I'm sitting at home with a cold. I leave for Singapore in five days and I have an effing cold. Crap. Actaully, I'm tucked up in bed with my travel netbook, typing from bed. I could have been at work, but my dear boss, Popeye has the tendency to march you out of the office when you turn up sick citing , "This is why you have sick leave, moron!" Also, the common cold also freaks me out a bit, as they have the nasty habit of settling on my chest, turning into bronchitis and having me on courses of antibiotics for weeks.
Then again, since working through a lot of my anger issues, losing some weight and getting fit, I've been lucky. I've gone from having six or seven bouts of bronchitis, to one or two a year.
So here, I sit, praying that I don't get bronchitis, taking the panadol, echinacaea, magic green horse pills and hot lemon drinks to try keep this at bay. I should stop moaning, but I know how uncomfortable it is flying with a cold. And as I have nine flights in the next forty days.... well yeah. I better find a decent god to pray to to ensure this doesn't happen.
Speaking of prayer, I was lucky enough to score a ticket to a preview of "Eat, Pray, Love".
We did this book at book group last year to very mixed reviews. The chick lit haters pretty much refused to read it, others enjoyed it as a chick lit fantasy, the lit heads were rather put out by this sort of light weight, nimby namby book on spirituality, others thought it was just okay.
Me, I loved it. And I'm normally the lit head of the group.
Here was a woman who was walking a path similar to mine, and I don't see this very often on paper.
Okay, I don't have Elizabeth Gilbert's life - I've never spent time on an ashram, or partied the night away with a hot Brazilian in Bali, nor been divorced. If I'm honest, I've never been in a relationship long enough to be married. I don't write for New York Magazine.
But I understood her searching, her need to find herself, her need to take herself away from everything she knows and find new things and experience more of life. I also got the bit in India, the part that got slated more than any other at book group. To me, this book describes what it is to find your truth and what it is like to meditate better than any other I have read. She put it better than anybody has every put it in my eyes.
I know what it's like to struggle with meditation. I have this fight with myself every second Saturday as I sit through my kabbalistic meditation class. Some days I hear every word. Other days I have no clue what went one. I remember one very special day when I turned into a large, blue third eye chakra and that was all I was aware of - my body had literally disappeared.
So I was really pleased when an old workmate said she had a free ticket to go see the film. Javier Bardem. Num num num. I was also pleasantly surprised by this eye candy of a movie. My expectations had been lowered, I wasn't expecting too much, but I was glued to this film. Here was an alternate version of my life. Somebody got me for a change.
Okay, the film won't win any Oscars, but it is glorious to look at - I've been to Italy and Bali and they are just as wonderful as I remember. The India bit was great too - though rather cut down from the book - but the bit I found so special is the part most people flick over.
I told the Grounded Dutchman about the film - which he thought was quite silly. "If I was to do a tour like that it would be called "Drink, Think, F*ck." That's what you do when you go on these tours."
I wasn't in the mood to disagree, mind you, I disagree with most of what he says - just easier to go "Whatever, GD." In his time, Grounded Dutchman has rode a motorbike from India to Holland, driven an old Citroen van across the Sahara - not unlike Top Gears Fifteen Hundred Quid Challenge. He's gone on all of these journeys. But he rarely talks about them. I know the India trip changed him, he's said it was one of the most transformational trips of his life. But he rarely talks of his travels, which annoys me no end. he says that theire his stories. I call that selfish.
Not that I get to take a year off to find myself, but I wander what words will be used to describe my five weeks away through Singapore, the US, Holland, Spain and the UK.
I can't wait to see what these words are.
The movie also had a bit where at a dinner party they were talking about how each place has a word - London - constrained, Paris - Romance, Italy - food, etc. Then they started talking about what eachother's words were. For Liz, it was the Italian word for all encompassing.
I wonder what my word will coming out of this trip.
Something to think about as I sit on a plane anyway.