Monday, January 31, 2011

Alain de Botton On Travel

From A Week At The Airport:
Now a traveller may be in Abuja on Tuesday and at the end of a satellite in the new terminal at Heathrow on Wednesday. Yesterday lunchtime, one had fried plantain in the Wuse District to the sound of an African cuckoo, whereas at eight this morning the captain is closing down the 777’s twin engines at a gate next to a branch of Costa Coffee. 
Despite one’s exhaustion, one’s senses are fully awake, registering everything – the light, the signage, the floor polish, the skin tones, the metallic sounds, the advertisements – as sharply as if one were on drugs, or a newborn baby, or Tolstoy. Home all at once seems the strangest of destinations, its every detail relativised by the other lands one has visited. How peculiar this morning light looks against the memory of dawn in the Obudu hills, how unusual the recorded announcements sound after the wind in the High Atlas and how inexplicably English (in a way they will never know) the chat of the two female ground staff seems when one has the din of a street market in Lusaka still in one’s ears.
One wants never to give up this crystalline perspective. One wants to keep counterpoising home with what one knows of alternative realities, as they exist in Tunis or Hyderabad. One wants never to forget that nothing here is normal, that the streets are different in Wiesbaden and Luoyang, that this is just one of many possible worlds.

Some assorted travel photos of mine:


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  2. This is the wonderful thing about traveling to other countries. You will have a lot of wonderful and sometimes peculiar experiences. I love your flight pictures by the way!

  3. I love your travel photos. I will be traveling to Africa next month for my boss' foundation. I already got my first class airline tickets yesterday. I will definitely take a lot of photos because this is my first time to travel outside America. Thanks for sharing your photos by the way.