UK Trip Report [en]

Write-up of my 5-day trip to the UK. Movies with Aleika, Bombay Dreams in London, an IRC meetup.

The nice thing about having a laptop is that you can fire it up on the airplane and type in peace, without being distracted by IRC, instant messaging, e-mail and stats checking, or simple bloghopping. With iTunes in the background playing Bombay Dreams, my only concern is that the plane will start descending towards Geneva shortly.

My trip to the UK was short, and last-minute. I heard some people from #joiito were going to meet up in London on Sunday, I checked my easyjet flights, called Aleika–

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we will be landing shortly in Geneva. Please return to your seats, make sure your seatbelt is fastened and your seat is in the upright position, and switch off any electronic equipment.”

There goes the laptop, and I now find myself with a post which will be hard to date. Anyway. (Warning: this is a “cheese sandwich” post to some extent, so if you’re bored already, don’t bother reading it.)

Where was I? Yes, last-minute trip. I found a friend to house-and-cat-sit for me, which was nice, and spent the first couple of days at Aleika’s. We did our usual “girls at the movies” thing: get dressed up a bit, leave home late, grab some food which doesn’t come fast enough (well, it took long enough to arrive that I drank my pint of cider almost entirely before the meal, and can now testify that it’s all it takes to make my head spin quite a lot), jump into a cab and run to the theatre (slightly inebriated), only to find that the timings on the internet were incorrect, and we have another half-hour to wait before gleefully drooling all over Hugh Jackman in Van Helsing (OK, I got a bit carried away here, but you get the picture).

I got to spend nearly a whole day alone with Akirno, which was really nice. I didn’t get to see him much on my last visits. He’s grown so much! And he talks so much! (Yes, I know, that’s what I say each time I come back from Birmingham.) He’s a real sweetie. I love him very much.

Unfortunately, I caught a cold (over the top of my first one!) waiting for the bus after Van Helsing, so all my pre-London shopping was done in a rather feverish state. Looking at the bright side of things, it means I didn’t spend as much as I might have, which is a good thing, as my suitcase was already quite full enough (and my bank account empty enough, but that’s another story).

Driving to London went fine. We found a parking space right next to the Apollo Victoria Theatre. (Remember: Sunday matinée shows are a good idea if you’re going to London to see a musical or a play.) Bombay Dreams was really fun, specially as I know most of the songs Rahman re-used for the musical.

Still dressed up (I chose the pink dress), I headed for the #joiito meet-up. Despite this nagging feeling of being somewhat overdressed, and my cold, I had a very nice evening.

As always, though, I had to cope with the frustration of group meet-ups: not enough time to talk with everybody, not enough time to get into interesting conversations with those I talk to. Or maybe I’m just more of a one-to-one person? Anyway, standing invitation for any of you who would want to visit the beautiful town of Lausanne or practice French in the area — just drop me a line, or better (since e-mail is soon to be a dead form of communication, thanks to spam), catch me on IRC.

So, who was there? Well, as I’m nearing the ages of senility, I’m probably forgetting a lot of people, so please bear with me if you’re not mentioned, and let me know if it bothers you too much.

First of all, imajes, my kind host, who was so busy taking me through his iTunes collection on the train back that he missed his home stop. (Can it get worse than that?) Suw prevented me from being the only woman present (I can’t thank you enough for that). Joi was so utterly bored by my presence next to him that he left early to go back to his hotel and sleep — imagine that! (Actually, it seems jetlag also had something to do with it…)

I chatted quite a bit on the way there with imsickofmaps, and on the way back with snowchyld. Hugh managed to mess up my first blogcard somewhat (or whatever those things are called), so I am now the lucky owner of two of them. Gerard aka insert-coin took a nice bunch of photographs and has already put them online. I stole Suw’s camera to take a few photographs, but she’s not home yet, and those I took with my phone are stuck in there until I lay my hands on a Windows PC (thanks, Microsoft).

Apart from bumping my head on a couple of low doorways and leaving my coat there, I brought two things back (not literally) from james’ flat: VoodooPad, which I have not adopted as my official scrap-book application, and a book which made me discover a blog (how often has that happened to you?): Never Threaten to Eat Your Co-Workers: Best of Blogs, a collection of great weblog posts. I read a few pages, and it looked really neat. It’s on my wishlist now.

