The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

22 July 2011

Of steamer trunks and peanuts

I've just been there and back again.  Again.

I get in my car, and four and a half hours later I'm there.  That is actually one of the best part about it: it takes four and a half hours. The time is proportionate to the distance which allows psychology to catch up to geography. There is time  for thinking (or even better, not thinking). There is opportunity to shift gears and switch internal maps.  By the time you get there, you're prepared to be there.

Oh, yes, I know.  A flight to Mongolia takes much much longer than four and a half hours, but consider the adjustment required. The mind knows that Mongolia is half way around the world, so it flounders in confusion when the body arrives there in the same calendar day. "This morning I had cow's milk in my cereal, now they're putting yak's milk in my tea!" It's a shock to the system.

A few years back, I flew from my new city to the old city, roughly 600 kms away. Despite the hoopla of taking off and the landing pattern, I was driving away from the airport a mere hour later.  That's not enough time to turn off the seat belt sign or hand out peanuts!

I remember feeling confused (fairly normal) and disoriented (no comment), thinking to myself, "I didn't know we had a Hunt Club Road!" and, "Wait, what's the theatre doing there?" "How odd, that university looks just like the one in...hang on!" It takes a while for this poor brain to catch on, you see.

If it weren't for the fact that it requires being on water, I think ocean liner is the way to travel. None of this mad rushing ahead, arriving before you have actually left. (Time zones are so tricky.) Think steamer trunks and shuffle board... think rolling waves and sea sickness.  Never mind the ocean liner; let's take to the rails instead. None of that pesky heaving about on the sea, and if you don't mind a few stares you can still use the steamer trunk.  Best of all, by the time you get there, you're ready to be there.

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