Saturday, August 18

what I have learned

The trip's over. Time to consider some of the things I've learned.

For one thing, I now understand why a couple of guys I know prefer solo travel - you get to do exactly what you want. (Mind you, with a travelling cellmate you sometimes discover other things you would never have thought of.)

When walking in a strange place, the GPS in your smartphone is a big help. You see yourself as a moving blue dot on the map.

I've discovered at least one way that I'm turning into my old dear. When she travelled, she couldn't care about sightseeing - she was happiest just hanging out in a hotel. She used to get teased about it, but now I'm going the same way. It doesn't have to be a luxury hotel (although that's nice when you can get it). It's just great to have no chores to do. Nothing at all to do.

Not having responsibilities is a wonderful thing. No job, housework, gardening, phone calls, bills. You get time to let your life empty, and time to select what to fill it with.

But everything balances up, and when you get home at the end of a holiday, suddenly life is filled to overflowing - first you rediscover cooking for yourself, then suddenly there's cleaning and repairs and the garden and the job. And all the wee chores you've been putting off for years stand out clearer than before. Dreadful!

I have also been reminded that you can't afford to trust anyone whose services you're paying for. A travel agent won't necessarily tell you which visas you need. An unknown house painter won't necessarily do the job properly (Albert would put it in stronger language).

Another thing I've realised is that there's no point in fighting it any more - my name is Albert and I'm a tea-oholic. Green, brown, black, red, twigs, in fact anything from the camellia sinensis plant. I got hooked when I was a kid.

Britain has the best black tea of anywhere, and Bavaria has the worst. In Scotland last month I grew sick of the pension fund nagging me on the phone to get her some draw-string tea bags. The hunt around supermarkets became a drudgery, and although I bought several boxes for her, I forgot to get any tea for myself! Doing something under protest, resentfully, is never productive.

And I learned the simple formula - around 4pm it's best to stop tea and flip the switch to Erdinger.


  1. Albert? "And I learned the simple formula - around 4pm it's best to stop tea and flip the switch to Erdinger." I've given up the drink of course, but I will remember Erdinger with the fondest regard. The brew for me! Hotboy

  2. The homebrew weissbier has further matured in my absence. It's now nearly as good as the big E.

  3. Seems to me that if you are just going to stay at a hotel and do nothing, you could do that in your own country and not deal with the bother of airports.

    If you'd like I'll post you some tea. I've not learned to drink anything but peppermint tea, but I do know how to make proper tea.

    Interesting the things we learn.

  4. I say!

    4pmm is a bit early, isn't it? Sun's not over the yardarm by then, surely?

    MM III

  5. Nanners, a kind offer but anything animal or vegetable is impounded by customs here. Peppermint tea can be great for the digestion, but I'm sure you know that already.

    Mingers. You're right of course. 4 is the tea stoppage hour, then it's hard to have the patience to wait for yardarm time.