in the details

How quickly we forget the little details of our travails.  I, for one, know I’ll forget the first time I rode the Tube in London because a train, whether elevated, underground or overland, is a train.

Just as, when traveling the Tube today we met a couple from Malaysia, the husband speaking English, the wife possibly only Malay and Chinese, but the two of them wanting to talk with us (me only saying repeatedly “Shay-uh, shay-uh” to the wife as she continued to share Bing cherries with me), discussing with keen interest the American presidential election and the ramifications of one major candidate or the other, them looking forward to their Stratford trip (he quoted Shakespeare with ease and joked about the difficulties Will’s schoolteacher must have had with a young lad so well versed in his home language).

Or Justyna, our server tonight at the pub, who’s just over to Great Britain for the summer as she works long hours to earn money for her spending money where she’ll pursue a career back home in Poland as a military doctor.

The server this afternoon in an Italian eatery, who calls Milan her home.

The cashier at Harrod’s working on his university studies here in London.

The worker at the London Eye with the last name Husband.  If she is a Husband, where is the wife? (a joke she (jokingly) never gets tired of hearing)

The Beefeater at the Tower of London who was angry at me for taking his picture because there were security personnel behind him and I hadn’t asked his permission first.  When I did ask his permission, he said no and to leave the entryway immediately.  Was he in character?  I couldn’t tell because he continued to have an angry disposition the rest of the Tower tour.

The snippets of life histories of fellow tourists, as if we’re in “A Room With A View,” “Bride and Prejudice” or an Oscar Wilde/Simon Pegg screwball comedy.

These details, as well as others — our strong-willed, warm, gracious hosts at the Cashelmara Lodge and Orchard House B&B in Ireland (which already feels like a lifetime ago (has it only been a week?)), who make you want to return again and again, like visiting your favourite aunt.

If I don’t capture these moments — clearly seeing the Milky Way Galaxy in Galway Bay — they’ll pass into remote recall when I’m in the nursing home with my robot caretakers trying to decipher my mumbling based on their analysis of my digital life, extrapolating trends and interpolating gaps in my life history.

Rather than spend time writing notes on postcards to friends and family back home, I write here and spend a few minutes remembering the recent past in a blog entry.

At one time I would’ve stayed up until the wee hours drinking and dancing with strangers.

I won’t this evening.

I create reasons not to go out, including sun poisoning.

Despite all the wonderful new memories I’ve formed with others on this trip, I’ve offworld inventions wanting their day in the sun.

Good night, my friends.  I look forward to sharing more adventures with you!


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