a 6 foot something African American man. He looked at me and said, “Did you see that? Did you see that she touched me? ” She turned to woman and raised his voice, “Don’t touch me!” She was belligerent, “I want to talk to your boss and kept poking at him. Oh no she didn’t! He flicked her hand away and growled “Don’t touch me!” Now it was her turn to yell, “Don’t you dare touch ME!”

Oh hell no. I just wanted to read.

So, a supervisor came and there was a screaming match as the train careened down Philadelphia’s glittering lights. The conductor pointed at me and yelled, “I got a witness!”

Oh hell no.

So as the lady went back to her seat, the guy went to me and asked me if I were willing to leave my name for his report. I agreed because I thought this guy’s job is on the line because of some rude passenger. My actual reason is, how can you say no to a six-foot something black man with a temper? So, I gave my name and my number in America. He had a look of gratitude to him and I told him, “Everything will be alright.” He just smiled and lumbered on collecting tickets.

Hey, the guy was just doing his job. I thought what would I do in his place as some lady poking me like I’m a side of beef?

Along the way, I tried figuring out how to use a T-mobile. It was lent to me by a cousin’s friend for the trip. She said she is not using it much, might as well let someone benefit from it.She gave it to me as I was about to go to the train station. She smiled at me and coyly said, “You’ll figure it out.” What is she, challenging me?

i managed to load money to the account without anybody’s help. I managed to surf the web and check my mails. I managed to text her and some friends.

She replied, “You already know how to use it?”

I’m not exactly stupid, am I?

So, imagine my sigh of relief as I arrived in Washington DC. I like the train station. Very stately and you could feel the groaning of history from its walls.

So, I got off and met my sister’s friend. We ate at thsi place where I could hear people talk about North Korea and other geopolitical issues. I ordered salad and red wine. i feel so first world but then I remember my wallet is third world. I ‘m not proud to say that my sister’s friend insisted that she pay for dinner. I mean, I’m abusing her for the condo unit and I type this entry using her internet. I’ll just look for free Wifi spots.

I’m staying in her snazzy condo unit. I like the view. This is far from the pink walls of my cousin’s room with dangling Hello Kitties and the view is the wall of your next door neighboor. I checked out the map and saw my destinations are pretty far off. But the way to get there is just a matter of two straight lines. I figure walking to these will places will take about thirty minutes. I don’t mind walking as long as the weather is not crazy with the walls of humidity like in Manila.

Well, i’s 1:30 am and the convention starts at 9. I have to start walking by about 7 am. I want to walk slowly as I enjoy the trees change colors to welcome autumn.

It is beautiful and I am happy.



  1. Have fun there in Washington DC! I wonder when will I ever get to visit that place? I really want to visit the Smithsonian Institute, National Archives and the Library of Congress. Oh well, maybe in about twenty years or so……

  2. I just saw the photos. You said you had a hard time uploading it? Is that the phone your cousin’s friend thought you can’t figure out? Didn’t you tell them that you graduate cumlaude when you graduated college? Ü

    Geesh… just because you are not like them doesn’t mean you’re stupid… gahd!

    Anyway… I am happy that you are HAPPY. Finally, I get to read that word in your blog. You must definitely enjoy your stay there and NEVER go back to Jersey City 😉 I wish I can go back there too and enjoyed it more with my loved friends and you know who (at the moment)… too bad I can’t. May be we can travel together in the next 20 years or so… hahaha!!!

    Just have fun! Send some postcards… envy me more! :p

    Be safe! (in all context)

  3. Btw, the shot on the train station was soooo nice… the motion/blur effect…

    LOVE IT!!! Ü

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