Tears swell up.
Words turn crass.
Not to stay.
But that’s okay.
Tears swell up.
Words turn crass.
Not to stay.
But that’s okay.
There are two kinds of travel fever, as far as I am concerned.
The first is the one that can be a curse, but is ultimately a good feeling. It’s that itch, that undefinable wiggle in your heart that tells you to go, to get out, to move, to travel, to be somewhere else. It’s that feeling that begins to mount inside your chest two or three months before the blessed event of the vacation or trip – that stomach-leaping, heart-racing, whoop-of-excitement sort of fever that grips you joyfully in moments when you don’t expect it. It’s that feeling of anticipation that’s almost unbearable because it’s so wonderful and intense.
Then there’s the second kind of travel fever. This is the kind that is only a curse, and comes with some similar symptoms. This time, though, the stomach leaps with fear and nerves, the heart races with anxiety and worry and the sound caught in the throat is more of a moan, a stifled sigh, a cry of dismay and exhaustion and an instinct that says that home is the best and travel is unneeded, a hassle and a trial. It’s the kind of travel fever that puts the entire household into a bad mood, that makes the various packers snap at each other and rush around trying to recover lost objects while inevitably finding them in the entirely wrong place and blaming everyone else for it. It’s the feeling that grips your very guts as you push yourself through the various tasks and chores of lugging, checking in, being polite to security and trudging around dismal shops in the airport.
I am in the grips of this second travel fever. My mother and I fly to New York tonight in order to complete that dreaded chore – vacating my dorm room and putting all my things in storage to await my return, hopefully, in the fall. We will be flying back on Friday, and this is most assuredly not a pleasure jaunt but more of a necessary and emotionally painful inconvenience. Hopefully, all will go well and we’ll suffer no travel delays due to various weather conditions!
Promises are made to be broke, I suppose. Nevertheless, it literally makes me ache that I haven’t the time to write here nor read the words of my friends. The only thing that comforts me at the moment is the fact that in less than two weeks I’ll be boarding an airplane and flying home for a month, during which I hope to rejuvenate and let my creative juices flow for a while.
If I have my way, I’ll be taking a writing workshop next semester, and so I’ll be able to combine work for class and posts to share here. Also, hopefully, as next semester will be my second one and I’ll be a bit more blooded and not quite as green and new to the whole intensive studying experience, I’ll be able to have more time to sit at my leisure and pursue all the blogs that I dearly miss here…
Next week my work should – hopefully – be winding down in general, and so I hope to be able to start to re-familiarize myself with this space again, starting then already.
As my Victoria story doesn’t seem to be doing very well, I’m taking a one day [hopefully] break from it to give this announcement: I’m flying again. This time it’s with Mr. B. F. We’re going to London together for the second time; we leave tomorrow, July 14th and arrive back in Israel on the 24th. This will be a vacation of the proper sort – lounging in cafes drinking cappuccinos, taking walking tours and going shopping at the myriad thrift stores. Basically, rest and relaxation only with lots of walking around in between the two.
England is definitely one of my favorite places in the world. Not only has it brought the world bands like The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Queen, it is also beautiful and can boast one of the greatest cities in the world: London. And London itself is probably my second favorite city in the world – second only to Los Angeles, which smells like home to me in many ways.
Now London has its fair share of problems, I’m sure. There’s the issues of constant traffic, the congestion charges, the occasional breaking down of one tube line or another – but for a tourist it’s a fantasy-land. Full of history, full of FREE museums, full of marketplaces, full of large and small and medium sized streets that are simply fabulous to discover – it is incredible.
As always, I hope to be able to write regularly, and might actually have more of a chance to this time as I’ll have more free “down” time, but cannot promise.
It’s time to get going again. I’m packed, mostly, and my carry-on bag is as of yet non-existent. Those things don’t worry me though. By now, I’m a pro at closing up suitcases and backpacks and getting out of the house and into a waiting taxi at 3AM as I’ll be doing tonight. The thought of boarding a plane and beginning the journey to the United States is what worries me at the moment. Not so much the fear of being struck by lightning [though I must say that plane that disappeared has made me fearful] as much as the fear of tedium and inactivity.
I’ve gone on and on about flights before now, and so I’m not going to tackle this issue now. What I am going to substitute it with, though, is the matter of long layovers. Long layovers that aren’t long enough to warrant leaving the airport, but are plenty long enough to make the travel-time seem just about endless. This is the kind I will have on this flight – a four hour layover in Zurich. The Zurich airport is an odd one – pristine and clean-cut, long [a.k.a endless] hallways leading to the gates and bathrooms that seem to be tucked away from the normal person’s eyesight as if by spite.
However, I’m comforting myself with the fact that my mother and I are both word-lovers, and so we’ll spend our time by doing crossword puzzles and playing the brilliant card game called “Quiddler.” If any of you love words, I recommend you buy Quiddler right now. It’s brilliant.
Hopefully I’ll be writing fairly regularly, and maybe even with interesting stories or tidbits from my trip!
Well, I’m in the United States of America, using a new and adorable miniature laptop, also known as a net-book, and finally catching up with this blog. I cannot, sadly, keep up with my usual schedule of all the blogs I usually read – I hardly have time to write, let alone browse at my leisure. However, if I happen to find the time, I will definitely pop over and say hi to you all. Hopefully, I will be forgiven for my lapse of attention for the time being.
