Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A year in my balcony

So it's been a year, that I've been rambling on and on, about Places and People and how I connect to those. I started this as a new year resolution last January, now that two years have hit me in the same week, 1430 and 2009, I find the whole notion of new year resolutions kind of you know... cheesy.
So last year I decided to write (so guess what resolutions do work someitmes). I think the hardest thing was to decide what to write, how to write it, in what language, how anonymous it should be kept, how much fussing I'd do about how it comes out and whether readers like it. Today I can honestly say, it was one of the best decisions I took, so I'll keep rambling on as long as I have tales to tell.

Many kind neighbors have stopped for coffee, some who tell their own stories too, and some who prefer to listen, some I have met in real life and some I haven't. All the rambling that took place while leaning on the railing was worthile.

I take this occasion to wish a splendid year to the friends who have encouraged me to start this Blog, some said I ought to tell my stories, some said I ought to record my travels, and one said I needed to clear that crazy mess in my head. And though I had registered this blog in January, it could've suffered the same fate of many pages that I registered and left abandoned if it weren't for a Birthday gift I received in February; two dear friends gave
me a lovely book to record my travels in writing and photos.

I wish all those friends and all my neighbors in other balconies a lovely year; may your year be filled with journeys of discovery, self-discovery above all ...

Me dropping a line for The Beatles at Abbey Road studios, London. It reads "There are places I'll remember...this is one of them"

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Breakfast on the Morning Tram

It is the seventh time I listen to Breakfast on the Morning Tram this week.

May be it is time to pack my bags and go; just me and myself on a train staring out the window enjoying the journey and not caring whether the destination turns out to be worth it or not.

Countless are the train journeys which I have taken with the excuse of getting somewhere, while all I really cared about was spending some time with myself. Pensive in a window seat enjoying a hearty breakfast and a decent café au lait just contemplating life and the view.

For someone like me, restless, claustrophobic, curious, yet yearning for recollection, contemplation and reflection, the train is the perfect place to be

One of my fondest memories is a trip across Central Europe, 2.323 KMs onboard of different trains, bonding with perfect strangers, watching the green, blue and white twist into the props for a fairytale, toying with my InterRail ticket to decide what my next stop would be.

Upon coming back I found that my route was somehow influenced by a movie I watched. In Before Sunrise and its sequel Before Sunset, two perfect strangers reflect on life, love and who they grew up to be, with Paris and Vienna as backdrops and the Journeys starting in Madrid and Eastern Europe. Here are a couple of lines from the movie:

Jesse: I've just been. I'm just traveling around, I've been riding the trains the past two, three weeks. [...] Yeah, I got one of those Eurail passes, is what I did.
Céline: That's great. So, has this trip, around Europe, been good for you?
Jesse: Yeah, sure, yeah, it's been, umm... it sucked. You know...
Céline: What?
Jesse: No, uh, it's had its, umm. Well, I'll tell ya, you know, sitting, you know, for weeks on end, looking out the window has actually been kind of great.
Céline: What do you mean?
Jesse: Well, you know, for instance, you have ideas that you ordinarily wouldn't have.

I also realized after that trip that I would've never made it without the encouragement, the backpack, lonely planet guide book and Buddhism book of a dear friend who said: yes you can do it, no you won't lose your sanity talking to yourself for 8 days, perhaps you might even find the way. In that particular trip I found peace to let go of a perfect year and welcome an unknown journey.

Photo, Renfe my favourite railways, it reads in Spanish: the train and you