This is my new favorite justopia.com meal — Roast Chicken, Home Made Stuffing and Green Beans with Bacon and Almonds
It is an important day here at Living the Justopian Life. Today marks the 300th post to this blog. That’s 300 days of watching, of being inspired – in a writing way, reading, rewriting, shooting, photographing, and rewriting once again until the finished draft is acceptable and ready to be sent off through the ether to land on browsers all across … well, somewhere. If you’re reading this it means you clicked on a link or a button somewhere, either by design or by accident and landed in a world of words about a relatively new phenomena — Justin.tv.
Thank you for continuing to read and for the comments and for allowing me a place to spill the words that bounce around in my head, and need a place to settle each day.
My How Time Flies
Memories, like the corners of my mind, misty watercolor memories, of the way we were.
Sappy yes, but sending in my almost expired, worn and frayed passport was a bittersweet moment for me. The old, or should I say most recently renewed passport has taken me far and wide. The worn blue covered book with stamps from almost every continent on the planet tells tales of vacations and jobs, heartbreaks, and illness, of friends and foes, foods and culinary adventures sights, sounds and smells and shopping extravaganzas from around the world that I never would have imagined I’d experience in my lifetime.
Scattered pictures Of the smiles we left behind. Smiles we gave to one another for the way we were.
These 4″x3″ blue bound diaries are a window to the past 10 years of my life. The passports were an unintended consequence of the travel requirement for documentation. A happy accident. Without the myriad stamps within the book, there are trips I will likely not remember in the future.
Oh boy, after more photos and fingerprints (all 10 digits, mind you) and paperwork, I am allowed to live and work in the Philippines for a year, when I get to do it all over again.
These passports are the library that contain the history of my life’s travels since 1973. Although I have kept spotty journal entries over these 10 years and not until May 2, 2007 did I begin keeping an almost real-time accounting of life (as it pertains to JTV), the passport won’t lie, won’t confuse the chronological order of trips, won’t remember things incorrectly. What’s stamped in the book, as long as it’s never misplaced or lost is an actual accounting of things as they were for me for a decade and while I’m tempted to pick up a black Sharpie and blot out the photo, I won’t. That too is a documented accounting of my past.
When the number of stamps has almost exceeded the allotted number of available spaces on the pages of a passport, it is not retired to the back of a drawer or a file. It is sent in for new pages to be officially sewn in.
The image above of extra pages in the book reminds me of countless hours traveling to and from airports, standing at ticket counters, waiting in long lines at security checkpoints, eating at airport restaurants, waiting in passenger lounges, and boarding jumbo jets for 21 hour days of travel to my destination. I’d say my least favorite route was the Washington>>Frankfurt>>Bangalore trip.
Having landed in Frankfurt after 9 hours of flying I knew I’d have another 10 hour leg to Bangalore to get through. Well actually, that may not have been the worst. Washington>>Detroit>>Tokyo>>Manila was never fun and games. The first hop is easy. Two and a half hours and you’re in Detroit. You’ve barely taken off when breakfast is being cleaned up and you’re preparing to land. After a few hours in the lounge or walking around the terminal shops you’re boarding a 747 and preparing for an 11 hour flight over the polar ice cap to Japan.
Depending on the route, you can, in your sleepless or Ambien-induced haze troll for a great Japanese snack, not that you’d need one after 11 hours of in air entertainment, food and snacks. Just when you think you’re going to crawl out of your skin you board yet another jumbo jet for the 4.5 hour leg of the trip south to Manila. Of all the portions of this 21 hour day, this is the most grueling. The very last thing you want to do is cross the threshold to the waiting flight attendants who are smiling (whether sincere or not) and awaiting your arrival.
I have issues with grumpiness if I am running low on sleep in my own home, can you imagine me out in the world, 1/2 way across the planet, with a few hundred strangers, most of whom are pushing and shoving, wanting to be first through the door? It was never easy to drag a smile out of this Justopian during those legs of the trip.