29 April 2005


Is one of these days that you don't feel like doing anything, and I mean anything, you just stand there with four books in you arms without knowing where to go, what to do and how to feel. You don't want to call anyone because you don't know who to talk to, to get you out of this mess, to touch and to hold on to. You have no idea of what took over your emotions. Or you do, but just can't do anything about it because all you see is yellow and stale. The pictures in your wallet just can't materialise and be there by your side. You're so tired of having to crack a smile when encountering people.

Today several symposiums were held, the morning ones were pretty good even though they're not something that would provoke much passion in me. But the afternoons were so bad that I was left shellshocked. Not knowing exactly what unearthly thing that had spoiled my day, I got out of the place without any spirit whatsoever at all. It was around 1515 and I just didn't want to go home to press down the mouse aimlessly with my index finger for a couple of happy hours, or take the optional tres hora siesta and wake up wanting to jump out of the window because everything was so obscure while my mouth was giving me the same old lecture, so I headed towards the library.

I sat down and replied to a letter and when I finished it I felt the tranquility in me. Snail mails, abandoned by lots of people, have lost the combat to the efficient and economically friendly email. Well, it doesn't mean that I don't use emails, I appreciate the convenience they bring along, but nothing compares to having something tangible between the fingers, the envelopes, the stamps, the post marks, the aroma, par avion.

So of course my next move was not to go home but to keep staying there and study, which I haven't been doing since this Monday (and I suspect that was one of the causes for my mood this afternoon). It was a beautiful read and after I got kicked out of the building by Sarah Brightman's Time to Say Goodbye I continued back home. Finished it a moment earlier and, amazingly, my normal tiredness was nowhere to be found. Well, guess that means I should at least be able to rest in peace tonight.

19 April 2005

Tanami of Oz

Eh? L. Frank Baum's another work on the magical land series?

Oz fans, I'm afraid that I have to let you down. It's actually a desert in Australia, which I'm going to cross this summer. It's about 1050km in length, starts from Alice Springs in Northern Territory and ends in Halls Creek in Western Australia.

Me and my bike we set out from Adelaide. Along the Stuart Highway, I reach Alice Springs and from there I turn left to take the Tanami Track. Then from Halls Creek I have two options: up to Darwin or down to Broome, depends on how much time I spent in the desert. I will cycle between 4000-5000km in July-mid September, the actual distances vary, depends on the situations.

This trip is going to be the single biggest challenge I've ever faced and it's not an exaggeration. Thought I'm not new to cycle touring, I haven't really yet gone too far from civilizations. And it would be the first time I test my new ride, the track condition is not good from what I gathered, the weather is hot even though it's winter and the sheer size and remoteness of the Outback (referring to Tanami here) makes it even more difficult. If something should happen, help might not be there in time, or even none whatsoever at all. I'm going to carry around 40 litres of water (for drinking and cooking, forget about shower) and food for several weeks, in other words, I'm going to haul that 90 kilos on the road. I got lots of remarks ranging from "that's just suicidal, mate" to "dingos will love ya, mate" (oh, they're the same thing).

But, that doesn't mean it's impossible, it has been done before, people live there (although few). And with the right attitude and be prepared for the worst it is very likely that nothing's going to happen in the end. But to be honest, I have my concerns, not really sure if everything's going to be fine. We don't know, nobody knows until the moment is here. The great unknown. I guess that's one of the reasons that make cycle touring a form of modern adventure and why I can never go back to other ways of travel.

10 April 2005

Time Is the Past Tense

Lots of people have died recently: in January one of my neighbours, in February my grandma, not long ago Terri and Pope; I went home this weekend and found that the middle aged man who lived next to our place is also gone.

Though I'm not religious, I went to a mass to pay homage to the Pope, not knowing why exactly. As usual, the prist began his sermon. He said that on the day of Pope's death he received a letter from a friend of his, in it he was greatful towards a woman called Emilia who was very frail in health and was pregnant at the age of 35, everyone wanted her to give up the child, but she resisted. 9 years after the child was born she died. And 85 years later the child passed away too.

At that moment I suddenly understood why Pope was so strongly against the abortion, every life is a chance, a gift, man simply has not the power to decide who should live and who should not. If Emilia listened to the people then we wouldn't have the man who changed the world. I found myelf all of a sudden wanting to know more about this man who holds onto something so simple and yet at the same time noble. Something which in this world full of interests seems to have vanished. Life is, as the constant surprises it offers, magical. Short, compared to the whole universe, yet it could mean so much. Often I wondered why and for what. And yet the answer is something so elementary. Moral, tenacity, principle, something that one holds on to and won't let go even though everyone scolds at you, laughs at you, tells you to grow up, to open your eyes, to be realistic because one simply cannot make money with principles.

Of course this is nothing new, it has been talked and discussed, we've all read a lot about it, from everywhere. For some they would sniff at it because it is cliché. I don’t care to create some pioneering topics while the existing problems exist. The basic is the fundamental, without it everyone falls, no matter how flourishing your rhetoric is; how interesting, creative and refreshing your topics are.

Now I understand why so much people love him because my eyes are blurred too and I just began to know him. The recognition came to me that I always realise something belatedly. Now I just hope that it’s still not too late.

05 April 2005

Theory of Relativity

Interesting, as a student it has been my solemn duty to keep my eyes away from that damn thing for as long as I could possibly manage, but when I first saw this picture I was captivated.

It's got a feeling of the great era, it reminds me of Albert with his famous formula. It's got a charm that sucks me into it, a charm that pushes me back through time. Explosion, contradiction, science, sadness... It conjures up images. It conveys so much more that I can't fully grasp and express with my limited words, my crude mind.

Interesting, one thing, two opposite feelings. Just a matter of different angles. Reality. Facts. Truth. Relativity.

Acknowledgements: My gratitude goes to Nuris (although quite often she mistypes her name as Nuria, not her fault, just the keyboard you know) for allowing me to use this photo and for taking it in the first place.

01 April 2005

Terri Schiavo

No, I'm not going to bring up some heavily discussed issues (one will never accept the idea of another anyway), and if that's what you're looking for, go to CNN.com or google her name.

Her death doesn't matter to me personally, never even heard of her before tonight. It all began when I was on my way to check the Yahoo mail, then the 3 words "Terri Schiavo dies" accompanied with a picture of her when she was still healthy caught my attention immediately. "So what? People die everyday, in Iraq, Africa, everywhere, what's the big deal about this American woman? You noticed her just because she's an Yank? Yeah, so the states is so much more important than the rest of the world huh?!", you questioned grumpily.

Now don't get political. I'm no prone nor against the states, many take sides and don't know for what reason exactly, just because people say so. Get a brain while you still can.

I found out that we were born on the same day (different year of course), what a coincidence. What's more intriguing is that on the main sign at the front of Archbishop Wood High School, from which Terri graduated, in Warminster, Pa, it says 'Terri Schiavo Class of 1981 We Pray That You May Live', I was born that year. Interesting huh? And then something even more interesting suddenly came to me. The reason why I started up this blog was that I didn't want to die one day without warning and nobody's getting informed. I like to have things settled, even if I'm no longer alive. It's impossible to say what I really want if something similar happened to me, but if I were to lose communication skills of all kind and had my life sustained by a machine, I would prefer to be euthanized. What is interesting is that I was just thinking about death and then the obituary of the person who shared my birthday found its way to me and, subsequently, my blog and, finally, to you, who is reading these words.