I travel where the inner child takes me

As any other child, I was dreaming, eyes wide open, to magical places that I was reading about in books. I was imagining them through my child vision and they are still alive in my mind now.

I recently went to Egypt, and to be honest, my inner child imagined something else. I am perfectly aware that IMAGINATION sometimes… ok ALL THE TIME exaggerates and embellishes things and situations especially when you highly anticipate them. My inner child was happy in Egypt, but of course in my imagination everything was different. I don’t want to stress this out so I’ll just go on with what I liked.

I first landed in Alexandria and when I had the chance to move around the city, I felt that ancient perfume with strong scents of history and shining gods. Ruins of once impressive edifices are all over the city, as a reminder of the rich past. First thing I saw in the morning was the sea. I love the sea. I stood there on the balcony with a cup of coffee in my hand and I watched it. Green… dark green… patches of algae… dark blue. The sea where battles where held. The sea that Caesar crossed and met Cleopatra.

Then I went to see Bibliotheca Alexandrina. I was impressed but for me the bibliotheca was supposed to be as in the books I read… old, of yellow stone, all dusty, with wooden shelves and with grey ghosts of ancient wise men reading in every corner. Massive books with leather covers and old yellow worn paper inside, written in old and curly letters. Yeah the inner child actually expected to see that. Don’t get me wrong, I was impressed with the establishment. It’s huge and impressive but it’s modernity stroke me. I just wasn’t expecting this. I loved to be surrounded by so many books though, I felt warmth filling my heart when I entered.

Whenever I travel to a new country I have this feeling of… happiness mixed with some sort of heart warming and soul shaking kindness… I have no words to describe it, it just makes me feel some type of way. I can only compare it to the feeling you have when you look at something that you love.

Anyway, I’m loosing my way, as always. ADHD at its best. Back to Egypt and its wonders. From Alexandria I left to Cairo on a car ride with my friends. I love watching all the places through the car window and tattoo all the images in my brain. Train rides, car rides, tock tock rides, they all give me the same feeling – joy and maybe some sort of nostalgia. The feeling that I am far away from everything I know, with all new around me, makes me feel small but also privileged. And, just like in the memes, I turn my trip into a movie, looking lost outside the window.

Cairo was something else. Loved the new, more modern part but what I really wanted to see was the pyramids. All my childhood I draw them in my head. I sparkled gold on top of them and I admired Nefertiti, Cleopatra and Ra. I lived there with Tutankhamun and Ramesses and I saw all the fights and intrigues of that time. I saw betrayal, I saw stone on top of another stone and tombs filled with hieroglyphs and felt the smell of embalmment scents. I saw opulence and decadence and brave men fighting alongside gods. The inner child spent so much time there, sometimes even being part of it.

On the way to the pyramids we took a horse and carriage and we crossed the colourful and yet poor area around the pyramids. But it’s so vivid and at every corner you see children playing or riding horses, you see dogs and old men looking at yet another good round of tourists. We are looking back at them with the same feeling probably. There is a bad smell in the air but it makes it authentic. It’s raw and it’s bleeding around the Pharaohs’ playground.

At the beginning you see the pyramids but then you lose them. You see their tops and you see them from afar and you have no idea about the majesty they carry. But then you reach the desert and it takes you around them and from afar you see them in all their splendor. Unfortunately when I went, the access for tourists was restricted. But that ricksha ride and the feeling I had when we stopped opposite the pyramids was enough to please the inner child. They are what they promise to be and actually, I felt pretty good that I couldn’t reach anywhere near or inside them. Like this I kept my imagination active and I was not disappointed in any way. Some things are better from afar… at least sometimes.

I am sure I will go back to see them again. I need to see other place too. Adult me has equally as much fun as the inner child, don’t think differently. I just like to let myself go and see everything through the eyes of young me. It just makes me happy.

