May 18, 2010

Colorado Diary - Fort Collins Public Library

In any new place one can observe several good things and several bad things. To take good things and ignore bad things requires a certain level of training, which comes out of practice. Often, we tend to be biased by accepting things that we like as good and things that we hate as bad. One has to reach a level to understand and appreciate the fact that often times things that we like the most need not be good.

I was contemplating on the good and bad when I was beginning to feel that I got lost in Downtown,  north of CSU on Saturday. Earlier, my roomie dropped me at the Fort Collins Public Library, which is in Downtown, about 4 to 5 miles from my apartment. Having no other job to do in my room, I went to explore downtown, one of the busiest center in Fort Collins. Since I am yet to receive my first month stipend here, I choose not to shop and lose the few dollars which I still carry and so I went straight ahead to the public library. The library is well maintained, and very well organized. Its not very large and not too small. I should say its spacious enough to house the collections that they have. The ground floor is the juvenile section, where they have collections in all forms such as text, graphics, in various fonts for kids of varying ages.

The public library was not crowded on the day I went.  Partly because Fort Collins is a college city with majority of the population coming from CSU students. The vacation started on last Friday and so the population dwindled to about 10% of the total. I went to the first floor of the library after skimming through the juvenile section. On the stairs was a display board exhibiting various competitions and events asking the locals to participate, however much of them got over already. One of the event which caught my attention is the reading competition wherein the participant should read a book continuously for 4 hours!

After coming out of the public library, I lost my direction and so wandered along a random path. On the way, I asked a person how to go to downtown. He was in a hurry and so he didn't stop. I returned back to the library road and found a bus stop. I remembered that some of the buses don't run on vacation days. Not knowing if the bus will come in this route or not, not knowing if it will take me to the downtown transit center, I walked slowly to the bus stop counting on my fate. To my surprise, I found an old lady sitting on the bus stop talking over her cell phone to someone.

I approached her and asked if the bus that comes to this stop will go to the downtown transit center and received a positive reply from her. After she finished her call, we don't have any other job to do until the bus comes, which is about 10 minutes from then. So I casually started talking to her, telling that I came to see the public library. Then I told her I am coming from India, came here to CSU as an exchange visitor and will stay here for about 2 months. She was surprised to hear from me that I am doing Ph.D from IIT Madras and that I will be finishing it in another couple of years.  She told me that her daughter have just finished her school and will be joining some college next semester.

We talked about the weather at Fort Collins. Then she said she enjoys traveling and she has traveled herself to several countries in Asia, Europe and Africa including China and Pakistan, but never to India. She said India has changed a lot since her childhood days. She likes Indian culture which she came to know through Indian immigrants staying near to her house. Then the talk moved on to the places to see in and around Fort Collins. Earlier, my cousin brother had planned to take me to Aspin, a ski resort. But the old lady said there is nothing to see in Aspin except some wealthy and rich people from all over the world. Rather she asked me to go to Estes park from where I can get a beautiful view of the mountains.

I am still planning the trip with my cousin brother and we are yet to finalize our plan. My bet will be we will travel to Estes park, take a peak-to-peak drive having breathtaking view of the mountains through the natural forest, drive up to rocky mountains park and end up the trip at Denver. I will post about my trip after I undertake it, which will be by the end of this month.

Wondering if my contemplation have got anything to do with this article? Nope, it doesn't have anything to do with it :P.