I think this post is long enough, for a short trip!

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Savitri III [en]

At every moment we make an unalterable decision. When I wrote to you in the beginning, I made one.

At every moment we make an unalterable decision. When I wrote to you in the beginning, I made one. I made another when I invited you to Tirupet. After you had been and gone, when I gave you that string of answers to your questions, then again I made a decision. I have not altered it. The psychological basis of my behaviour did not come in the way of this. Only I did not get the response I wanted. Had I got it, I would have come anywhere with you, done anythng for you. Every girl, the instant she is born, comes prepared to leave her mother and her father.

You might perhaps say that you too expected a response and that you did not get it. How can I give an answer to this? To tell you the truth, one ought to be able to arrive at these decisions without resorting to the language of appeal and response.

Now, after writing all this, I feel embarrassed. If reading this causes you any sorrow then forget me for all time.

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Savitri II [en]

You want love, and I don’t want it? What is it that I have given you these six years

You want love, and I don’t want it? What is it that I have given you these six years? Only I did not get entangled in the nomenclature of what I wanted, of what I still want–that’s all. You ought to have carried me off, dragged me away–yes, I am writing what’s true, what’s absolutely true. Nothing is ever gained by analysing things. We only become strangers to our own selves.

P. S. Rege, Savitri

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Savitri I [en]

When we were children, my friend’s brother was once to have come from a far-off place. I saw her weep because he didn’t come. I even teased her.

When we were children, my friend’s brother was once to have come from a far-off place. I saw her weep because he didn’t come. I even teased her. Then I too sat and wept with her. Today I didn’t weep. Why? Because I am beginning to learn that one shouldn’t look too far ahead nor try to reshape what has already taken place. What has happened must be left as it is–far away. By holding on to it, the shades tend to grow faint. That’s all.

P. S. Rege, Savitri

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Deliverance [en]

You are a writer, I told myself; yet you readily give a wide berth to raw reality when you encounter it…

You are a writer, I told myself; yet you readily give a wide berth to raw reality when you encounter it, as if living was a thing apart from the truth of existence of that truth was a thing apart from writing–as if living and truth and writing bore no relation to one another: as if each hung like a cold corpse from its own separate gallows.

Nirmal Verma, Deliverance

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Mars III [en]

Je suis malheureux parce que je ne fonctionne pas et que je n’ai jamais fonctionné. En tant que jeune, je n’ai pas été jeune, en tant qu’adulte, je n’ai pas été adulte, en tant qu’homme, je n’ai pas été un homme ; à  tout point de vue je n’ai pas fonctionné. En plus de cela, pour que ce non-fonctionnement soit visible aux yeux du monde entier, voilà  que le corps, de manière à  la fois symbolique et conséquente, ne fonctionne pas non plus, il est malade, il est empoisonné, il est imprégné par la mort. Ce non- fonctionnement, cette mort, la mort des sentiments, la mort du corps, la mort de la vie, voilà  mon malheur. Ce n’est pas « compliqué », au contraire c’est logique, c’est clair, c’est simple, c’est comme ça.

Fritz Zorn, Mars

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Mars II [en]

À présent on ne pouvait plus contester qu’en fait j’avais toujours eu bien raison et que mon impression avait été parfaitement correcte, que j’avais été séparé de tout le monde fondamentalement et en tout, et que tout ce que la vie m’avait offert jusqu’à  présent n’avait été que des bagatelles qui n’avaient rien changé à  ce seul fait important que l’essentiel m’avait manqué depuis toujours. Mais lorsque le cours de mes pensées eut atteint le point où fut prononcé le mot « essentiel », ce que c’était donc que cette chose essentielle apparut aussitôt avec évidence : l’amour, naturellement. Or il n’y avait là  rien de nouveau pour moi dans la mesure où, au fond j’avais toujours su, où d’ailleurs tout le monde sait et a toujours su et où chacun aurait pu me dire après avoir lu la première page de ce récit, dans quel domaine se situait ma maladie.

