I see that I haven't written anything in a while. I'm just slightly worried that this is because I'm at the pub every evening, and getting up much too late in the day to ever achieve anything. It's been a delightful time.
I *have* managed to apply for two jobs, one at Victim Support which looks interesting. I also joined WWOOF (www.wwoof.org/wwoof_uk/), so hopefully I'll make it to a farm in the next couple of weeks.
I had a great weekend. It started on Thursday with a whole lot of fantastic dancing at the Kila concert, and then Jake's band, the Abdominal Showmen, at Cabaret Voltaire. It was my first big night out. I thoroughly enjoyed it all. We also went to a play called Uncle Varrick - a re-write of Uncle Vanya. It was excellent. I died laughing. Including at the tragic bits. I'm not entirely sure if they were meant to be funny or not . . . The best part was that we got free tickets, but it has reminded me that I should see some more plays, even if it does involve coughing up some real cash.
We had a dinner party on Sunday night. It was a roaring success. Well, I thought so anyway. I appreciate that may have something to do with the number of champagne cocktails I consumed, but there was a lot of most excellent food and company. I finally made that chocolate zucchini cake. Mmm mmm delicious. My chocolate addiction is back in full force. I'm a bit over it. This week is Official Eithne Healthy Eating Week. Next week may have to be not-drinking-quite-so-much week.
I have quickly acclimatised to being back in Scotland. I'm still slightly disgusted with my level of consumerism, but I can feel myself starting to care less . . I broke my self-made rule and went into a clothing store yesterday, where I was promptly overcome by a desperate craving for a lovely green top with very very long sleeves. I managed to tear myself away, but it's only a matter of time until I break.
I am still aware of the fact that the main reasons I need a job are so that I can drink alcohol and go shopping for things I don't need. It's a tragedy that these things are so terribly amusing.
"The Gracehoper was always jigging ajog, hoppy on akkant of his
James Joyce, *Finnegans Wake*
Goodness me mamacita, I'm home! This has been such a shock to the nervous system that I have another unidentified Indian stomach bug.
I was planning to give up this blog once I left India, but it looks like I'm addicted.
Being back in the UK is a monstrous culture shock. Mostly it's the shiny, manipulative advertising and glitzy consumer products. Everywhere, all the time. It's currently very obvious to me the ways in which my dreams and wants and needs are manipulated. I don't like it, and I don't want to be a part of it.
Except maybe for Easter . . . What am I going to be? The only person who doesn't make themselves sick with chocolate on Sunday morning? See now. It's the thin edge of the wedge.
Anyway, it has also been delightful to be back seeing my loved ones. I stayed with the lovely Suraya when I arrived in London last Friday, and went to see her perform at the Cambridge Wordfest. I may be biased, but I thought she was the most talented poet there. ;)
You can see her blog for more goss.
On Wednesday, I hauled myself off my sickbed, took a lot of drugs and got on the train to Edinburgh. Luckily I got two seats to myself, so there was time to get a bit of sleep, not to mention be astonished by the utter fanciness of the public transport. The thing that I really noticed was the signposting. Signposting everywhere. You couldn't get lost if you tried.
I was met in Edinburgh by Elske and Emer. The loves. They had brought me tulips, and kindly carried my _extremely_ heavy pack home. Or actually to the nearest pub on Broughton St for a bit of sit-down and a gossip.
It's very odd indeed being back. Everything is the same, and not-the-same, all at once. Goddamn, it's a beautiful city. I love to walk across North Bridge and look out over the warm grey stone of the old and new towns. It's great to know where my friends' houses are, and to be registered with a lovely doctor, and to know where to get my favourite herbal tea.
At the same time, I'm still not at all sure that Edinburgh is where I want to be right now. It would be very easy for me to fall back exactly into my old life. Hmm.
Anyway, we went to watch Benzina last night at the Filmhouse. It was touted to me as the Italian and queer version of Thelma and Louise. Yay the Filmhouse, with its lovely vegan treats and cosy atmosphere. Not-so-yay the film. I had delicious nachos (_such_ a staple of my diet in Edinburgh) and red wine, and then felt extremely ill all throughout the movie. I suspect it wouldn't have been my thing anyway.
So now I'm going to go and do some Internet searching for communities in the UK. I'm still considering WWOOFing too, despite the cold.
My last train trip in India is finally over! It was supposed to be a 39 hour trip, except one train was two hours late and one was SIX hours late. So I spent ALL the first train trip stressing that I was going to miss my second train, only to spend five hours camping on the platform anyway.
So now I'm in Chennai. Looks much the same as the last four times I was here. Has it been that much? Oh dear. After Varanasi it looks very clean, very well organised, terribly middle class. I'm checking out the shopping malls.
I just thought I should have some sickly Indian sweets, one last time. So I tried one called 'poo'. Just because I can. :) It looks a bit like an open lotus flower, red and green with edible silver on the outside. It probably won't come as a surprise that it was sickly sweet. A bit like highly coloured fudge.
Well, last day today. Just time for a bit more shopping ...