“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I'm alive

Well, this is absolutely appalling -- I haven't posted anything travel related for almost 6 months. I guess that's because I've been so busy... travelling.

I'm aiming to get caught up on this. It's just a matter of how much time it will take me. I am also aiming on working on my webpage as well, but haven't gotten there either. The fact is that my picture quota on my blog has almost run out and it didn't seem worth it to post without pictures (or I couldn't be bothered adjusting)! I will just have to reduce the images! Will try and get Iran, Greece, Cyprus, Brunei, NZ, the USA and camping in Azerbaijan up soon! Whew!

Am back at work in Baku, Azerbaijan, and we're well into our second month of the school year. So far, life has been pretty uneventful -- some small trips out of the country, planning for the term, doing my Master's Courses (am doing a really exciting one on Archaeology in SEAsia and the Pacific which is great). I am teaching English, Humanities, Economics and Art this year, so can that be my busyness excuse? Am also in process of trying to buy a car. Things are changing this year!!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

25 things about me...

1. I am the ultimate vagabond. I bewilder half my friends with stories of places they would never have otherwise heard of, and feel a constant drive to get to the rest of the world that I haven't been to. I realised that if I want to get everywhere by the age of 60 I have to go to at least 4 new countries in each year. I have an enormous thirst to see it all, but I'm always aware that the path is quite a lonely one to have chosen.
2. I didn't want to be a teacher, I just sort of ended up doing it. But, because I'm naturally good at telling others what to do (!), it seems like a good fit, whether I want to admit it or not. I want to be working with humanitarian aid agencies in emergency relief, but I can't stand the politics of NGOs and the constant requests for funding that are all about who you know. I would also love to work for UNESCO relating to something like the World Heritage Sites, but I also think that the UN contradicts itself enormously in the ludicrously large salary and benefits packages they give.
3. I love cats. I really really adore then, but I don't think I really want one of my own. I've gotten too independent and selfish and want nothing to be responsible for, except myself. It's been nice cat-sitting though, even if Lenin is a karate-jumping, horse-racing, love-you-one-minute-bite-you-the-next maniac.
4. My family are one of the most important things in my world. I love spending time with them and sharing my life with them. Whereever they are is still home, and I enjoy going back there. I would live at home, if that was the city and job that I wanted, though it will stifle my social life!
5. I have too much stuff. I collect memories and beautiful things. I've tried to make a lot of it digital, but my computer hard drive bursts with my efforts. Moving constantly and being forced to kull it is the only thing that allows me to live in a house I can move around in. I do love my books and movies, even if I never have time to read/watch them. No matter how long a photo, painting or piece of art stays on my wall, I never tire at staring at it. I used to keep all photos, cards, letters, and items that were given to me--I even collect ticket stubs-- but I've made them digital images so at least I can pretend that I don't have a lot of things and they don't really take up any space.
6. I love thinking about how all my friends are doing. I'm not very good at translating that into actually telling them I'm thinking or asking how they're doing, but I hate the thought that people drift apart -- I try and fight that! 

7. I like cheesy movies and books.
8. I love history and have decided that archaeology is the best way to feel like I will ever have some sort of impact on it.
9. I'm always sad that I seem to pick friends from completely different walks of life, societies, groups, cliques and cultures that don't get along with one another. I feel like I have to keep them all separate, when all I want is to bring everyone I love together and have happy times.
10. I'm a natural blonde, and in the sun, it bleaches. I love my hair, but I hate it when there's dry static. I've only died it twice in my life -- once made the fringe red (bad idea as it emphasized the zits and blemishes), and once brown because I was sick of Filipinos saying, 'Wow, your blonde hair is so gorgeous, I want your hair." It made my head hotter.
11. I want to visit Antarctica, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Patagonia, Teotihuacan, Libya, Yemen, Ethiopia, and do the Trans-Siberian Express, but not until my Russian is better.
12. I want to speak Arabic fluently -- what a beautiful language!!!
13. I wish I had more time in my days. I do not understand boredom and always have to be doing as many things at once as I can, and I still don't have time to do everything I want to do. I want to have a photography exhibition. I want to be a published writer of short articles. I want to paint. I want to make jewelry and other crafts to sell. I want to have a beautiful website with all my interests displayed and organized and connecting to all my friends and the interesting places I've seen and done. I want to read all the novels that sit on my shelf and have time to watch movies. I want to cook healthy meals for myself every night and have the odd opportunity to sew myself beautiful clothes. I want to walk outside more often and leave Baku to go to the country.
14. I love coffee shops, but I hate coffee. I think idling away a couple of hours chatting with a friend, people-watching the world go by is a delightful way to pass time, and I can drink copious amounts of tea, with cup after cup.
15. Not every single item in this list should begin with 'I'.
16. Maroon is my favorite color. I had always thought purple or lavender was, but all of a sudden, when I was about 16, I realised that all sorts of items I owned were maroon. I don't like red much at all, however. Don't even talk to me about yellow, orange and green, especially the primary colored ones.
17. I often wish that I could play a musical instrument, not for lack of trying. I really did give up the piano for lack of interest and the practicing of both it and the guitar just didn't seem to fit into my schedule. I sometimes wish I could sing, but get such stage fright that at other times I'm very glad that I can't.
18. While being single has it's perks, I would love to meet a lovely man who would be a good match for me! 
19. World politics and human nature fascinate me and sadden me. I try to be optimistic, but am so incredibly realist by nature.
20. I have recently discovered unitarianism which sounds very interesting to me.
21. I don't mind if I die tomorrow, but of course I don't want to.
22. I'm late for dinner........

21. I don't mind if I die tomorrow, but of course I don't want to, but if that's meant to be I feel like I've still checked off a lot of my 'I want to do this before I die' list (but it keeps growing of course)
22. I'm discovering how unhealthy it is to live alone for too long. I get so prickly when I don't have to share time/space/things with others, and I hate it when I'm deliberately rude or difficult just because I'm feeling grumpy.
23. When I was a child I had nightmares that someone was chasing me and my family with a chainsaw, and while it was alarming, it was mostly a frantic run as opposed to terrifying stress.

24. My handwriting is some of the messiest you've probably ever seen, and it changes daily so that I don't have one style that stands out as mine. I pity my poor students who receive my marking.
25. I have almost 60 GB of music on my hard drive from all over the world, and 90 GB of photos that I have taken. I love the digital world, but still carry a notebook of numbers, addresses, tips, dressmaking/jewelry/art ideas, books to read/movies to see ideas. I would be devastated if my computer crashed, so I try and back it up repeatedly.