not knowing when cynthia would wake up, i crawled out of her sister's bed and got dressed at 8am, reading yesterday's newspaper in the dining/living room. cynthia woke up an hour later, surprised that i was already awake. i had some toast for breakfast while cynthia called a local property owner to arrange a viewing of his house for sale. while cynthia briefly went out to see the place, i waited in the apartment, reading the newspaper (a tour bus traveling from new york to atlanta overturned on the highway killing two passengers, more clues on the columbia tragedy including diagrams, and birdwatching in the city), checking out the maps (her NFT new york city guide book really helpful), and figuring out what i'd be doing on my last day in NYC. i was surprised to get a call from mandy (former srm designer), whom i called when i first got to NYC to see what she was up to. we chatted for a little bit, comparing life in boston to life in NYC, before her phone went dead and any further attempts to reach her brought me to her voicemail. when cynthia came back, she made tuna melts for lunch, which was the first time i've ever had it before. as soon as the food was ready, her friend robert stopped by, and he had lunch with us. robert apparently used to live in the porter square area of cambridge, so right away there was a connection. the three of us talked mainly about movies, such topics as comparing how lord of the rings the movie differed from the book (which i've never read). after lunch it was time for me to leave, cynthia walked me downstairs, we exchanged some pleasant words, we hugged, i left.

i took the R train to canal street in chinatown, then went to get my bus ticket back to boston ($15). with more than an hour to spare before the bus would arrive, i did a lot wandering around, buying some confections, a bag of mangos, and a cup of bubble ice tea. i watched a chinese new year procession of lion dancers, a gathering of curious bystanders with cameras forming a human barrier. some tourists asked me if i knew where little italy was. it was cool that they thought i looked native enough to know, but little did they realize i wasn't the person to ask. fortunately, i sort of knew where the remnants of little italy are (the pieces that haven't been swallowed by the invading asian horde), and was able to point them in the right direction. at the designated time i went back to the place where i bought my ticket, which was also the place where the bus would be. there was a white guy (musician from the looks of the guitar case he carrying) waiting there as well, i assumed he was also going to boston. at 3:05pm he had an outburst, confronting the woman who sold him his bus ticket, "it's a 3pm bus, right? my ticket says 3pm. where's the bus? it's 3pm." a lot of chinese nearby rolled their eyes at the white devil trying to assert some control over a situation he had no sway over. 15 minutes later the bus finally arrived, i could hear him scoffing behind me as i got on the bus.

unlike the ride that brought me to NYC (a large tour bus), this one was just a minibus. besides the high-strung musician, there was a towny girl with big hair, a young indian guy, and this asian girl who sat in the row of seats across from me. as soon as the bus started to roll, i tilted back my seat, put in my earplugs, and promptly fell asleep. 2 hours later at twilight we stopped at a macdonalds for a brief rest. i used the bathroom and got myself a double cheese burger meal with fries and a drink. i got back on the bus to see the asian girl meticulously applying makeup to her face. although i didn't really notice her before, once she was all painted, she looked pretty good. i tried not to notice, playing cool eating my fries one by one. tragedy would soon engulf my little world as soon as the bus started to roll again. the cup of soda i was holding between my thighs on the edge of the seat suddenly tipped over as if it was on a hinge, spilling every last drop of carbonated soft drink onto the floor of the bus. nice, real smooth. i finished my two hamburgers and went back to sleep thirsty. it was a restless kind of sleep, every so often i'd be stirred awake by our speeding bus quickly breaking to avoid crashing into the cars directly ahead of us or swerving into a lane change.

2 hours later, approaching boston, the spilled drink had already dried up leaving nothing more than some sticky residue on the floor. i started to get dressed and by the time we pulled into chinatown, i quickly hopped out of the bus before the driver could discover that i left a mess on his vehicle. not taking responsibilities for my mistakes, one of my finer traits! the familiar mbta red line awaited, brought me to porter square, where i walked to my house, happy to be back home again. waiting for me was my ups package from buy.com (a set of earbuds) and john miller's wedding invitation.

trivia: i took a total of 436 photos during this whole new york city trip.