Archive for the ‘Reflections’ Category

Niesko Ski Resort, Holiday pair Lift, 4:54 pm

In Reflections, Writing on 2018/02/03 at 13:31

I’m sitting here in the lift, waiting for it to bring me to the top, contemplating my situation. It’s really quite strange when you think about it, you travel hundreds if not thousands of kilometers to some small town somewhere where everything is overpriced. When you get there you spend a large portion of your time sitting in a chair that’s suspended several meters above the ground with nothing but a thin metal bar keeping you from falling out, and you get get slowly pulled towards the top of the hill, all the while being exposed to the elements. When you get to the top you go wooshing down the slope on an overpriced, glorified plank of wood at breakneck speeds and all you can really do is exert some limited control over the direction your going. And then, when you are safe and sound at the bottom of the hill, you do it all again. Like I said, it’s utterly baffling when you think about it…Luckily i don’t think about it. I just throughlu enjoy myself. Time for another run!


Long Dong beach, 1:15 pm

In Reflections, Writing on 2017/09/23 at 15:11

The cliffs look kind of precarious and I’m starting to wonder if it’s possible to continue; there is a ledge but it looks dangerously thin, there are some step like formations that I could reach if I go down closer to the water but I’m not sure they are climbable. I sit down to contemplate my options for a minute then decide to go for the steps…

Zhonghua road, 8:12 am

In Feeling of the moment, Reflections, Writing on 2017/02/25 at 08:03

I’m armoured against the weather, warm jacket, rain jacket rain pants with little built in shoe covers, helmet and mountaineering gloves. Despite all that I know this is going to be hell, it is cold like it can only be in tropical weather, when normally comfortable temperatures chill you to the bone; and the rain is coming down hard. There is a kind of duality to this; the reports about low water levels in the nation’s reservoirs that I saw in the paper a few days ago had me worried so this is a good thing, but did the government really have to cloud seed so that it rains cats  and dogs during my morning commute? God damn it!

Somewhere near Vinh Long, 5pm

In Feeling of the moment, Reflections on 2016/10/09 at 03:27

The sun is shining,  the rain seems to have dried up completely; the road is straight, only one way forward, with trees and small shops by the side, I keep the throttle at a steady 60 km/h. The theme to Smoky and the Bandit keeps playing in the back of my mind as I reflect on my first day of riding in Vietnam: my bag falling off the luggage rack, the rickety wooden bridge, the water buffalo by the road side. So many impressions just in one day…

Zhushan mountains, 5:41 pm

In Place description, Reflections, Writing on 2013/03/16 at 06:28

We are walking on a small road winding it’s way along the mountain face. The sun has been drenched by the evening mists that shroud the peaks, and the heat of the day is beginning dissipate. The mountain rises steeply upward to my left, rows upon rows of tea bushes covering the mountainside in a pattern of dark green stripes and waves. To my right, the slope is covered by bamboo trees, the thin, straight reeds creating a surprisingly sparse forest. It occurs to me that we are walking between fields of two quintessentially Asian plants, as if walking into a painting of a typical east Asian landscape. It’s almost like a parody, a path of stereotypes if you will, but somehow it feels more real, more honest. This is not a parody, it is the original!

Romme Alpin 10:13 am

In Reflections, Writing on 2012/12/30 at 22:17

An observation on human behavior: There are two lifts that take you to the main summit of this skislope; one is a chairlift that seats six abreast, the other is a dual anchor lift. They are roughly equally fast, the only difference is that one allows you to sit down for a few minutes while in the other you stand up, getting pulled by a plastic hook behind your legs; not so that it is painful, just a bit less lazy than the chair. And yet, with such a small difference between the lifts, there is a massive que to the chair, people packed together in a dense lump in front of it while only a few people stand in line for the anchor. That so many would endure the buffeting and stress of a que just to sit down for a few minutes is beyond me. So, i aim for the short que and head up the mountain.