When I was young, I felt this need of seeing things and places, it was like a thirst. And most of the time I was unhappy with my inability to leave or to explore, with the impotence of being stuck in one place. Sometimes, when I was crying my weaknesses in front of my grandmother, she will take me in her arms and tell me: “just go wherever you want when you will grow up, just go and see the world don’t get stuck in one place like me. Go and live your life as you want to” and then she will wipe my tears with the back of her dress. Her words always guided me and haunted me. I hear her in my ears like an echo, I see her beautiful face in front of me and from time to time I meet her in my dreams. She’s happy in my dreams and I like to believe that she is happy for me being as I am today.

This was my trip to Egypt and all in all I had a lot of fun. I appreciate everything for what it is and I am grateful I had the chance to see all this. I appreciate little things, details and I like to believe that I see underneath the (sometimes) superficial surface.

It’s all about being happy and taking things as they are. In my imaginarium I can always have everything the way I want it.

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Sri Lankan Adventures Day 1

We land finally and I can’t wait to escape the formalities and go outside. It’s 20.00 in Colombo. I’m tired but excited.

Finally out. It was raining and the air is so fresh (behind the multitude of people waiting outside the airport). It’s humid and warm and I am instantly in love with the weather! Don’t get too much of this feeling in Dubai.

We find a ride to Unawatuna, the final destination. I thought it will be closer, but what the snack! It’s almost a 4 hours drive!!! Captain sleeps for a while because he can sleep anywhere. Even in the water. Put him in the ocean and he will sleep. I wish I could, also, but I am looking through the dark to see more of this new place and thousands of thoughts cross my mind. How’s the hotel, how’s the room, the bathroom, the pool, the beach, how we will spend our time, how big is an elephant, are there any whales, did I pack everything, etc, etc?

I have a crazy mind, never stops thinking. I can’t rest, I can’t relax, I can’t focus. Snack! Somebody cut my head off! I will enjoy my holiday headless.

After ages (so it seemed) we reach the hotel. No lights. But this is the one… Only a guard. We ask him if we can check-in. A moment of suspense… pam pa bam pa bam pa bam paaaaa baaam pabababam.

Out of nowhere the manager appears (he’s very nice and later we found out he’s been working in Dubai for 10 years), we check in, we reach the room and we settle in. The room is nice and simple with clean bathroom and a big terrace. Couldn’t ask for more. Anyway we’re planning to be out most of the times. At least I plan that :))

I hug Captain and we both sleep until 1pm the second day, Tuesday, 6th of May. The Day! My Day!

We slowly move our corpses to have a late breakfast. We go to a small restaurant right on the beach and we have our food listening to the waves. Can’t believe I’m far away from the concrete city of Dubai, full of skyscrapers and highways. And I’m even farther from home…

We enjoy our food and the view of the ocean with its foamy azure waves, talking and joking. Then we decided to see the city. Galle.

The waiter stops a famous tuk tuk (a small, three-wheeled car, omnipresent in Sri Lanka) and we’re heading to the city.

Everything is so colorful. The small houses, people’s clothes, the trees and the tuk tuks.

We reach the city and we go around. I see a small bar and I drag Captain in. I order a local beer, Lion, 675 ml and to my surprise it’s pretty good! Of course I get tipsy after more than half a liter of beer :)) but the city walk becomes more interesting.

We leave the bar and randomly walk around. I’m dancing in the middle of the street to Captain’s entertainment. Suddenly I see this nice, original looking shop for clothing. Inside you can actually see a team of women manufacturing the clothes. All around there are hand made objects, or antiques. There are nice paintings on the walls and it looks a lot better than any other shop in the biggest malls. Of course I buy something, it’s my birthday. I go for a backless t-shirt, hand sewed, handed in a newspaper bag sewed by the ladies as well. Done with the shopping, I’m not here for it!

We continue our walk and small drops of warm rain start to drop. I don’t know if it’s the beer, the rain, the shirt but I’m happy. I’m careless for some precious moments.

As we walk we are approached by a kind-hearted looking old man. He’s asking us where we come from, how long we’ll stay, what we’ve seen until now. Not much, obviously, so he’s giving us a few tips. We find out that he’s sri lankan, but he teaches astrology  in Calcutta, India. His son lives in Los Angeles and his daughter and rest of the family in Sri Lanka. We want to stop for a tea and we’d like him to join us but he refuses. He needs to go back to his family.

