wellington, march 4th, 2001 5:40pm

my vacations are always the same

the lido, a cafe
  1. arrive at destination
  2. unpack and settle
  3. walk through new city streets, orienting myself
  4. find a nice cafe
  5. order a cappucino
  6. read the guide book to determine my next destination
  7. read some fiction (this time i happen to be engrossed in _Contact_)
  8. sit here and reflect how this is always the same

i never really meet anyone, discover no new relationships, not any lasting ones anyway. i sit alone and don't talk to anyone. sad and lonely. why? can it ever be any different? how many vacations do i have to go on to make it come out differently?

i like wellington so far. maybe i could feel at home here. live here.

a woman who's staying in my room at the hostel is two tables away, alone, apparently doing the same thing i am.

why make the effort to cultivate a social acquaintence on this trip? on the tour bus? it won't be long-lasting anyways. we'll part company not long down the road. so i just don't venture very far out of my shell.

why might i want to *try*? in spite of the discomfort, social awkwardness? is there any value in short, fleeting shallow acquaintences? could i learn something from them? i admit i am curious about what brings them out here. like me, many are travelling alone. are they looking for the same things i am? clinging to their shells to varying degrees as i do?

what am i looking for? i'm looking for just a few moments of joy where i can forget myself and just live in the moment. just a bit of hope and peace and wonderment.

would it be too personal to ask a fellow traveller what brings them out here? would it be rude and intrusive?

i'm too introspective to have any fun.

god, should i just take a risk, stand up and go join that woman two tables away? NO. she just got up and walked out, without waving goodbye. i waved hello when i came in here and saw her, as if to say, "hi! i recognize you. we're both creatures of similar habit." perhaps she's deeper in her shell than i am in mine.

time to venture forth...

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