Yawwwwnnnn. . . .
Trip Start Jan 14, 2009
21Trip End Mar 25, 2009
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Getting itchy feet again. Or at leas one of them. A small but persistent puncture I got from stepping on bamboo in Hikkaduwa has shed its first layer, exposing a hole underneath that does not seem to be healing any too quickly. It is not puffed up or red, but it itches as if there is some kind of little worm in there making its way out, or just settling in to the warm new digs of the flesh in the soft part of my foot. This little problem has really kept me from walking around too much, as I need to continually wash and put ointments on it. Catching up on my reading is kind of nice, but it is so hot here that the only thing one can do in the midday is strip down and lie underneath the fan at full blast to keep from sweating out all the liters of water one consumes throughout the day.
Nothing much to do here on Arambol, just drink beer and eat, and I've really been into neither. It looks as though a plane will not be the way to get off of this beach, I will perhaps have to catch a train or two to get back north.
The demographic has changed here in the 3 years since I last spent time here. The beach has near double the guesthouses, huts, and beach shacks, and so is fairly spread out. Not as tight as say, Palolem, where you develop a good crew and friends easily. Arambol has become a bit too big, a bit too commercial for my tastes anymore.
I do have a couple of friends here from home, one an old girlfriend from many years ago, and her friend, both of whom I have known for some many years. They are staying at a place called "the Magic Park," which, I must admit after seeing the "compound" in the Girkiwaddo, seems perfectly engineered and just insular enough to approximate the "arambol experience," which has not existed on this beach for many years. It is actually well done, and if someone is looking for that "Goa" experience, I think the Magic Park is the perfect place for that sort of fantasy.
The reality of it is that the business is expanding here at a very fast rate, and the mellow hippy vibe of the place has given way to sun seekers rather than the, shall we say, "enlightenment seekers."
All in all though, I have a nice spot for reading, surrounded by palm trees, and the foot seems to be getting better a little bit, but I really want to be moving on soon. There's only so much one man can take. Also I think I may be a bit "travel weary," having spent well over a year of the last three and a half away from home. I can't wait for my flight, really. But that's today. Tomorrow can change anything.
What else is there when the wonders of the world are viewed through jaded eyes, nothing excites the senses any more, the beauty of a high mountain or a long palm strewn beach is greeted with a sigh, and travel becomes tiresome, a burden to find tickets, a struggle to motivate one's self to do anything except while away the hours, the days, the weeks until the return to a place one may or may not call 'home,' but where one loves, and in return is loved? What else? This is the nature of "travel fatigue," I recognize it in myself, the things and places that once seemed so exotic elicit nothing but boredom, I know that I have used up this corner of the world, and for the next journey I shall have to go to some different continent, some different climate where things are all new, and a new set of rules apply.
So, to answer the question "what else?" I only have the simple answer. It is not where you have been, what you have done or seen. It is not what you have but WHO you have that matters most. No man is an island, so they say, and nothing can be measured unless there is some relative quantity by which to gauge it. No-one is anyone without anyone else.
Next year perhaps, I'll just take the winter for skiing, or maybe a quick jaunt to South America or the carribean, but not for too long. Sometimes the holiday is too long, other times too short, but the heart always knows. This one has been a bit too long from the beginning I guess. . .
I know, I know, a little bleak-sounding, but fake-dreadlocked yogic hippies, ageing peter pan syndrome europeans and people playing road-warrior dress-up on a hot beach just doesen't do it for me. I'm not into the party scene, turning my skin into leather in the tropical sun, swimming in the dirty water. Time to move. Past time.