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This Blog is a personal record and an honest illustration of my life as a full time embroidery artist. I hope that you find it entertaining and inspiring.

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Thursday, 6 January 2011

Time travel

Well, I am writing this half way home … sitting at Dubai airport waiting for my connecting flight.  
This journey, if the next flight is on time, is ridiculously smooth, almost surreal.  I feel like I am dreaming.

The plane from Dirty Calicut, had 'imitation' walnut surrounds around the windows even in Economy class, it was quite strange.

Maybe my time spent on Indian transport has taught me to really appreciate the finer qualities of modern travel and orderly queue systems.  I did have an attack of the ENGLISH eccentric queue expert in Calicut airport when I had to stop my blood from boiling over.   A stream of thick skinned people decided to spontaneously form another queue that bypassed the two existing queues to the small randomly placed baggage security check point and caused a strangely quiet blood curdling cal ma to the existing queues.

I couldn't stand it.  I cracked and tapped one of the overtakers on the shoulder and said 'Excuse me,  (hard stare) …I think you will find the queue is here.'  Glaring with my eyes and smiling madly in a gritty 'Don't fuck with me' or I will kill your family fashion.  This was shortly after another man had knocked my ankles with his trolley.  Enough to send anybody over the edge … the stress levels around were intense.  

Indian people, forgive the generalisation here,  (I am going on my experience of the last month), do not like waiting AT ALL.  
I have had to literally rugby tackle people on the local buses on numerous occasions just to get off.  The Indian transport system is a dog eat dog world and nobody seems to give a flying fart about any one else at all when you stop at the bus-stops.  It is astonishing.  I cannot cope with this jab of ignorance but there is absolutely nothing you can do about it except push and shove.  I have shouted like a head mistress and scrambled with my luggage like I am trying to grab my own destiny by the legs, trying to get off an Indian bus.  Its just amazing the momentary strength and brutality and impatience of these usually friendly and gorgeous people.  One minute they are attempting to climb over your face ... the next ... they are offering you a home made seed ball, introducing you to the whole family seated next to you and asking you what your job is.

In fact, I have the remains of an impressively large and dark purple bruise on my right thigh where a rather rotund Indian lady squeezed in the middle of me and another lady into a space which, frankly she and her over indulged, Sari clad Chapati did not fit at all.  She seemed totally oblivious to my existence or size and sat.  I shrank by half.  Then, every time we went around a corner, which as I have mentioned before, is quite an event in an Indian bus, horns ahonking, her wide and heavy gait would squash me rigid against the metal handle of the seat whilst she peacefully snored.  

And now here.
Dubai airport.  It is tremendously clean and glitzy.  Apart from the very large lady who took me into a cubicle to feel me up, it has been a very clinical experience and I keep expecting to accidentally kick a large rat run across the gleaming pale granite tiles or see someone lying in front of me begging desperately.  Not here, this darlings is Dubai.

It seems ridiculously easy to get home after 6 months on the road.  
Really … why did I not pop back for a cup of tea? Was I really in a tea field two days ago looking at the mist in the mountains?

Apart from the dent to my credit card …. international travel is rather mind bogglingly straight forward.  I think I am having a lucky streak.   
One minute you are haring through a busy Indian rush hour in a small battered car spluttering and hopping forwards in the wrong gear as trucks and rickshaws horn behind.  HORN PLEASE!  You find you are simultaneously praying for your life on the one hand and then pretending that the continuous chanting mantra CD is spiritually enlightening and not slowly killing your spirit to live as the Indian taxi driver stares at you in the mirror.

The next minute you are in a fancy sterile airport with women chasing you with spray perfume called 'LUST ME.'  Made-up people are everywhere looking rich, more white people than you have seen in months and then VA VA VOOM  Boom shake the room … you're freezing your socks off in a friends van and the last 6 months just slip away into a cloud of smoke.  All you have to prove to yourself that you have just been on the road for 176 days, slept in roughly 60 beds and visited 5 of the largest nations in the world … is a bag load of Thai Nasal Inhalers, brown hands and sand in your pockets.  

The fact that the earth is round and the sun and moon sit on different sides makes the world seem a large place!  However, modern transport means that distance anywhere is a relatively achievable and travelling, easy, if still expensive for the majority.  It's when you think of light and dark, snow and sun, sand and soil … the diversity of the land and the people … that's what makes the world seem huge but even that's changing.  Its so damn easy for people to pop here and there .. work in different places and travel that It is no wonder that cultures are getting mixed up and we are all becoming the same.  The world's people are changing and in many cases its very quickly becoming more uniform…. technology is changing the world and it's people.  Very fast.

I wonder as I watch these overdressed people buying products, if the developed world is really more advanced and sophisticated or just caught up in itself and its own importance?  Everyone is trying to look more important than they really are.   

So, I bought some expensive anti wrinkle cream and a Starbucks and got on the plane home to ENGLAND.

Lou Thisisit Gardiner from ENGERLAND.

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