Sunday, May 15, 2011

Quick Update

So I am in Luxembourg at the moment, on a totally unplanned leg of a long-delayed summer vacation. My aunt, who had been living in Germany for some years now, decided to surprise us with a trip here; and who were we to refuse? It is an enchanted place, mountainous, romantic, and yes, full of nuns who go out in public wearing veils. In many ways, I guess it represents the 'primordial' icon I've always had of Europe-- that of an almost rural tranquility colliding head on with the comforts of the modern world. As I type, I'm enjoying a pint of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie (price is the same as in Manila, unfortunately) and listening to some German grandmothers argue about their next trek. And since this is a Youth Hostel, one can never be rid of the presence of half-drunk backpackers, who number less than they did in Zurich, at least.

A very strange realization hit me on the way to Luxembourg from Germany. I don't know why or how, but during the almost six hour train ride from Stuttgart to Luxembourg (with a few added delays, including a missed train), I came to the conclusion that life had become... too convenient. Perhaps "convenience" isn't even the right word, so much as "too friendly" or "too accessible." This is not to say, of course, that I am one to decry the various developments, technological or otherwise (but with special regard to the former), that have sprung up in the last few decades. Certainly, no one wants to come back to a time when traveling was limited to the very rich, or when intercontinental transportation cost more than an arm and a leg and took forever to accomplish; only that there has come to be a very "Cartesian" mentality that we now apply to everything. For better or worse, the world has lost much of its menace; one no longer fears to travel at night, in fear of the elemental terrors that lurk behind every shadow; and we are no longer so obliged to honor the coming of the day by worshipping at the crack of dawn (an innovation for which I am at once annoyed, and also extremely grateful).

I am not saying this to sound like some overzealous travel "purist"; nor am I saying it to purposefully come off as a grouchy, unsatisfiable lout. I think, though, that I have come onto a crossroads of sorts, marked by that staggering moment of realization that the world-- my world-- has inevitably changed. Again, I am not sure how or even why, but all I know is that with it comes an admission of the finality of these changes. It is almost as if I am finding myself saying, "This is you; deal with it." If I am being ambiguous at this point, then perhaps I am moving closer to what I want to say, which, to be honest, still appears to my imagination in fragments, and not as an easily manipulable whole. I will admit, though, that in the last couple of weeks, perhaps stretching even back to March, I've been struggling a lot with a certain personal issue that could fundamentally alter many things I've always come to hold dear. But now isn't really the time (yet) to talk about that. Perhaps in the future.

Anyway, this post was not really meant to be of special importance. It is really beautiful outside, even at this time, (which is why it took me almost three hours to type this!), and the people are all tall, blond, and gorgeous (a fact which my mom keeps reminding my sister-- "When you get married, get married to a German, so you'll have tall and beautiful and possibly blond kids and improve our race"-- I dunno what to think anymore). So I shall sign off, and hie away to socialize and maybe even flirt a little.

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