Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Empty


what more could one wish for

There’s always that odd feeling when one gets into the cab after the bags are all packed and stowed, the checklists gone over for the fourth time, last minute instructions scribbled on bits of paper and left on the counter; that hollow gulping of yes, so glad to be on the way but oh no, how long is it going to take before all hell breaks loose and of course, it inevitably will.

Travelling is both pleasure and pain. Whether we are off to a vacation destination (ha ha – when was the last time anyone had a real getaway in some exotic location that didn’t involve sleeping on a relative’s fold-out) or on a job-related jaunt, just navigating through the airport can be exhausting. Electronic check-in, check-out, scan this document that body part, shoes on, shoes off, mobile devices on off in the bin in your carry-on: God forbid one has too many fillings as fluoride was unknown in your childhood because you will be promptly waved off to one side for closer examination….

We are learning, albeit late in the game, to travel light(er). With the emphasis on the er. Our carry-on departed at maximum weigh-in filled with promotional materials (the magnet give-aways going through the scanner twice but otherwise passed over) and returned home filled with dirty laundry. Alas, and much to Miss Z’s chagrin, there was no time this voyage to shop for snazzy souvenirs or even the tiniest twinkling trinket: better luck next time…

“How does empty look to you?” – the glass half-filled, a bathtub drained, a look that’s lost or filled with pain, crumbs of cake, that last bite, big blue skies over a big blue lake – We would love to see your vision…

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this fortnight’s challenge can be found here. Need more info or want to browse past themes? Have a look at HOW DOES THIS WORK.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

One of these things is different from the others….

This week’s  Photo Challenge: Foreign opens up a whole world of images with great visual impact. Although the text on this wall-sized butcher’s sign needed translation, the graphic content was fuel for a hot debate between travellers to ShenZhen.  Unpalatable to many of the group, vegetarians and carnivores alike, it proved once again that when travelling everything is relative – a matter of taste, so to speak – and that, like a good book or film, the enjoyment lies in our suspension of belief.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary

When few are awake 

Travelling into a time zone that is ahead of our own lets us rise comfortably early.  As the sky starts to change from inky blue, everything is calm and it is easy to imagine those who have already been up for a few hours, from the vendors in the market and the bakers pushing golden loaves into ovens to street cleaners sweeping away the dust of yesterday. From a hotel window we can survey the city as it stirs from sleep: at dawn, all is quiet and one can easily pick out single sounds before they get swallowed by the rush of the day – water tumbling over itself into the fountain, a robin calling to its mate, the far-off rumble of a city bus making its rounds.  Like the solitary woman who wends her way to work or the man practising tai-chi in the clear light of a new day, we are alone with our thoughts, undistracted and undisturbed.