Friday, October 18, 2019

Out of my comfort zone and other matters ♡

From The Pillion
You know how you have internal conversations about imagined situations/scenarios? Well, I had one such for problems we might encounter whilst on the bike. I would say, assertively but calmly, 'Simon, just pull over as soon as possible, we have a small problem'. In the event, what came out of my mouth was 'Oh shit, the drybag’s gone!' No hint of calmness there. Still, we stopped quickly.

Medina hubbub
A trip to the supermarket in Fez, some 15 minutes from our hostel, caused me to ponder whether I should cover my shoulders and whether I might be hustled, a Western woman walking on her own. I needn’t have worried, everybody was friendly and polite. The hustlers leave you in peace once ignored.

However, negotiating the traffic was a different matter. The route to the supermarket involved crossing a large roundabout. I stood and observed for five minutes, heart increasingly in my mouth. Zebra crossings seem to function as adornments only.

The locals put out a hand (referred to as ‘The Hand of God’ by my well-travelled daughter Bianca, much used in India) and just step into the road. Sometimes the cars stop, sometimes they swerve round, sometimes the pedestrians stop. Horns beep. Seems to work somehow, not for me, though. I didn’t have the confidence or death-wish to just step in front of a car and hope it’ll stop. So I found a different route that involved just crossing three lanes of traffic.

Whilst meandering in the Médina in Fez, giving over to the assault on all our senses, we decided to take a break in one of the little cafés. A bit of people-watching and a game of backgammon.

Beware the doubling dice!
The Pilot gesticulated wildly (probably because the Pillion had, unwisely, accepted yet another cube, basing her backgammon strategy on timely doubles to win) and sent his drink flying all over the table. Just as I was winning!!

Paper towels appeared, the waiter busied himself with cleaning up and we moved to another table.

The spilt drink had melted the sugar cube on my saucer. I picked up my cup to finish my coffee, the saucer stuck to the glass but then lost its sugary grip and - yes, you can guess - came crashing down. The waiter appeared again, a slighty exasperated look on his face this time. We left a generous tip and made for the exit. We must have been tired. Some dyspraxia 'dis-coordination' too, on both sides.

All have recovered, including the backgammon set.

Riding through the Atlas Mountains offered spectacular scenery. A cross between Grand Canyon and Mars. Think ‘Planet of the Apes’ and ‘Mad Max’.

Apocalypse now
As we came down into the valley, south of the High Atlas, we could have been travelling in Arizona, à la No Country for Old Men.

El Camello (The Camel, our trusty steed) was in his element, practically purring (or whatever the camel equivalent is) all the way through the mountains.

The people here smile easily and we get cheery waves from shepherds and shepherdesses, school children and all the people sitting by the roadside.

I had a little emotional wobble the other day. Out of my comfort zone and recovering from a mild stomach upset, I felt homesick and intensely missed my kids. All part of travelling, I suppose.

My sense of adventure and curiosity to experience new places outweigh my anxieties.

So, feel the fear and travel anyway! 😊😊

1 comment:

  1. Dearest Pillion, 

    We love you, and we miss you and we are so so glad you are having this huge experience. 
    Feel our love being sent by the wind. we're with you xx 

    It must be such an experience to sit and watch the world go by in all of these different settings, 
    I'm sitting at my desk at work listening to a piece of classical piano called 'last minute change of heart' and I'm imagining a very close up image of the sienna and ochre outlook dancing across your helmet as you whip along Mars, then the slow pan out to show you both being the only inhabits of a desert, all very romantically filmed with this gorgeous piece of music.

    I imagine it takes a feat of bravery to step out the door/tent every day to new experiences, new social norms and expectations, to new languages and money and customs, to new food and drink, and even to new air. I think that you are brilliant, and I can't wait to hear you casually remark 'what was that name of that place where we did so and so' and 'Oh darling, we really must get some *insert some food or drink here* like we had in *insert place here*'You'll have a lifetimes worth of time for us and creature comforts, so take our sent love and enjoy the missing, enjoy the wobble, enjoy the brave step xxx 
    So much love xx 


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