Update March 3rd, 2017
Ok, here is draft number 2 ... any better?
As a bead of sweat trickled between my butt cheeks, I started to get the impression that I was wildly, hilariously overdressed. I mean, who wears jeans and a sheepskin waistcoat to the desert?
The heat seemed to swagger around, yelling at those of us who lingered in it that, yes, it was that hot, and if we didn't like it we could just get back on the bus … like little bitches.
The London to Tel Aviv flight had already been a grand adventure of delays, strip searches and hotel rooms. So as a naive nineteen year old, first time traveler, now on my way south, I added to my ever growing list of things to learn.
No 324: when traveling through the Negev desert, try not to dress as though you are attending a shepherding convention in North Yorkshire.
Trying to walk like someone who wasn't being broiled alive inside their underwear, I casually squelched towards the air-conditioned gas station where ice cream quickly became my main focus. Unfortunately, due to my ineptitude at haggling, also the subject of a tragically comical few moments. Stumbling my way through a bewildering combination of sign language and waggling eyebrows, I finally snagged a bargain and stepped out again into the rude desert heat.
Realizing a long held desire to throw off the shackles of solidity, my ice cream turned to liquid and ran, joyfully, down my arm.
No 325: always consider your frozen goods before going into the desert.
Getting intrigued stares from my fellow passengers as I attempted to lick ice cream from my elbow, I threw my sticky self, grumpily, back into my seat and snapped my headphones over my ears. The grinding sounds of Nirvana filled my brain and I gazed out of the window at an impossible expanse of twilight red mountains, their cake-like, dusty layers rising over a backdrop of stars. To a girl from a green, rain-ridden land, it was as alien as another planet ... and it was love at first contact.
At that second, on a shimmering road in the middle of the Israeli desert, I was launched towards my own kind of Nirvana. Of truly being in the moment.
The discomfort, heat and strangeness suddenly became all I needed, as they connected me to my experience, right now. The world was filled with beauty, wonder and potential. The destination no longer mattered and my heart exploded with wild, rebellious freedom.
I was the journey and simply being there was all I cared about.
No 326: Nirvana can change your life ... if you let them!