Sunday, September 03, 2006

Leaving The Shire

Well, I bought a fancy new digital camera for my trip to India so that I can be sure my ineptitude at taking pictures and not the ineptitude of the camera is the reason for any mediocre images chronicling my journey through India. The camera is a Canon SD630 in case you are wondering. It can be purchased on for a scant $312.00

My flight leaves on September 13th from JFK at 8am. I have a stop over in London for an hour and arrive midday in Dehli on the 14th. I'm going for four months with Nora Schmolze.

So why would anyone want to leave the lush, cozy comforts of The Shire to risk disease, death and hardship on the opposite ends of the earth? I can't exactly say for sure what it is other than a desire for adventure and to get lost in the sights sounds and smells of another world, but perhaps it also has something to do with this short anecdote from the acclaimed author Paulo Coehlo:

The Dutch girl in the club (Paulo Coehlo)
In 1982, although I had a good job in a recording company and earned a lot of money from song lyrics, I was also very unhappy. Worse still: because life was good to me, I also felt guilty. So I decided to throw it all up and travel the world until I found a meaning to existence.
On these wanderings I lived for a while in Amsterdam in Holland, which was the symbol of complete and utter freedom in all senses. There I frequented the Kosmos – a sort of club where people gathered with whom I felt an affinity.
One night a Dutch girl asked me what Brazil was like.
I began to tell her about our problems: the hard repression of the military regime, the social inequality, the misery, the violence.
“But you live in the best place on Earth,” I added. “What’s it like to wake up every morning in Paradise?”
The Dutch girl was quiet for a long time before answering:
“Horrible. Everything is so right here, there is no challenge left, no emotion. I wish we had your problems – then I would feel again like a part of humanity.”

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cholemole said...

hey, do you know mike z dont you?
good luck in your trip...
maybe chile next time


good luck there MIKE, fantastic travels await, the globe is a big place.

rather you inhale more of it than capture it and post it here :)


Ak-01 said...

Hehe, come to Russia next time

r said...

To Paulo Coehlo : Here's a hammer you can use to beat some sense into your head. Besides, it feels so good when you quit hammering !
--- r

r said...

. . . and Paulo, when you're enlightened and refreshed, pass the hammer to your Dutch friend.

Ann-Elizabeth said...

Yay Jason! I will gladly log on to your blog. Your photo of the Shire is fab and will give you reason to return. Remember to talk to Allison and Jonathan this weekend when they come to visit.
Love Aunt Liz

Ann-Elizabeth said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Daniel Schmolze said...

Nice pic dude. Hey, if my family comes to Northhampton over the weekend, you should too. 'Twould be cool to see you before you achieve nirvana and/or die of hepatitis (did you wind up getting immunized?).

The Intrepid Dr. Root said...

I didn't get immunized but I got a good insurance plan: $100 deductable/$500,000 coverage just in case the Intrepid Dr. Root needs a doctor over there. I also got a whole bunch of immune boosting natural remedies so hopefully that combined with good common sense will keep me moderately healthy.

r said...

RE: The fortuneteller. I agree with Nora.
RE: smells. It's rare to hear someone emphasize, or even mention, smells of their travel. But I smell my way around, too. Earthy, organic, ocean smells in non-polluted parts of L.A. In the tropics, a pirate-y and ripe fruit smell.