New York - New Jersey
In August 2000 I spent 10 days in New York City. I was young then and I could party all night and sleep for four hours and then go and see the sights of that wonderful city. And so I did. I carried with me the Mamiya 7 camera which was absolutely not the most convenient camera for snapshots because of it's size and weight. I also had four rolls of Fuji120 films with me so I took pictures only when I really felt that now is the right time and place.
One night in a gay bar I met Alduar. I had noticed him earlier and felt bad because that kind of guys usually are not interested in me. To my surprise the bartender brought me a beer and said that it was from that gentleman who happened to be the guy I had laid my eyes on earlier. Then the gentleman came to me and we started talking.
His name was Alduar. He was from Argentina or Colombia, I can not remember. He's English skills were very poor so we hardly got to talk about anything. Anyway, he told me: "You and me, bus New Jersey?" and I could tell what that meant. So, we actually took the bus from Central Station and traveled from the concrete jungle to his suburbian home that night. The scene was just like from an American movie with the quiet neighborhood, white picket fences and for the first time in my life I could here live that cricket sound I had heard in the movies so many times. He was living upstairs of some latin-american family he was also working for. We spent an unforgettable night and next morning I went back to Manhattan. Of course I gave him the phone number of the hotel I was staying in with my friend.
Alduar called me a couple of days later. I went to meet him at the Central Station and it was just pure luck that I was able to find him sitting by one the many escalators because his instructions were not that good because of his bad English. We went back to New Jersey and this time I had my camera, Mamiya 7, and a roll of film with me.
Next day we had to say goodbye again and this time it was forever. It was really difficult to explain to Alduar that I was taking a flight to another continent the next day. I was talking like this: "Me turismo, Europa, Finland, Flight mañana etc.". I could tell he finally understood my words when I saw the tears in his eyes.
I gave Alduar my mobile number and address, too. He called me twice a couple of years later and sent me some heart-breaking letters. I also tried to call the number he gave me in his letters but there was never any answer. After that I have not heard a word from him.
This series is the only time ever when I have taken snapshots as a travel diary. "New York -New Jersey" is a story about love at first sight and barricades between languages and gaps between worlds. Sometimes in life we don't have anything else to share but our emotions.