Thursday, 26 September 2013

Stuff

It's funny, I really thought that I'd have the time to keep my blog updated with the stories from my travels. That's not gone well so far. I've only just up loaded my photos from Scotland and I've not really had time to look at them as yet. The days are filled with things to do, places to go and rest to be had. I'm actually feeling a little tired this evening after today's adventures. Tired enough for an early night and a good book.

There are so many snippets of storied to share. They come into my head at odd times, small memories that make me smile or giggle or cringe or cross. One that I was talking with Di about today was the small incident in the cafe at Lisbon's airport at some ridiculously early hour. Remind me never to book a 7am flight to anywhere from anywhere ever again. Sara and I were enjoying a very early breakfast after having left the apartment at 4.45am, sandwiched between an older English couple and a younger American couple.

It was hard not to listen to two lots of English speakers, in stereo. The older English couple's conversation went something like this after one of them had noticed the Victoria's Secret shop amongst the usual duty free fare.

"Victoria's Secret, " he said looking puzzled."What do they sell?"
"Underwear, " she replied. "Sexy underwear."
"What, like a sex shop, sex shop things?" he said with a look between shock and delight on his face.
"No, no not that sort of shop," she replied. "Only celebrities shop there, ones in the movies and such. Ones who can afford it. It's too expensive for ordinary people."

I giggled thinking about the cheapest finest Vic's Secret knickers I was currently wearing. I was tempted to comment, Sara gave me that wicked look she has to give at such times. We were both a little tired to engage in that delightful exchange. Then the second exchange began while I was still smiling. I only caught the end of it, the word savages piqued my attention.

It seems that this young couple, mid 30s maybe, were heading off on an adventure as missionaries. They said something about an island, an island of savages.

"It's okay", the young man said reassuringly. "We're lucky, it will be alright. Another American missionary has already been there and has civilized the savages a little for us."

Mmmmm there was more about the same savages finding their way to being Christians. I was horrified, speechless. These two people believing they had the right to call other people savages, to see them as less and to change their culture to their own. Colonisation hasn't changed much over time. I wondered just how many people they had really engaged with out there in the world, how their views might change as they learn to be part of another culture. Will they be welcomed and experience the beauty of new friendships or will they show that they have little value for the beliefs of others.

By the time I had gotten over my shock and become indignant, they were walking away. I was tempted to follow them, engage in a discussion and find out where they were going. Not so much to challenge, more to keep in touch and see how they were going, how their views might have been changed by their experiences. A small social experiment. I wasn't feeling very awake, or very coherent, so decided not engage this time. I suspect Sara was pleased about that.

A regal guard, Sterling Castle Scotland



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