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Aug 30, 2004 | Sardinia Travel Entries (Part 1)

The following is the first part of a three-part transcript of my journal that I kept during my trip to La Marmorata Village in Santa Teresa di Gallura, Sardinia, during July-August 2004. The establishment I was in was owned by Aeroviaggi Club, a sort of Club-Med all-amenities-and-food-included village. Thus most people arrived as part of a vacation promotion, and spoke French. I was there for a month (four weeks), since the package worked on week-based prices. Notes that I have added later are marked in parentheses with the words ‘add:’

Alone on a swaying deck
Facing the calm and quiet sea
I care not who it is with me
As I sit there silent as one can be
I look upon the shining star
Long beyond and distant far
Forperhaps across the frontiers high
Its light might shine on another eye

July 29th

If there were such a thing as emerald blue, then you’d realise what I’m talking about is both beyond reality and awesome to see. I had earlier considered some repose besides the pool, but one step out of the ocean-view front village residence and such plans disappeared as quick as a bee on a harried task. (Quick as lightening is cliche and rather unsuited for my present situation). Beyond the rows of poinsettias (I think thats what they are) and hedge bushes, and the giant rocks strewn like the forgotten toys of a childish giant, beyond these one can see the emerald blue that pains the ocean, the glitters of white sails that dot its surface, and the sullen blown clump of mountains that form the edge of the islands of Maddalena. The very blueness I refer to is no doubt the product of the paler blue that washes the sunny sky. Not a cloud can be seen for miles around, as though they could hardly stand to see themselves tarnish such a beautiful sky (and ocean). To the left is located some brown terra-cotta type buildings/adobes whose residents, no doubt, enjoy this view before them no more than I do the Eiffel Tower. Obviously it is a splendid sight to see, and the undoubtedly appreciate it as they do their own house, but something tells me they don’t consider it much everyday. Such is the sadness of travel: people in once place prefer to take a trip to another place, whose residents, in turn, prefer to visit the place of the former. People, if I can go so far as to make such a generalisation, prefer difference, and I think it is an innate and unchangeable desire. Something out of the ordinary, unique or never before seen/hear of, that’s what people desire, and this applies not only to a summer’s vacation voyage. I have a tendency to desire the sameness in things (collections, same size bound books, same opinions), just as one might enjoy the moment of discovery when a newly-found friend enjoys the same brand of deodorant (I meant spaghetti: slip of my finger). We rarely experience the same excitement when discovering differences. Why should that be? Why can’t finding out that your friend likes the very same songs as you do be as interesting as finding out you don’t? Now this is a problem, for earlier I had iterated that people prefer differences, and I’ve just given an example of the very contradiction.

Winter minds make unkept deeds
Summer souls make sifting heeds
Spring showers bring winter seeds
and come fall come autumn reeds

The realities of Life are all unheard
Like the sound of a muted bird
Its voice a-vanished into the clear clear night
The distant stars and moon that give me sight
And yet I walk through life all blind
My hands outstretched for a thing to find
I stumble I fall but I get upright
It’s about getting there without the light
The realities of Life I’ve yet to see
Won’t someone be kind to come with me…

Aug 6th

Yesterday night was undoubtedly the fright of a lifetime. Lightening flashed mere kilometres from the door (add: I was to learn later that a lightening had struck the hotel pool), lighting up the sky like Christmas lights gone haywire. It’s the type of lightening that for a moment makes you think you’re a celebrity under the flashes of the sky-borne paparazzi. Today isn’t exactly a great day, to say the least. Of the 20 kids in what’s been haphazardly called the ‘Club Ado’ (adolescents), only about 3 remain, for the rest have gone home, back to Paris, back to Limoges, Strasbourg, Tolouse, all over France. The saddest truth is that the fondest memories I’ve ever kept since the one year I’ve been in Paris have been left in this past one week. Strange, you may say. Even awkward, to know that you miss the people you’ve spent what may be the least time of your life. What I say to that is that fast friends sometimes stay long. I guess coming to know one another outside the school framework, the rigid and time-lacking atmosphere of l’ecole, is what makes such friends last. Over the one week I’ve done more stuff (hiking, swimming, eating, joking around, playing cards) than I ever have with any of my classmates. Its sad that my parents won’t allow me to stay out any later than 10:30pm, a curfew I know has ridiculous measures even a 12-year old would protests, especially at a village club like the one I’m in. I’m not one to contest, however, and after I turn 18 I can’t allow myself to be dismayed by my parents’ apparent look of disappointment and disapproval if and when I let them down on account of what they might claim as ‘irresponsible behaviour’. Its a pity you (or I in particular) don’t realise what you’ve missed until you miss it, but then again I can’t really dwell on that either. The sad thing is that the weeks to come (three, to be exact) seem really bleak in comparison to what I’ve experienced this past week. (add: how wrong I was) I dunno. I realise that the best friends I have are those who are expressly normal, not trying to act cool and tough. Like, I know you have Armani glasses and top-notch jeans, but is there anything besides? Those who really don’t care much about that, just want to have fun together, enjoy communicating, (however hard it may be from Italian to English to French), all of them have (sadly) left. The hike on Tuesday was quite spectacular. We left as a group of 19 at around 10 towards a group of hills at the left of the club, travelling over roads and pebbled paths that is, quite frankly speaking, remote. There were two peaks (with monolithic stone obelisks) that we tried to visit, but the highest one was blocked like a cavelike stairwell that was too dark to even contemplate climbing (although I was rather insistent on going). The scary part of the cave was that when we took pictures with a digital camera and flash, we saw stone ‘shelves’ that eerily resembled catacombs of the type Edgar Allan Poe referred to in Venice. What catacombic (no bodies of the sort) shelves serve in a stairwell to a peak of a hill is what escaped and still escapes me.Discouraged and despondent, we had lunch on a bunch of rocks further below the peak, and later headed toward the second peak, one that had been first visited the previous week. Arriving there at around two-thirty, we relaxed, sunbathed, and swam among the gigantic rocks characteristic of the Sardinian countryside. The smoothness of the weather/water-beaten rocks reminds one of the African deserts. Such was our hike, relatively simple as it was but enjoyable nonetheless. Its such simple pleasures that I enjoy the most-something that involves the nature and hiking and the like. Its not quite fun when you’re with people who aren’t your age, if you can understand what I mean.

This entry was posted on Monday, August 30th, 2004 at 8:32 pm, EST under the category of Travels. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.