“Home” is a concept I struggle with. Is home where I was born? Where my family is stationed? Where my parents are from? Where I go to school? Where I go for the holidays? For military brats and other transients, there is simply no easy answer to the question, “Where are you from?”
While I can’t tell you where home is, I can tell you where I am right now. I live in a college town in northwest Indiana called West Lafayette. I’ve lived on both coasts of the USA, I’ve lived in the South, and I’ve lived in both Asia and Europe. As you can imagine, I experienced a pretty serious case of culture shock when I moved to the Midwest two years ago. I don’t know the first thing about corn or soybeans and I’ve never played Euchre. I’ve never lived so far from hills and mountains and water.
You might think Indiana would bore me after having traveled all my life. Well, sometimes it does. But a true traveler knows how to adjust to his or her surroundings. A true traveler finds wonder in any place – even at home, even in Indiana.
So I’d like to share a few highlights of the Greater Lafayette Area, starting from my window. Call me boring, but one of my favorite pastimes is sitting by the window, watching the world go by and the seasons change.
And just outside, there’s plenty to do. I make at least one cafe trip a week, usually to a little place down the street called Greyhouse. They serve smooth-tasting fair trade coffee and boast an amazing selection loose leaf teas. It’s a great place to read, study, or just sit and relax.
Himalayan Gold and my favorite book
Once in a while I venture down the hill for a stroll around town. It’s small and quiet most of the time, but the old brick buildings and colorful storefronts are worth the occasional visit.
Colorful downtown Lafayette
If you only have time for a short visit in Lafayette, check out the town’s favorite local landmarks. Grab a burger and some ice cold root beer at Triple XXX. My favorite menu item is the Duane Purvis, known by some as the peanut butter burger. Don’t knock it ’til you try it! Also spend an hour or two wandering around Von’s shops, where you can find pretty much anything: books, records, trendy clothing, beads, incense, cards, toys, comics, you name it.
The Duane Purvis All American
Von’s shops, a West Lafayette landmark
Also worthwhile is a visit to campus, which is where I will be for the next two weeks finishing up school projects and studying for exams, along with the other 40,000 or so students enrolled at Purdue. Wish us luck! I can’t wait until the end of the semester when I can finally get back to enjoying all that our quirky little town has to offer.