Travel musings

14 08 2008

Over the last few weeks I’ve seen a few strange things, from the “Butlins Skegness” mini-bus parked outside Kumasi, to the bottles of “Great Wall” Chinese red wine in a supermarket in Ouagadougou (surrounded by good quality French wine). On slightly less surreal and more cultural note some of the women on the boat had beautifully tattooed feet, with geometric patterns mimicking shoes. I also saw women in Mali with a black circle tattooed onto their face around their mouths; I believe to make their teeth appear whiter. The guys wearing t-shirt, shirt and padded coat in nearly 40°C heat on the Mali/Burkina border were quite impressive too. I know it’s the cooler rainy season but if 40 is cold what is hot? I still find the ubiquity of mobile phones strange, sitting on a boat that could have been built 50 years ago, chugging through the fourth or fifth poorest country in the world, the countryside being tilled by hand or ox drawn ploughs, and still you hear the equivalent of “Hello, HELLO, can you hear me? I’m on the boat, … I said the boat …, no, BOAT …” as well as a nice mix of irritating ring tones.

While on the boat my wandered a bit, to something my friend Richard from Lewes wrote on his blog a while back about “pre-funerals”, the idea being that you stage your own funeral every 5 years or so to allow you to enjoy it before you die. This (and reaching 40) set me thinking about how I’d like my (final) funeral to be. A bit morbid I guess but sometimes when you’ve been sitting on sacks of rice staring at passing river bank for hours your mind wanders.

Anyway, I reckon I’d like a quiet time when people say nice things about me, with an appropriate reading or two chosen by my siblings from my favourite books or poems, nothing too religious, with Vaughn William’s “Lark Ascending played at the end to let people meditate while my body is ethically disposed of, followed by a wild wake. The wake should include food, plenty of booze and laughter at the stupid things I’ve said and done.  That said I plan on being around for a while yet.




One response

14 08 2008

I don’t think its morbid – we have no say on how we get to say hello to the world, so surely we do on how we are said goodbye too. Its pretty normal in my family for everyone to know what we all want if something happens to us! Music and readings are how people are going to remember you always – so how wants a song that we really don’t like to be remembered me?

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