Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Why didn't I buy a little red sports car

or find myself a toy boy lover? That's what I'm thinking 12 hours before the first leg of my trip. I have butterflies the size of elephants and an almost constant urge to use the loo. And I'm wondering why, for my own personal mid-life crisis, I decided to travel half way round the world by train.

I like trains but right now all I can think of are all the sweaty and overcrowded commuter trains I've caught. Or standing on a cold, dark platform waiting for a delayed train followed by the inevitable bus replacement service that takes you on a trip of Britain's lesser known A roads. I imagine spending the next four months negotiating the local equivalent of British Rail across half the world and then I have to use the loo again.

The meagre few bits and pieces that fit in my backpack are lying on my bed: a dress, a pair of 3/4 trousers, comfy yoga pants, 3 vests, 3 t-shirts, 2 jumpers, flip flops, walking boots, a pair of sandals, underwear, a towel, bikini and woolie hat (the last two look especially fetching when worn together) and an enormous toiletries bag (some things can't be rationed). It doesn't seem like much for 4 months.

And suddenly all the dull, routine things that made me want to pack my bag in the first place - getting up for work in the morning, running in the park, going to the supermarket, cooking dinner, lying on the sofa watching tv - ordinary, everyday life in other words, feels like the comfiest pair of shoes I've ever owned and I wish I could slip it back on right now.

To cheer myself up I have a bit of a trawl around the internet for distraction and inspiration and I find this quote by Jonathan Swift: 'He was a bold man that first ate an oyster'. It makes me laugh and feel a bit better. And then I find this one from Homer (who knew a thing or two about journeys): 'A decent boldness ever meets with friends'. And thinking about it I feel excited again. Which makes me need the loo again. I think it's going to be a long night...

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