Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I have standards

  First of all, it's really hard to type with a bum pointer finger.  Just wanted to air that.

  Second...not at Gould Farm this morning as was planned.  I got there last night around 8:30 and somehow managed to find the right building to go to.  All that was told me was that I was suppose to go to the Main House where someone would show me my room on the second floor.  Well, no one was waiting for me, in fact it seemed like no one even knew I was coming.  I ended up just asking any person who passed me if they were staff and finally found a girl who seemed slightly put off that I was asking her about where I should stay.  

  Well, she took me up to the 2nd floor and opened the Visitors Room...the bed wasn't made up.  Went over to the next room, the Overnight Room, and, again, the bed wasn't made up, but there were sheets laid on the bed and the top blankets bunched up on the velvety, blue recliner.  Honestly, the room was reminiscent of a hostel I stayed at in Romania back in 2000 where over half the people I traveled with got bed bugs after a nights rest, or perhaps I should say a restless night.  The room I stayed in, the Overnight Room, was a small square, maybe 10 by 10 feet with a rickety desk, a recliner my grandpa would sit in, and a single bed.  In the shallow, single closet there were 2 half empty laundry detergent containers and another wadded up blanket.  The walls were white, okay, whitish and the pull down vinyl curtain had a hole ripped in it and no longer rolled up and down.  

  Then there were the bathrooms.  Out of the two bathrooms I used on the 2nd floor, neither had toilet paper, the sink in one was covered, and I do mean covered with hair from several times shaving.  To be honest, I didn't even wash my hands because I didn't want to touch the handles of the sink, it was just that nasty.  There was mold growing on both of the shower curtains and in general they looked as if they hadn't been cleaned for at least a month with heavy usage.  Oh, and they reeked like piss.  Bonus.  

  So after taking in my living situations and wanting to curl up in a corner and cry, I decided to muster up some energy to go downstairs and use the computer and interact with the people.  Well, out of the 6 people in the computer/tv room, 5 were playing some sort of in-depth computer game and were really into it and on top of that were using all the computers.  So I was left to my room.  No phone reception, no wi-fi, just me in the whitish cell with only a florescent light overhead to keep me company.

  Well, I decided last night that I was not going to stay.  I considered just leaving right then at 9pm, but then considered the sleeping options at that car.  So, I decided to sleep in the 3rd world hostel, wake up this morning at 5:30 and be on my way.  So that's what I did.  Now I'm sitting in this hip coffee shop in Pittsfield, Massachusetts eating a warm muffin and sipping coffee at Dottie's Coffee Lounge.  So good and I dare say better than the alternative morning I could have had.

  I'm sure that Gould Farm is a vibrant place in it's own right, but as far as first impressions go...there was not much to call home about.  Actually, I did call home and to let out some stream.  I think first experiences/impressions have a lasting voice and strong words to say about a place.  I was not impressed.  I had a few hours on my drive from Spring Lake Ranch in Vermont to refocus my energy and prepare myself to soak in another experience.  I know that by the time I pulled in the parking lot at Gould Farm, that I was really ready to be there, honestly and truly.  There is always the reality of comparison...we do that as humans. My first footsteps on the Farm were fresh and present, but I cannot help, in this moment, comparing my two experiences to each other.  

  I doubt I need to spell out which farm had a lasting, positive imprint.

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