Jun 252007

Is this the last leg of travel of my backpacking kit? I think so, but a different batch will head back to Edinburgh at the weekend….

I don’t like it when people refer to Aberdeen, my real home city, as dull and grey (after all it is known as the Granite City due to all the granite buildings so what do people expect? Flourescent pink granite?)…..but this weekend it really has been dull and grey.

It’s rained, it’s been windy, it’s been cold…and it’s meant to be summer……but hey ho. (Picture : Aberdeen beach)
Unfortunately the longer I’m home the more real life depressing things there are to deal with that you don’t have to when ‘on the road’, some of which make it an absolute b*gger to be back and bizarrely you can feel more alone at home than when travelling on the other side of the world with (or without) a bunch of strangers. I’ve just spent the first night in a room on my own for around a month, and have nowhere anywhere near permanent to stay when I return to Edinburgh. I sit in a house on my own, a comfort I thought would be great when constantly moving, yet now I sit here with thoughts on everything else aprt from the things I thought I’d be doing that sit on my endless ‘to do now that I have time’ list. The travel meeting emails are drying up , and theres only minor homecoming rehab from other travellers via facebook.
Also what you do every day takes a bit of getting used to (and I’m far from used to it yet), not just for yourself, but also for others that seem to find the reality of you being back may be less exciting than regularly filed stories from far flung countries that can be read when and where they choose. Bumming around without a job, and (so far) without a desire to get a ‘normal’ one can make you feel like you get in the way of someone’s normal life.
I haven’t really been telling that many stories about my trip yet, and like others have told me, it seems weird that you hardly actually get asked about it. What can you say when people ask “did you have a good trip?” You can’t exactly start reeling off 12 months of stories.
If my mother’s psychic card reader is correct though (and there are so many stories she got spot on) I probably won’t be around at home for that long.
Apart from that, I’ve had some great times back home so far – some time in Edinburgh generally not doing much due to a bad cold, pissing myself at the Family Guy DVDs (erm, after a substantial amount of wine), and a good weekend in Aberdeen with Ci. Typical of the Aberdeen train there were some characters on it – this time they were in their 60’s trying to chat up the Polish drinks vendor on the carriages.
It was great to be back and open up some of the boxes I’ve sent back during my trip – even silly things like seeing my Raleigh International t-shirts from Borneo, sand based paintings from Myanmar, pictures, loads of t-shirts and all my outdoors gear all back in one piece. I’m not so sure how much of the 26kg of Vietnamese ceramics are unbroken though as I never unpacked them all as for the foreseeable future I have nowhere to take them to. It really brings parts of the trips back to see all the souvenirs, even the most recent ones from Japan – sake set and classic sumo ornaments!
Even seeing some of my stuff from home was great – the clink clink of my climbing rack, my down jacket, tent and Scottish guidebooks, and seeing my mate’s kids, one of them walking since I left!

(Picture : mate’s kids – sometimes you want what you don’t have)

We went to Transition Extreme in Aberdeen which is a long overdue skate/bmx park and climbing wall at the beach area. Great to see the place busy although I’m sure the miserable rain and wind helped out!

And then it was a lovely meal and drinks selection at my Dad’s.
Now it’s home alone in Aberdeen for the week, in a daze with even less ‘plans’ than before, trying to catch up with stuff – post, tax, and all that dull stuff.

I tried to update my site with the my new logo but the blogging software has been playing up…. so here it is as a preview. Thanks to a right wing (sorry! ;->) Floridian I met in Hiroshima for this.

I signed up to Bookcrossing.com while on my trip and the first book that I left in Japan that people have commented on has moved from the Mount Fuji area to Fukuoka and has been read by three others already. Read my book’s travel story at BookCrossing.com.

Anyway, this post was a bit of a waffle on…….

As a last waffle I have to laugh at the irony of the USA investigating British firm BAE about potential corruption in Saudi Arabia. Don’t get me wrong, if there is/was I think it’s shocking but it’s kind of insignificant compared to secret plots to overthrow foreign leaders and putting countries through years of hardship so that your country can get their hands on someone else’s natural resources.

 Posted by at 9:10 pm

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