We have our tea talking about him and how nice he’s been to us. We continue our walk through the city, visiting gem factories (they have so many precious stone mines in Sri Lanka, and beautiful gems), small temples and the old Dutch Fort.

We have a lovely dinner at one of the restaurants in the Dutch Fort. I’m tired but I have a silly relaxed smile on my face. Across the street there’s a crepes restaurant so after we finish our dinner we order some crepes for take-away and we head back to the hotel.

Once back I tell Captain “I’ll take the champaign and we’ll go to the beach to have a walk”. He agrees. I put on my hand-made t-shirt and off we go. It’s dark and cool, and the ocean sound restless. I open the champaign, jumping around, have a few sips and take Captain by the paw and lead him along the beach.

As we are walking and talking about the day’s “adventures”, a cold, dead-serious rain starts to pour. Not just pouring but chasing us back to the hotel. First we walked, then we ran, laughing like crazy and shouting at each other, through the moaning of the ocean and the mumbling of the rain, how we never ever had a night like this :))

We reach to the hotel soaking wet, take a shower, go out on the terrace and enjoy our crepes and the rest of the champaign (me).

Epic day 🙂 (don’t have pictures better than these, camera was resting in the hotel room, as it did the rest of the holiday).

not clear just like my head

not clear just like my head

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yoga skills

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Facade of a temple

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viva la vida

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now that’s a big buddha

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the dance of happiness next to the temple

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inside the shop

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original decorations

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just a house

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walking my walk

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dance of happiness part 2

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my guide (who shamelessly asked for money at the end and even complained at the amount)

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who’s this?

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I’m sorry i didn’t bring my camera

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I am the marked one

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all about Gods

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ancient wall paintings

 

Sri Lankan Adventures

So I decided to go to Sri Lanka a month ago or so. Said and done. I booked the tickets and the hotel (all the arrangements) and Captain enjoyed (but settled the bills). Fair ha!

I am bursting with excitement as the much awaited date is approaching. A day before my birthday. I specially selected the dates to coincide with my birthday. It’s been years maybe since I had a special birthday (or a proper holiday) so what else do I need to escape? Uhuuu.

The last day at work is crazy. Crazy! So many things to do and not only for work. So I am running all day from here to there to leave everything in good order. Finish everything around 2.30 am, sleep until 7.00 am then settle everything else before the trip.

The flight is 13.55. We move around 9.30, we know there will be traffic and we also have to drive to Abu Dhabi. Captain is tired so after we pass the traffic I drive and let him sleep in the passenger seat. He tells me ‘Drive straight and you will see the sign for the airport’. I say to myself  ‘piece of cake’. Let him sleep, I will drive the truck and find the way. It’s around 11.30 and I’m on the way to Abu Dhabi.

I think I’m well known for my ‘head in the clouds’ state of mind. Being known for that (and as a small excuse to myself) I drive all the way to the corniche (this means pretty much crossing entire Abu Dhabi). At some point Captain wakes up, looks around in panic and I can read anger on his face. I can read it soooo clearly.

‘Are you crazy, where’s the airport?’

‘There are no signs’ I say humbly.

‘Pull over! Here!’ he commands fast and furious.

I have to mention that it’s almost 12.30.

He drives quitely to the airport. We reach by 13.00. We run to the check-in and they tell us that we should have been there one hour before. We protest and claim that we must be there 45 min before, not more. The check-in lady is more willing to understand and takes our luggage, gives us the tickets and off we go. Yeey!

Captain wants to kill me, but c’mon we are there, ready to embark, what’s all this drama? I smile sweetly and try to change the subject.

Why it has to be all so messy before something planned? Because is better not to make plans and also for your funny moments archive, I would say :))))

We are finally in the plane and we both sleep like we were running all the way. Which we partially did.

TO BE CONTINUED…

P.S. I made him wear this :))))

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