Traveling Backwards and Forwards, simultaneously, feels just the same….only stranger! Exactly the same way that traveling Upwards or Downwards does. I have just completed all four of these directions and am quite disoriented by now.
If you have kept up with my travels, you will know that I have been steadily moving eastwards around the equator for almost three years; in this third RTW of mine: Traveling from The States and Mexico, Central America; to the UK, Eastern Europe, Russia, Italy, France, Spain, the Canaries, Morocco, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Indonesia, Thailand, and Laos.
Now, that’s a standard, uni-directional, logical plowline! Aside from going north in Thailand and then south along Laos to its capital of Vietiane, I have stayed as predictable as the crow flies.
But, this little crow’s brain is apparently very easy to scramble. All it took was a three-month detour to the Philippine Islands. On impulse, I took an abrupt turn across the South China Sea to Manila, and then traveled north and south (up and down) through Cebu City, Oslob, Siguihor Island and Dumaguete, where I broke a shoulder, twisted a knee, and seriously disoriented myself concerning my straightforwards around-the-world flight.
I am just realizing the effect of this whimsical dosey-do, between Manila, in the Philippine Islands, and Vientiane, Laos; because I have returned to the very same Mixay Paradise Hotel I set out from last April. Same staff, same room, same afternoon tea, same Buddhist temples across the street! Naturally, I have been reabsorbed into the same loving hotel family…even some of the same guests! It suddenly feels as if I haven’t been anywhere. As if May, June and July never occurred! As if the world has, suddenly, simply plopped into the monsoon season.
As soon as I have sufficiently rested, I shall rejoin my Stray Asia hop-on, hop-off tour through Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Then, when I use up these SE Asian countries, I am planning more circles through China, Siberia, Korea, and Japan. How confusing will those be as I teeter on the far-eastern shores of that greatest landmass?
Circles are all that I will have left to perform! The Islands of The Pacific Ocean! I shall be one dizzy balleting blonde, that’s for sure, when I finally attain the western shoreline of my homeland. Will I then collapse like a victorious, long-distance swimmer? Determined to stay closer to home in the future?
We were each recently injured while traveling in a foreign country! He was thrown onto the pavement yesterday, when a Mercedes swerved in front of his motorcycle from the opposite lane. In Sardinia, I think. He’s bunged up, but will be alright.
My accident, in Dumaguete, on June 26, wasn’t as dangerous as his, but led to ten days in a Philippine hospital and I am now holed up in a Cebu City hotel for a long, long rest while my broken shoulder and twisted knee completely heal. Luckily, this didn’t happen in traffic, but right in my hostel kitchen when I tripped on a brick ledge in the floor.
Pain is pain and I’m sure George Clooney and I are mutually uncomfortable. But we’re alive and will recover completely. He’s younger, so his bones were stronger. I was very happy not to have very brittle bones at my age. My shoulder merely has a compression fracture, a little more serious than a hairline break, which it was originally thought to be. Things could have been much worse and I’ll get lot’s of writing done during my enforced rest.
But talk about famous people! This injury led me to my sudden spectacular friendship with a top Philippine Rock Star Band, SALBAKUTA. I sat surrounded by them on the airplane coming here. They had just performed a huge stadium concert the night before. Most of them slept, but Mad, my seatmate, (with tatooed arms and sunglasses) and I, talked nonstop the whole hour-long flight. Whoulda’ thunk we would have had so much in common? I don’t know much about modern music.
Their latest hit is “S2upid Luv” (Stupid Love), which is beautiful. Look it up on You Tube for a listen. The verses are in the Filipino language but the chorus is in English. Check out their band there, too. I haven’t learned to post the link here yet; but I will now make an effort to learn.
And while I’m bragging about my intimacy with fame just this week, I’ll report this flattering compliment they gave me. When I first met all of them, as we were settling into our seats, they asked if I was Gloria Romero. She is a big Filipino movie star of an earlier era, who is now 83. They said I look just like her and to prove it, they googled her on their cell phones. But those pictures were taken in her youth when she resembled Elizabeth Taylor. Now, I have found some taken in her eighties after her hair had turned white like mine. Okay, we do look a little alike!
So all that surrounding love and feel-good messages were poured upon me, seemingly to compensate for the “owies” I was recovering from! Not a bad exchange!
I hope George Clooney gets the same for his broken bones today!