Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It's All Golden

Smoking a hookah in Cairo. This is what "dirty travelling" looks like: bare feet, henna tattoo on my face, filthy clothes, a hardened expression.
I fell in love with this man while in Rome. He was an artist. And I've forgotten his name.
It was 50 degrees on this day (that's 122 Fahrenheit). We were wandering around the desert in Aswan, Egypt, checking out these temple ruins. It's crazy: you can climb on them, touch them, something you can't do in Greece, Rome, or any other "Western" country.
This is how you save money on a bed: sleeping in the airport. We took advantage of this quite a few times. You just wear warm clothes (air conditioning is not my friend), put a scarf over your head, and plug in your ipod to block out the constant announcements.
K and I settled on this Greek island of Poros for a week to relax for a bit. We found a very cheap room with a KITCHEN= make your own food= save money! So we ate pasta for lunch and dinner every day, and spent our waking hours on the beach swimming in the disgustingly warm water and chatting up the sexy lifeguard. Oh, the things we did for free food and wine.
Me walking along the Tiber river in Rome. I spent August there, living in a convent and taking a university class in Ancient Roman Architecture and Civillization. I actually got to clean up a bit, and felt like quite the local after a while, dodging traffic while crossing the street, never removing my sunglasses, wearing fabulous shoes, and having my regular 11 a.m. cafe et cornetto.

So I had a glorious golden summer. Truly, it was wonderful. But now I am home and it is chilly and foggy and dark. I am almost over jet-lag, and I have seen all my friends. I sleep in my own bed again. I feel torn: I love love love Europe, and it is where I feel most at home. But this isn't too bad either: all of the sudden my schedule is bursting with parties and movies and drinks and I actually have people I know all over the city and it is so NICE to have a Life. Because travelling you know no one and no one knows you and while it is thrilling to be able to be whoever you want and make new friends, it is also terribly lonely.
I am good with loneliness. I even revel in it sometimes, but after 3 months it is good to be around your own friends again. People who you like even though you don't have to. And when I feel loved, I feel golden.
So yesterday I was driving home from dropping off some rain boots at my friends house, and even though this weather is gross, and the people here ugly, and the architecture worse, I felt a huge bubble of happiness in my stomach. Like overbrimming joy. And I'll be honest, I let out a huge scream in the car, just because I could.

Oh, last thing: over the long weekend we had a pig-roast up at our neighbour's cabin. My dad and Hartmoot (neighbour) bought a 100 pound whole pig from the Hudderites, and we spent 2 days stuffing and cleaning and roasting this thing. My brother named it Peggy (cause it's back legs were just stumps) and then on Sunday 70 people came up and helped us eat it. I am not squeamish, so I was the one who got to help ma papa sew it up and stuff. Kind of gross. But I think I am true Albertan now.


  1. Ahhh...just what I was waiting for. Pictures of your adventures. And I must say, even hellishly-hot Egypt looks fascinating, as do the rest of your images. I'm glad you got the opportunity to get out and do some "dirty traveling" (that's a textbook example you've got there). Wicked cool, JJ, wicked cool. I don't need to tell you how envious I am. And you've perfectly described how wonderful it is to be home, no matter how magical your trip was (and you did it poetically as usual).

    Good to have you back, though. Even if you are sewing up dead pigs.