Monday, April 27, 2009

Hot Pants

India is an country of incredible beauty and also incredibly locked in its past. It is said that India is one of the sleeping giants alongside china just ready to burst out as an international power. But when you visit you can see it is a country many years from reaching its potential which may be a blessing for world stability at this time.

Most of my visits have been to a small country town about 200kms from Hyderabad which means a drive down roads where the traffic operates according to rules only understood by them. It’s a full on experience like everything in this country – an audio visual experience punctuated by blaring horns and visions of near death encounters with oncoming vehicles. Vehicles – man – it’s a tangle of cars (of various standard some harking back to 50’s models from the roads of Britain) , pedestrians, motor bikes, lories, bicycles, and as you move further into the country, buffalo drawn vehicles, dogs, goats, free wandering buffalo and people using traffic to process their crops. Nothing can prepare you for this if you have not travelled far from the western world – full on life right out there in the open and the intensity of colour in the people, particularly in the dresses of the woman, and in the flowers and use of colour in decoration.

Well I’ve arrived now and tho no longer moving, the cacophony of traffic is still there and the now add the smell and the heat. This is a place little travelled by westerners and taking food in the evening at the local hotel we are approached by a pair of locals who introduce themselves and say “ We have travelled a long way to see a white man”. We find ourselves creating a local attraction for which the hotel owner is very happy to give us special attention.

I used to think my life was boring and that I was boring. That was until H entered my life and I became the most important man is someone’s life and for the first time I found a reason for becoming interesting. She taught me passion and now I love life because I love H.

In my childhood years cycling was my passion and I still love it for the same reason. I loved the journey more than the destination. It has become something of a life philosophy now and boy what a journey. I can look back and track the journey – not so boring after all.

Now my journey involves a new challenge – that of starting a new life with my wife, moving to a new city, start a new job and biggest of all trying to have a child. Neither of us is in the springtime of life which is hard to credit given the energy we have together but this is one thing that has proven rather confounding. Is it an age thing but I have never planned anything like this before. My previous 2 children were permitted to happen in the course of nature but this event was a very conscious decision. We can track the moment the decision was made to the precise day and place. It has been very liberating and something which has drawn us together. And I don’t mean just in the carnal sense!

So starts the most difficult and yet most incredible journey yet. The journey of creating life from love.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Travel Pants

Or maybe more like – travels in my pants… A blog has to start with a first posting which is a rather sort of uncomfortable beginning but like a very long journey it starts with just a single step. This current journey finds me in India sitting in a room on an Indian Air Force Base Officer’s Quarters. Not the usual place for a holiday- but for the very good reason this is for work. I’m not going to be saying much about work because this is about the travel.

My musings started on board the Airbus 333 flying at 34000ft between Adelaide and Singapore – business class! I don’t get to do this much but I have to say cattle class, my normal location for such a journey, doesn’t leave much space for such musings, or at least the musing are more likely to be along the lines off “Wish the guy next to me would take his head off my shoulder and stop drooling into my Gin and Tonic”.

There a few moments in ones life where one feels that things can change and this was one of them….

My life changed completely at Christmas when I got married….again. (See the optimism I have for life). I am watching the film “The Yes Man” with Jim Carey and it seems to hit home and I am in tears. I am carried away on a wave of optimism thinking that maybe if I said Yes more instead of No life would be so much easier and so many more opportunities would open up. But then I realise there are pitfalls in that philosophy and sure enough the film shown what will happen as people take advantage of your disposition.

But looking back I see that in fact many of the big changes in your life start with Yes. My new wife said Yes to me and now we are married, she up sticks to join me in Australia, leaving family and home behind. She is not what you could call a risk taker and yet she took the biggest risk of her life by saying Yes.

It was a famous actress Lauren Bacall who said she learnt “always say no unless there is an overwhelming reason to say yes”. So there is also a power of saying No.

Then the captain of the plane did a wonderful thing. He diverted the flight plan so that we could look down on Uluru.

Live to surprise yourself, expect the unexpected, and embrace the moment.