Monday, March 31, 2014

"...when you get to Asheville...send me an email...tell me how you doin' how it's treatin' you...did you find a new job? Did you find a new love?"

The draw of nature and a small town.  We have had a great beginning to our trip, with a random dinner date.  I have to thank “social media” because I wouldn’t have found my ex-work colleague without the aid of that technological advance.  Also because we were in the same business, and my husband is still in that business, there was even an additional person that he knew through work so we had a good ol’time in Raleigh.
The drive from Raleigh to Rutherfordton was surprisingly long, but this is because reality is always different to even the best plans made while some 14,000 km away…while lying on the office floor with a road map.
Still, the mountains are pretty, the air is fresh, the traffic much, much less.  We, also from our time living on our sparsely populated island, have no qualms about the lack of sidewalks air lights and we feel quite comfortable.  Everything is different enough that we feel entertained.
Asheville and Black Mountain were both sweet towns, with good coffee and better local beers.
Mostly, we just want to visit with friends and be able to picture their day-to-day life which makes long distance communication a lot easier.  Actually, this doesn’t work all the time, but it works enough that I do try and visit people as I feel I was the one who moved away.

Tomorrow we start to make our way West on the 10.  Our next stop is Savannah, which I only know from books.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

"So, let me count the times that we swore and lied. That we'd tie ourselves to the railway line. Now, let me count the times when of course we lied Well we know no better it was no crime."

Sure, a person could look at these photos and just see any of the millions of photos put out onto the internet- but these drinks are actually snapshots of catching up with friends.They are snippets of us spending time at a certain place. A place that someone we know likes to go- maybe they go all the time, or they only remember to go when they have an excuse.
These stops are respites among the drone of travel, of traffic, of conversing in terse tones about which is better a map, a knowledge base (albeit outdated) or the dreaded gps (you see where my allegiance lies...).
They are testimonies to the fact that sometimes social media actually leads to real social interaction and connecting up with people, once friends, or work colleagues or a bit of both - who have lost touch and yet are in that moment are crossing paths, and taking time out to catch up.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

“…and it would have been easier for him to return to Pasadena if she’d thickened in the middle, and her posture had sagged under the life she’d chosen…"

Today is Saturday, although at the home I was in a few days ago, it is Sunday.

We had to do the normal run around for flights, Hobart to Melbourne, Melbourne to Sydney, Sydney to L.A. but this is still much easier and shorter than the route to Stockholm.
All the present hassles of travel were happening, late flights, rushing to gates, customs, forms, questions, security check, security check, security check…waiting to depart, waiting to land, waiting on luggage, waiting for the rental car shuttle, waiting in line for the car itself, waiting in traffic to get to Pasadena.
The smog obscuring the mountain ranges assaults me anew.  I try to sort out if the smog was always so dense, but as with anything I surmise that the smog has changed, my perspective on the smog has changes, and surely it has increased in almost thirty years.  Then, I stop thinking because I may never be comfortable with phases such as ‘about thirty years ago’.

I find everything is familiar and that everything has changed.  I may have done myself a disservice in thinking that each trip back to the U.S. will be my ‘last’ trip.  I have done too much, I have started to enjoy the comforts of home perhaps above all else.
But I also find new appreciation for overlooked places.  Zok and I ran errands our first day, adding credit to his pay as you go phone.  Going to the American Auto Club of America office in Pasadena for maps and of course ‘trip tix’ (add link) for our road trips.

So, the next day while Zok went to work meetings, Monte and I had a ‘fountain’ theme.  We went to the water and power plant nearby, to get a close look at the beautiful fountain there and of course speculate and what the corner might have been like when it was first built.  The spot would be really pleasant if it wasn’t on such a busy corner.
This fountain brought to mind one built in honour of William Mulholland.  This one has an interesting representation of the California aquafry that runs much needed water from Northern California to Southern California.
 At one time I didn’t live far from this fountain, but I can’t remember ever stopping to take a good look at it.  Although the area was recently refurbished.

Today, I have some time on my own, I am going to brave a completely foreign Yoga class that is within (by Stockholm standards) walking distance.  A very small part of me thinks- Maybe I should just stay in…why keep navigating unknown territory?  Why keep you know…trying?  But the voice gets quashed…

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"...she gets confused...flying over the dateline...


Soon is the day that we leave.
 The water is always warm in March, and the swimming has been good.
There are strange occurrences such as jelly fish in the water, where no can remember seeing them before.
I can see the planet Mars rising while I sit on my couch.  The moon is moving to the east so that I can see it's light shining on the bay. These are Autumn changes but I will be arriving to Spring.  Although I will see interesting light wherever I go, I still miss what I leave behind.
I will forget that I do not want to shop, that I own too many things because I will be living out of a carry on bag, and there will be something I need, that is not with me.
I will visit friends and that will be nice, to speak and feel truly understood because we will be from the same place and time.
But I will disappoint some, and feel guilty about not being able to see others.
Zok will worry about the grass - but he'll forget to worry more often than not.
 Because that what perpetual motion does- a constant present, a place of now without the reminders of a settled life, no bills or mail or neighbors dropping by.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

"...she don't wear make-up...only red lipstick..."

The island is taking over.
This is something that happens when I am in Tasmania.  I do not feel isolated, I have the same feeling I have when I am floating in the ocean- a feeling of suspension, free of stress or worry about either the past or the future.
This doesn't mean I don't think about other people, but there is a quality to it, not unlike the feeling of a good medication from the 'pam' family.  I feel just a little bit apart.

I am only writing right now because Zok interrupted my garden project to ask me about lunch.  I must have been sitting for an hour trying to fix the storm damage to our new path.  More of the lawn seed has sprouted within the rocks then where we actually want our lawn to be.  I could just spray it with some sort of herbicide, but that really is not my style.  This isn't all I have been doing.
I have a solid routine of Yoga classes, and self-imposed Swedish language practice as well as traveling and helping out a friend.

I went to Melbourne to see a few bands play.  Most notably 'Rocket from the Crypt', which unless you are from the West Coast of N.America well, I don't really except you to care.  'Eagles of Death Metal'  and 'Clutch' were also great.
I really never 'cotton on' as the Aussies say to Melbourne. I know this is mainly because Zok and I drive everywhere, this means we sit in traffic- a lot. 
I do try, and I will say I had an easy time from the airport into the city. Because I used public transportation which is the only acceptable means of dealing with Melbourne.  I had this day where all people were helpful and nice.  Zok was working so I amused myself by going for a swim, and then shopping for books, then I read my new book in the pub across the way.  I had a nice lunch in the Victoria Market, and bought some gifts to take to America.  We also got to see the new version of 'Monkey King' at the IMAX.  If I have to explain Monkey King, then there is no explaining Monkey King.  The movie was like being inside a child's imagination with the color setting on "boost".  There were only about six of us in the theater. 

Speaking of traffic, we just had our first group discussion about our American road trip.  I am excited about our trip, but it does feel strange to sleep in so many place that are neither of the countries we live in.  I do envy myself all the travel, but of course I want to spend my remaining days in the non-hooked-up-non-connected way that I only have when I am on the island.
So do not be alarmed if I go missing until it's time to feel this diary with pictures of the open road.  Which will be nice considering the amount of time, the amount of 'days' should I say- I spend inside of an airplane.