Image credit: John Self
"Fifty Islands I have not visited and never will"-Excellent tagline.
Inside the book, the author's intro opens with:
"Paradise is an island. So is hell"
Judith Schalansky is right about the former, and somewhat right about the latter. But it all depends on perspective. A bit of background on my persepctive: I'm a realist that eers strongly towards optimism. But not some of that flaky "everything is going to be alright" brand of optimism. A student once famously put it "I hate the phrase, 'you'll be fine'. It's so overused, it lacks meaning."
I was once a complete optimist (after completing a summer with The SouthWestern company selling books door to door in America), but you soon learn that even as an eternal optimist, the poop occasionally hits the proverbial fan and no matter what it's going to be messy and no amount of optimism can clean you up. You need pragmatic solutions. On the other hand, to be a pessimist is draining. Don't hang out with pessimists, they'll get you down. FACT!
Back to the book, a common theme throughout the book is the sense of loneliness and how this can lead to insanity. Luckily, I have some great colleagues out here. We play Aussie rules on the beach together, eventhough we don't know the rules. I bought a ball whilst out on Hockey tour in Aus in 2003 and it provides fond memories. Shoutout to Wakefield massive.
However, as much fun as beaches and bikes can provide, nothing can replace old friends from back home. Luckily The Dizzle Aka Dr. Sanghvi is coming out to visit on Saturday (talk about short notice), so it will be good to reminisce over old times at Marly. He's one of my top 3 photographers in the world too, so watch out for a Photo special from Dr Dizzle coming soon!
My wife recently asked me if I could see myself staying out here for the two years as indicated on my contract. I told her I could see myself staying here for life. Considering I also said I would stay at my old school until my year 7's went to uni and I cut that short by a year, I might be out in Seychelles for quite some time! Mrs Lau sounded a bit shocked at my declaration over Skype. She went on to ask, smiling "Is there anything you miss in London".
I replied, "Not really, just products but I think I can live without them".
Insanity gets to you, I should have replied "The only thing I miss is you".
Instead I went on to tell her about the small things I miss that you can't find anywhere out here. For example, Dental floss, grapes, berries, decent washing up liquid, soya beans, a decent bike, organic tomatoes. Actually, I lie about the tomatoes, all fruit/veg out here is organic, so there's no sweat about that. But yeah, if there's one thing I could change over the past week or two, it would be to tell her that she was the only thing I missed.
So as far as beaches go, that's no problem. Here's the beach we visited on Saturday:
When you walk out to the island, this is what is there:
But for now, I long for this picture to be painted again.
P.S. Some of you were expecting some Jay-Z gangster ish from this blogpost. But sometimes you just need to write about your emotions to get them out there.