Friday, July 11, 2003

The Art of Travel

Like Sex, it is all in the mind. When Peter Macinnis says " ...My hand on sedimentary rock spans a gap of 100 million years in geological history.
", it lets you see everyday objects in a new light. Imagine the millions of years when the sediments were deposited layer by patient layer, embedding clues of interesting events from each eon, the process proceeding patiently, over countless millions of years.

Carl Sagan says " All the heavier elements were synthesised inside the nuclear furnaces of the stars. You and I are made of Star Stuff". So touch a lump of coal and visualise the billions of atoms gradually being shaped from Hydrogen in the heart of a distant star, the star spewing this carbon out when it dies, the spewed material floating around in the wilderness of space for countless eons, finally being aggregated into our solar system and now takes the form of a lump of coal.

How puny man made attractions seem compared to these heady stuff.

How much people miss, when they take a package tour to half a dozen tourist attractions in a day, rush through the hurried commentary of the guide, snap a few photos to 'prove' they'd been there,fantasizing about the looks on their neighbours faces when the 'evidence' is flaunted.

For me an ideal trip would be a leisurely unhurried one. Take up a house for say 15 days, shop at the local market, try cooking different cuisine, read elaborately about the history of the place, understand the local culture, spend time with the locals ( get invited to a drink or a meal ) observe their customs, behviours, marvel at the nuggets of quaint value systems and other quirks which show up from place to place and leave unhurriedly.


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