29 April 2010

Musings on travelling

On my trip here I was musing on the land as seen from above. 

The first leg of the journey, into Schiphol I saw Dutch canals and irrigation ditches across fields subtly out of alignment, each at a slight angle to the next.  The sun reflected off the parallel water lines across each field.  A spiders web shone out of the flat landscape.

As we flew down towards Hong Kong airport I saw some strange islands.  The rim of each seemed normal, beach, tree covered hills rising out of the water, but the insides of the islands were inverted.  Huge steps led down from the crest of the hill, greys and browns, circle steps inside the island, as though it plunged down and penetrated below the sea bed.  Poor insignificant island, heart quarried out because its land was more useful elsewhere.

The ferry across the South China sea to the Pearl River delta is not even a tenth full.  The exotic names are not much of a pull compared with the capital and capitalist paradise that is Hong Kong.  It bobs up and down on the water and I look out through salt stained windows.  Going outside on the ferry is impossible, there is nowhere you can go, they like you contained in the right place here.  I sit inside and look at the sea through the salt, and try to think of another way to describe the water, but it can only be described as jade.  Green and opaque with a hint of turquoise when the sun lights it.  I stare at it and it is a surprise when the waves break in a froth of white foam and not in semi-precious stone chips.
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