“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
–Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”
For as long as I remember, I have tried to take a different route from what I normally take, even if there was a norm. What that means is if ever I felt like something was becoming routine, I would change it up OR I would go against the usual flow: leaving from the front door of the exam hall when 200 others would leave from the back door, seeking for unfamiliar spots at a familiar place, or my most recent pastime is taking different lines on the subway on the way to work. My best friend was a patient soul who gave in to my whims of walking along one route on one day, and a different route the other day (except maybe on the days the path I propose would very obviously make us late for the next class).
When I came to Saadiyat (which translates to “happy island” in Arabic), my “playground” so to speak became more vast. There were so many different ways to get from one place to another, which in my imagination I thought of as hidden passageways (including: emergency exit doors, side doors from classrooms, staircases which are obviously more convenient since it fits in exercise to one’s busy schedule and avoid the usually long wait for the elevators). It was meant as a way to vary my everyday routine, and I found it oddly satisfying.
I’m taking a different route to my workplace as I write this. I’m on a train I usually don’t take, getting off at a stop I’ve never been to before.
After 10 minutes, my stop arrives. As I leave the train station and enter a part of town that I have not seen, I take a moment to absorb my surroundings. I see the Municipal Building Brooklyn and is that the French flag I see? I wonder.
I decide to not use Google maps and instead approach someone who looks like they would know where my destination is. It’s not a far walk and I look around myself, noting the diners and restaurants along the way. I come across this space, where the blue tables accentuate the blueness of the sky.
(This post was written in response to this week’s DiscoverWP prompt “Shared Journeys“)