Thursday, May 31, 2007

Train blogging

Disgustingly expensive to have wireless on the train, and for some reason some of the sites are showing up in some bizarre language... crap, out of time. posting from yesterdays thoughts on the train.

Thoughts on traveling from the past several days, while on the train to Grantham.

There’s a lot of waiting involved in traveling. Because for every mode of transportation you take, there’s the time it takes to get from one to another, and the time to wait before it departs. On off, train, tube, train, bus. Will the taxi make it to the station in time? Up down, escalators, lifts. Nearly miss the plane to London, arrive a full hour and a half early for the bus to Dundee and can’t take the earlier two busses because they’re both full. You’re reduced to the basics – what can I eat and when, where am I sleeping and how much will it cost? Do I have enough clean clothes to wear and if I end up having to wash something out in the sink will it dry out in time to wear the next day? The problems are immediate, small and fairly simple to solve. But when the regular schedules of eating and sleeping are left behind, and the food and the beds are strange or not quite comfortable, mini problems staring you in the face can seem gargantuan and disproportionately urgent.
When you go into a shop for sunscreen and can’t find any brand that’s even remotely familiar, you spend $30 for whatever tube the lady behind the counter recommends as safe for sensitive skin, even if you’re pretty sure there’s got to be something that would work for just $5. Your face is worth it and now is not the time to experiment.

With a digital camera you can take pictures of anything and everything. The only trick is getting it out of the camera bag and turned on in time. Especially when trying to take pictures from moving trains, buses and cars. There’s less discretion than with a film camera – just snap away at everything and hope that at least something turns out well. With a finite number of 35mm shots, and the expense per roll each one should at least TRY to be fabulous, even if circumstances mean that a few or several don’t turn out well. It’s a similar principle to what’s happening on a larger scale with all the self publishing software these days. Anyone can spew out large amounts of content, but how much of it is any good? Generally the good stuff rises to the top, but if it’s hard or frustrating to find because it’s buried under junk, will people even bother to look? I’m just dumping ALL the pix online as a backup to this laptop, and so we can empty off the camera each night, but my intention is to go back and pick out the cream of the crop when we get home. Finding time to do it is another thing…

We saw Adrien’s play last night. It was FABULOUS! Not sure how well the subject matter would go over in Fairfield as it was pretty raunchy and raw, but it was incredibly well done and everyone was quite talented. I can see how it could be a bit draining and intimidating to go from a small pond where you’re a pretty big fish, and then land in a huge pond with tons of bigger fish and plenty exactly your size. You’ve got to eat a lot and swim a lot to become one of the big fish and rise to the top. She had one of the 4 lead roles and was really, really great. Cute costumes, great sets, every person was strong and talented. Live band on the stage on a top balcony. The characters at the party stayed on stage during intermission and wandered around as if there wasn’t really a break at all, which was fun to watch since we didn’t leave our seats. Even Gilberto was really impressed and said several times that it was definitely worth it, which was a relief because he had seemed a little irked right up until the opening number that we had changed our schedule around in order to make the show. I don’t think he’s ever seen a Broadway quality show, pretty much everything he’s ever been to was with me, and probably mostly in town, or at least all community theatre. And we have quite a lot of good stuff locally, but it’s amazing to see what can be done with more resources available, both talent and technical.

We stayed at the YMCA. It was directly kitty-corner from the train station, and the theatre was just around the corner from that. They only had single rooms available, but it seemed much preferable to just stay there than to wander around the city with all our suitcases and bags, and to not even know if there would be a room available once we found a place. It included breakfast, and we had two rooms right next to each other, so we were the only one’s sharing the bathroom, which was nice. So there, I got my tiny taste of a hostel type accommodation. Lots of teenagers around with all sorts of piercings and hairstyles.