The Divine Comedy
In the few days before I travel I always have a strange re-occurring dream. In this dream I am confronted with a modern equivalent of Dante’s nine circles of hell. I enjoy traveling but it is not without consequences.
The first circle is Limbo. This is the period where I am checking flight charges and accommodation pricing and availability for my chosen destination and trying to decide if and when to go. The limbo part comes from the uncertainty of trying to decide if you have the budget or if you wait another two weeks would the whole adventure be more cost effective.
Next up is Lust. The desire to go on holiday overtakes reason and sensibility. Lust makes you book the flight for 5a.m. because this is the cheapest time to travel. The red eye flight is the first undying wind of hell that will face you as you on your journey.
My own Gluttony when it comes to travel is pre-booking two carry on bags instead of one so we can bring more crap away with us. We pay for priority seating on the plane to try and avoid rushes and crowds, all this costs money that the glutton in me happily hands over.
As the time to travel approaches we get the first real glimpse of the fifth circle, Avarice, shopping trips are needed to gather possessions for the holiday, new t-shirts and shorts, new sunglasses and these items coupled with the plane tickets help to edge us closer to poverty – I know this is not real poverty but bear with me here!
Anger, the least useful and most likely emotion when confronted with unreasonable rules at airport check in desks and boarding gates where you are mauled and manhandled in case you try and sneak a bottle of water in your hand luggage. As you see some poor soul being ejected from the airport screaming “In weeping and in grieving, accursed spirit, may you long remain,” you are glad that you have your sensible wife by your side to bring you in the skiff of matrimony across the river styx that is the departures gate.
The sixth circle, Heresy, this is a bit paradoxical, you know when you get to your destination your holiday will be good, you truly believe this but you can only guess at this because it is in the future. All evidence in the present staring at the delayed notices on the flight boards is the only reality that you know. “the portal of the future has been shut,”
Ladies and Gentlemen please place all chair backs in the upright position and fasten your seat belts as we have just entered the Seventh Circle. How can air travel be seen as anything other than a Violent assault on your own mental and physical state. The cramped seats the blocked toilets the horrible over priced food, your terrified and angry fellow travelers. This is not a pleasant way to spend four hours of your life.
Fraud, you were lied to by the booking agent for the car rental. There is additional charges to be paid or you are not getting a car. The luxury car you booked turns out to be a Yaris but still cost the same as a BMW. The hotel is not even within walking distance of itself let alone the golden sands of the beautiful beach you read about on the internets. The beach is a swamp infested with insects that WILL give you malaria.
The ninth circle is my personal favorite, this is generally the point at which my own mind becomes treacherous. It lets me wake up and think thankfully it was all a dream, but I don’t wake up I am still asleep and my beautiful wife is next to me says “You look like you need a little holiday, should we look for cheap flights on the internet”
…….I think I need a holiday from myself.
Film: Fujifilm Neopan 400
Lens: Nikon 50mm f/1.8 D
Dev: HC-110 (G) 55min @ 20c