It’s been a long 26 hours but we’ve finally arrived in Buenos Aires!
What do you do with 20 over hours in a confined space? Well, some of us would watch movies. Lots and lots of movies. I leaned heavily towards movies that I would not normally watch because I consider them too “slow” and takes too long to get to the point. But on a plane, the situation changes because it’s not like there is anything else that needs my immediate attention anyway, right?
One of the shows I watched was The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. It’s a very British movie with a lot of old British actors/actresses who are known for having serious acting chops. The cast of “thespians” included 007’s boss, a professor at Hogwarts, the mob boss that got his ass kicked by Batman, and that squid creature in Pirates of the Caribbean.
Instead of having a gangster flick with rival gangs using sophisticated technology, magic and tentacles to whack each other, we have a movie that is about a group of old British people who decided to “outsource” their retirement to India because it was cheaper. At the run down Marigold Hotel, they try to make sense of the lives they’ve lived and contemplate their futures in the exotic and overwhelming animal that is India (spoiler alert: they would’ve all done terribly well in theater where they could emote at will and possibly lose a piece of clothing or two)
In the show, (most of) the retirees were initially terrified of the move to a place that is entirely alien to them. A large part of the show was dedicated to them overcoming this fear. Dame Judi Dench correctly noted that India is an assault on all the senses…
“It’s like a wave. Resist it and you will be knocked over. Jump into it and you just might make it out the other side.”
I don’t think that’s very different from venturing into any other environment that is alien to us.
You might not know this, but I always have the butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling prior to flying. The thought of throwing ourselves at an entirely foreign culture with people that speak a language I do not understand terrifies me every single time.
For us, I think we’ve traveled long enough to know that the fear is (mostly) irrational. In fact, this very same “different-ness” is normally what we ended up enjoying the most during our travels. Yet, emotionally, I still cannot help feeling the fear before getting onto the plane.
I believe that most of us are always underestimating our own ability to deal with the unknown as well as our tolerance towards uncertainties, just as we would constantly overestimate the rewards staying in our “safe zone” would reap.
Perhaps that is why we travel the way we do. To somehow completely surrender ourselves to this fear and come out the other side unscathed is one of the greatest thrills in the world.
Another possible reason why we travel the way we do is because we are too lazy to plan ahead.
Notice that I said I watched the show? That’s because Jo spent the entire time on the plane kicking my ass in the “ability to sleep” department. True story… she slept for an 18 hour stretch without food or water. I suspect she was hibernating or going through some self induced Futurama-esque cryogenic sleep.
Side note: This will be the last South American post till I finish all I have to say about Taiwan. This post is mainly to thank everyone who had us in their thoughts and prayers. We’re safely in a hostel in Buenos Aires in spite of a cab driver who “No Hablo Inglés” and yet, insisted on going through his handwritten Spanish notes with us WHILE he was driving at 90km/h. I think that was when all the prayers came in really handy.
Jo will continue
her hibernation to “sleep off the jet lag”… maybe until the day machines take over the earth. #sarahconnors #whatisthematrix