Postojna caves 12 noon

In Place description, Poetic prose, Reflections, Writing on 2012/08/02 at 19:41

The air gets chillier as the small, open train takes us through a tunnel of rough rocks into the underground. The tunnel opens up onto a new world full of limestone formations, stalactites hanging from the ceiling, stalagmites growing up from the ground, free standing pillars and curtains clinging to the wall. Some are lit up by strategically placed lamps while others lay in shadow, creating a captivating play of light. Some times the train winds through narrow passages that then open up into large caverns. The landscape is fascinating for an inexperienced spelunker like me, just too bad there are too many other tourists in here. The forbidding of photography is also a bit annoying so this will have to do.

Ferry from Split to Vis, 3:58 pm

In Place description, Reflections, Writing on 2012/07/25 at 20:44

There is something about islands, or rather something about the intersection of land and water that is so personified by islands, that captures the human eye. Post cards from all over the world are full of that special magic that is a beach, a harbour or a cliff leading down to the ocean. And here I am on a ferry from the Croatian mainland sailing towards a far away island, moving leasurly through an archipelago with large islands off to both sides. The perfect moment then to snap that post card picture, or so one would think. In fact, due to the limitations of the camera, or perhaps the great ability of the human eye, taking that kind of shot which I desire is impossible. There is just no way to simultaneously capture the whole of an island and get close enough to depict the detail that makes it interesting. Here is my attempt: all around the ship lies azure blue ocean and up above a clear sky with a few wolly tufts of cloud. In the distance, the billowing hills of several islands, covers in dark green forrests or light grey rocks dotted with scrub. Here and there a white boat zipping passt or white sails closer to shore. Wind whipping my hair and the sun shingle down upon me it idyllic and beautiful, time to stand at the railing, relax and let my thoughts wander.

South western Sweden 3:23 pm

In Place description, Reflections, Writing on 2011/12/22 at 20:14

The train is thundering through the kind of  landscape that seems typical of the un-forrested parts of northern europe, open plains, groves of trees and small hillocks on the horizon. Everything is covered in a thin layer of snow, the black trunks of trees sticking out against the white. The thin pink streaks against the pale blue sky alert me to setting of the sun and i lean closer to the window, despite the heater being set to Death valley mode, and cringe my neck to look behind me. The western sky is brightly lit in that pinkish orange tone that only a sunset can produce, with hills and valleys formed by strips of cloud. The horizon is a pale yellow shifting into amber just above the winter white plain.  I realize that i seem to write a lot about sunsets but i guess it’s like any person with a camera having a recurring motif in their pictures, be it happy people a parties, their infant child or landscapes. For me it is the sky and particularly sunsets, there nothing quite so vividly colorful and beautiful.

Ullared ~1 pm to ~ 3 pm

In Feeling of the moment, Place description, Reflections, Writing on 2011/08/28 at 12:00

DEODORANT! Piles of deodorant, the staff havent even bothered to put them on shelves, all around, all kinds of cosmetics in all colours, types and sizes. A few steps away are rugged outdoor clothes, winter jackets and rain pants and on the other side, underwear and t-shirts. Moving on to lighter clothes, jeans, shirts, sweatshirts and even suits, simple white signs with text, over the clothes racks proclaim the low prices 199, 149 9 and 599 for a suit.

The central aisle is full of people, a slow trickle of shopping carts laden with everything from food to clothes, from cleaning materials to toys. I am now in the children’s clothes section, brightly coloured shirts all around, flowing into the girls section, suddenly everything is pink. A message from my girl friend sets me on the move again, i walk through the women’s clothes section, a series of bras flowing past on the left and bikinis on the right and I find her in front of a wall of sunglasses, something I actually need.  We move slowly through the toy section until we come back to electronics close to the sun glasses. We explore DVDs and household electronics until we reach kitchen appliances and get a frying pan. From there on everything is a jumble, first lamps then textiles and towels, food and finally garden tools. We split up at feminine hygiene and I take a quick look around bags then we move together back through food again until we reach the bottom floor full of hand tools, sport goods and fishing gear then head back up to the cash register.

This place really has everything you can possibly need and we have likely taken one of the fastest tours possible through all of it  and likely bought less stuff than most. I though some of the chinese markets where ultra commercial but considering the diminutive size of the country, this really is the mecca of blatant commercialism, where people come on pilgrimages to pray to the materialist gods.