I would like to share some thoughts I had while on the long [long, long, long] flight to the US.
Some people are afraid of flying. Mortally afraid. Many know how unreasonable their fear is and how safe air-crafts are these days, but still, something about being so very high up in the air in a vehicle they cannot control on their own – something about all this terrifies them in a way they can’t deal with, and it is enough to make them give up travel to distant countries altogether.
I am not one of these. As one who has traveled back and forth to Europe and the US at least once every year since birth, I suppose I could be considered quite the veteran on airplanes. Heck, I even remember the days where you could go to the back of the plane to a “smoking row” if you so wished. So, as I say, I’m quite confidant about flying.
I still believe there is a healthy amount of fear and respect due to a few tons of aluminum that manage to rise into the air and race across the face of the Earth for hours. I suppose you could say that I regard airplanes like I would a horse – handy mode of transportation and all, but hurt it or disrespect it and you might just end up in the mud. And, in the case of airplanes, probably very dead too.
So every time the airplane stars to shake with turbulance, my stomach can’t help but get tied in knots, my jaw clenches of its own accord and my hands squeeze each other for comfort. That’s jut the way it goes, I suppose.
Flying is a journey that begins hours before it is actually underway with packing, passport gathering, and final checks of house and pets and luggage. Once the keys lock the door and the luggage is in the taxi, it is still only the merest beginning of the ordeal. Airports are no picnic, and the security in Israel is stricter than most places. Young, post-military-service men and women look at the passports in an appraising, ask if you’ve packed your own bags, and explain that they’re asking because you might have taken something from someone that you deemed innocent but would actually be dangerous.
A few lines, machines, check-ins and difficulties later, the next part of the trip begins: the perils of the Duty-Free Shopping Area. While many are drawn to this most dangerous of all airport pursuits, my mother and I are not among those many – in fact, quite the opposite. While others might stroll up and down the lanes of various James Richardsons and Tommy Hilfigers and The-Tie-Shops, we huddle in the most remote of coffee-shops, sip our beverages, and try to hide from the too-alert-for-this-hour shoppers.
Next, of course, is the constant peering at watches and clocks, the straining of the ears to hear the garbled messages that come over the loudspeaker, and, in the end, the walk to the right gate quite a while before boarding starts, just so we won’t be late. Here, again, begins the process of tickets, passports, lines and shuffling forward one step at a time, until our feet actually set upon the cheaply carpeted floor of the airplane, and we find our cheaply leathered or upholstered seats. Setting our behinds down in those, we ready ourselves for the many, many, many hours ahead.
All this was just the beginning.
As countless and timeless stories tell us, we humans have always striven for something more than our mortal talents. Stories as old as the Greek and Roman myths tell of people who had the gift of seeing the future or supernatural strength or cunning that took them far. Stories in the bible tell of the gift of speaking with animals or of healing or of being able to talk to god. We’ve always been and always will be fascinated with things that are beyond the every-day things that we can do.
I’ve heard many people ask each other what superpower they’d choose if they could. This question has always stumped me.
Mind reading? Oh no, way too horrible. I don’t want to know what everyone is thinking, because most thoughts would probably be either extremely tedious [“I’m hungry… What should I eat? Yum, grilled cheese!”] or disturbing [“What I wouldn’t do to that guy… *Rated R thoughts*”].
Invisibility? Seems depressing, in a way. Sure, it would be useful for spying on people or stalking them, but I wonder if it would be that easy to turn it on and off like that. Plus, stalking should involve more effort than that or it’s not worth it, right?
Super strength? Meh – Buffy Summers is cool, but I’ve yet to face a vampire and so I don’t really know whose face I’d want to bash in anyhow. Girl-power would be cool, but I don’t want to be scary…
I suppose the only superpower I’d really welcome would be the ability to fly at will. Being able to soar around would be wonderful, and I can’t think of a drawback to it. But really, that’s the only super-power that I can see as being worth anything.
So… how about you?
-Get to the airport in plenty of time and stay positive and cheerful even if there’s such a long line that you think it must be leading to Timbucktoo and not to the check-in desks.
-Buy a bad cup of coffee, even if you’re not going to finish it because it’s too hot/cold/icky, because it’s traditional and social.
-Get something chocolaty to bring on the plane with you. You never know when you’ll get a sweet tooth.
-Make eye contact with security people. They like it when you smile as well.
-Think about how much time you still have left to travel. Breaking down and crying in the middle of airport terminals in dispair is not a socially acceptable thing to do.
-Talk and joke loudly about the bombs in your luggage. You’ll end up missing you flight due to sitting in a cold room with a lamp shining in your eyes while tiny security people try to get you to confess what you’ve done.
-Sleep before a flight. You’ll want to fall asleep on the plane, not be wide-eyed, jittery and full of adrenaline.
-Begin conversations with people in the lines. You’ll end up needing to sit with them and hear all about their Uncle Morty’s social problems at his job and how many kidney stones they’re having taken out the day after tomorrow.
-Lose all hope for ever reaching your destination. Once again, public-meltdowns are not socially acceptable.