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November 22, 2011 / Aware of the Void

The Divine Comedy

The Divine Comedy by okmqaz42

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.

Camera:Nikon F100
Film: Fujifilm Neopan 400
Lens: Nikon 50mm f/1.8 D
Dev: HC-110 (G) 55min @ 20c

Development details on FilmDev

El Cotillo Sunset


Leave a Comment
  1. marinachetner / Nov 22 2011 1:47 am

    Well done! I think Fraud is one many can identify with – the promise is not the reality. It all goes back to enjoying the journey. Go read my inspiration quotes 😉

    • Aware of the Void / Nov 22 2011 5:56 am

      Hi Marina, thanks for stopping by, the whole post was written in an effort to make my wife laugh. As I reply it is 5am and we are sitting at the departure gates in Dublin airport. I really enjoy the journey and often find it is better that the destination.

      • marinachetner / Nov 22 2011 6:02 am

        oh!!! so it wasn’t a dream. where are you off to?

      • Aware of the Void / Nov 22 2011 6:32 am

        We are off to the island of Fuerteventura, the second shot in my post was taken around Christmas time last year on the west coast.

      • marinachetner / Nov 22 2011 10:51 pm

        Enjoy enjoy!

  2. David Hall / Nov 22 2011 6:18 pm

    Very amusing post that any traveller can relate to. Have a nice holiday.

  3. Aware of the Void / Nov 23 2011 10:46 am

    Flight was great, got the exit seats so massive amounts of leg room.
    Car rental was the usual, a pile of extras added at the desk that leave you wondering what you are paying for.
    The accommodation is perfect, better that anything we expected.
    Next stop the beach and more photography at sunset.

    • marinachetner / Nov 23 2011 11:18 pm

      Photos please!

      • Aware of the Void / Nov 24 2011 8:36 am

        Both memory cards for my digital camera have failed and for some reason my wife was reluctant to left me bring my developing kit with me. I will pick up new cards today and try again…

        This is a snap from my iPhone, but you get the idea.


      • marinachetner / Nov 24 2011 12:22 pm

        that’s some beach and that is some sky! great shot with le iphone. Is it warm?

  4. Photobooth Journal / Dec 8 2011 9:44 am

    Great band, too. (or great singer, never sure which)

  5. paintlater / Dec 10 2011 5:11 am

    Beautiful shot. I still haven’t conquered the flight-fear after the last fiasco, as much as I am yearning to see Europe and Ireland I can’t bring myself to fly for 24 hours- ANYWHERE! . Is “sloth” one of those sins?

    • Aware of the Void / Dec 10 2011 8:09 am

      “Is “sloth” one of those sins?” I wish it was it would have been easier to write about sloth than is was trying to work Avarice into the post. I am still not sure what Avarice is..

      I think I know how I can convince you to get on a plane or boat. Google “Florence”. you will book a flight 2 minutes later.

      Duomo-true at first light

      View from Monte alle Croci

  6. deirdremarieosullivan / Mar 28 2014 10:25 am

    Hysterical…. 🙂
    Here’s some “Divine Comedy” lyrics which might suit this blog if someone were to read it aloud and have some audio on in the background…

    “And without warning when we’re almost at the top
    The wheel that turns us all comes to a sudden stop.
    The wind that’s blown us dies a quick and painless death
    The air gets clammy and we hold each other’s breath
    We get the feeling that we’re not alone in this
    And then a God who really ought not to exist
    Sticks out a great big hand
    And grabs me by the wrist
    And asks me “why?” and I say
    “Well God, it’s like this
    It may be arrogance
    Or just appalling taste
    But I’d rather use my pain than let it all go to waste
    On some old god who tells me what I want to hear
    As if I cannot tell obedience from fear
    I want to take my pleasures where and how I will,
    Be they disgraceful or distasteful or distilled
    And to be frank I find that life has more appeal
    Without a driver who’s asleep behind the wheel”


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