Mais c’était tout de même une nouveauté pour moi. J’ai beaucoup parlé dans ce récit du ne-pas-savoir et du ne-pas-vouloir-savoir et du fait que, quand on apprend une chose, il faut toujours aussi qu’on veuille d’abord savoir cette chose nouvelle avant qu’on puisse dire vraiment qu’on la sait. Au cours de ma vie, j’avais bien dit des sottises en parlant de mes « difficultés d’amour » sans m’avouer que j’aurais dû formuler la chose en disant que par manque d’amour je dépérissais et mourais. Quand quelqu’un est mort d’inanition, on ne dit pas, n’est-ce pas, qu’à  la fin de sa vie il a eu des « difficultés de nutrition », on dit qu’il est mort de faim. Lorsque je dis de moi que j’avais dit « difficultés d’amour », l’expression était à  peu près aussi juste que si j’avais des de quelqu’un qu’il avait des « difficultés de forme » après être passé sous un rouleau compresseur.

Il ne me restait plus qu’à  m’avouer que je n’avais pas eu lesdites « difficultés » mais que dans l’affaire absolument la plus importante de la vie j’avais complètement échoué, que je n’avais pas supporté ce manque essentiel, c’est pourquoi j’étais devenu fou (ou tout bonnement névrosé, pour employer encore une fois cet euphémisme bienséant) et que cette folie avait ensuite déclenché le cancer qui, à  présent, se préparait à  détruire mon corps.

Fritz Zorn, Mars

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Frozen Ramble [en]

Lausanne-Zürich train, 10 a.m.

I sometimes get the feeling I spend my life being cold and hungry. They go together usually — one of the first signs of hunger is that I start freezing.

I’ve been in the train for two hours now, finished my book (About a Boy), and covered with goosebumps. Why does the A/C have to be set to winter-temperature when the air outside is as hot as it is? I’ll probably have to stop somewhere in Zürich to buy a jacket if I want to survive the trip home this evening. To say nothing of the day in the office, which has been called “The Fridge” in my mind for quite some time now.

One of the reasons I’m writing this is that I switched on the laptop with the hope that it would give out a bit of warmth. It gets really hot on my lap at times. Not now, of course. It’s behaving like car heating: I guess I’ll start feeling the heat once we enter Zürich station.

Some time from now, I might be provided with a wireless network connection for work. Just think about it! Internet on the train 🙂

You can probably be thankful I don’t write this kind of ramble more often, it’s turning out really lame. My brain hasn’t woken up yet.

Maybe a life update? I’ll be on holidays next week. I’ve been wanting holidays for ages. Now that they’re here, I’m going to spend them trying to translate a Hindi short story by Premchand, because I did my usual thing of waiting until it was too late before getting to work. (No, please don’t ask.) I did have a vague plan to go off somewhere exciting, but it didn’t happen; my last chances of escaping my sad fate as a future-ex-étudiante-éternelle have just drowned somewhere in the ocean. Maybe Aleika will come over a few days. That would be nice, as we haven’t seen each other in ages.

We’re in Zürich. Out of the freezer.

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Mars I [en]

Cependant si, toute ma vie, j’avais été malade de l’âme et une possibilité de guérison existait pour moi, cela signifiait en fait qu’on pouvait me guérir du malheur que je traînais depuis trente ans et que j’avais considéré comme le véritable contenu et la véritable forme de ma vie ; cela signifiait en fait que le tourment qui, pendant trente ans, avait été ma vie à  mes propres yeux, n’était aucunement ma vraie vie, mais bien plutôt que l’élément morbide qu’il contenait avait brisé ma vie ; cela signifiait en fait que s’ouvrait la possibilité d’exister, que peut-être j’avais encore la vie devant moi et que je pouvais m’éveiller, comme d’un cauchemar, de celle qui l’avait précédée. Si mon tourment était névrotique et si on pouvait guérir une névrose, cela pouvait uniquement signifier que peut-être je pouvais encore voir le jour où ce tourment ne serait plus là .

Fritz Zorn, Mars

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Mutants, Anyone? [en]

Right. So I’ve just come back from seeing X-Men 2, and I absolutely loved it. OK, I’ll admit to crappy cinematographic taste every now and again; but all these mutant stories must hit right on a soft spot of mine.

Has anybody else spent a fair amount of teenage years devouring Perry Rhodan books?

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