The theme of this post, I suppose, is summed up best by one of my most favourite authors.
“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” – Bill Bryson
*as an aside – if you haven’t read any of Bill Bryson’s phenomenal books, you need to close this blog immediately, head to the nearest book store and take refuge in one of his books. They are written with wit, hilarity, well-informed research, and stories that bore their way into the core of your being and inspire you to further vagary.
A lot of wonderful & weird things have happened to me of late. And even more excitement is on its way (but more about that later…)
Last Thursday after school, a few of my colleagues and I found our way to Kuwait’s skating rink (yep…) to watch Pilobus Shadowland. After finding out that it was postponed due to poor lighting conditions, we made our way back on Sunday after school to watch this much anticipated show. I must say, I marveled at the production quality and skill of all of those involved in the show. It was a beautiful story told solely through the use of light, music, and dance. The story follows a young woman, desperate to change her physical appearance to match the expectations of society, through an enchanting dream sequence wherein she is transformed into a half-dog half-human creature. After being nearly cooked by three crazy chefs, falling in love with a Centaur, and being forced to perform in a circus with an evil Ring-Master, our protagonist is returned to her human state and wakes up realizing that she does not need to change in order to love herself. Of course, the show concluded with their famous routine to the tune of “New York” by Alicia Keys (which you can watch online here!)
If you get the chance to go – I highly recommend it! The tickets are reasonable and the performance is spectacular! I was very fortunate to see Pilobus Shadowland during their first visit to Kuwait. I give it 10 shadow puppets out of 10.
RAF’s Red Arrows
The British Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows are in town for an air show today. We were fortunate enough to have some really cool views of the show on the way home. I didn’t bring my camera with me, but I did manage to find some excellent shots of the show from Kuwait UPTO Date’s Facebook page! Have a look:
Earthquakes & Explosions
In other news – there was a minor earthquake (a tremor, really) on Friday night a week ago and another this past Thursday as well. The epicenter of the earthquake was in Iran, but the effects here in Kuwait were enough to freak me out entirely. I love my apartment, but I’m not sure how much shaking and swaying this building could withstand. Probably even more scary was what happened at school. I was on my prep in the staff room when we experienced three or four simultaneous explosions! Okay, so we are speculating that they were actual explosions, however, the walls and windows in the staff room bowed in from the change in air pressure. My other colleagues and my ears were bothering us afterwards and the booming sound accompanying the change in air pressure was enough to convince us that a demolition or excavation was taking place somewhere close by. Earlier that week Kuwait tested their air raid sirens which didn’t help for those of us who were already feeling on edge. You can never anticipate what will happen next in Kuwait.
The Dutch have a word that literally means, “to walk in the wind.” It means the action of taking a break and clearing your head. I’m hoping that my upcoming Christmas trip to Italy will help me to uitwaaien and experience mental clarity. Part of the reason why traveling is so important to me, so crucial in my life, is that it allows me to stay focused in the moment – a skill I haven’t yet mastered in my everyday life, and so to enjoy things as they are and for what they are. There is something about traveling that moves beyond the temporal, that causes every experience, person, place, and thing to stand out so prominently – everything is special when I travel. Even those traumatic or scary experiences take on a new meaning. And that feeling provides me with mental clarity that I can take into my normal everyday realities, at least for a little while.
I’m still new to Kuwait, but things here are becoming normalized. This past week has reminded me that there is adventure and excitement waiting, unanticipated, behind every corner. You simply have to be an receptive observer.
Fortunately, in less than one month’s time (18 days, exactly!) I’ll be enjoying a trip with my Mama Bear for Christmas! We are starting with Venice and are working our way down to the Amalfi Coast. I must admit, I am very excited to have the time off work to enjoy some travel while I’m over here in the Middle East!
I do have some plans to cross off another major destination on my Bucket List before I head to Italy though, readers. But you’ll just have to stay tuned to find out what it is.
Until then, keep wandering.