Sunday, April 22, 2007


i´ve been spending much of the afternoon sifting through papers. you may think: you´ve only been in oxf 6 months, so there shouldn´t be much to sift. well, well.

funny thing is, i´ve just stumbled across a paper; a napkin from a spanair flight i took to barcelona back in january 2006. i remember at the time reading the in-flight magazine, and prompted by that, i´d scribbled on the napkin, places where i´d wanted to go still in that year. they were:


funny. i´d forgotten about the list. well, the romantic hollywood thing to say would be that i´d compiled that list and set out to achieve it. (yeah, right).
i´ve always believed it is the very act of compiling the list, rather than holding on to it, that makes all the difference.

so, i can cross of my list above: maastricht, brussels, helsinki, berlin, granada. hhhmmm. five out of nine: not too shabby.
funny thing also about being in the UK is that i am reconnecting with a whole lot of things from my childhood. i think i´ve made mention of this before. i guess it is because we had so many connections tv-wise or literature-wise with British things.
Rupert Bear -- i used to love reading rupert bear, too bad they got rid of the golliwog, which was one of my favorite characters (and then at some point it became politically incorrect to have the golliwog -- this is how adults make kids´ lives complicated...); Paddington Bear -- the other day in the airport i looked at some paddington bear books, and discovered for the first time that his byline had been "the bear from darkest peru" or some such. never knew that. i didn´t really read paddington, but had stuff: like clay/putty set with paddington bear moulds. Pooh Bear i never got the hang of, then nor now. Wombles I used to watch and read avidly. also liked Morph a whole lot.

Ha! Genial! I just googled the title of the first book I´d ever read independently when aged four. It was "Rug plays ball".

And people might say "how is this possible, if you grew up in sanction-isolated apartheid-era South Africa". i guess because life still goes on, regardless... people always try to create a certain kind of normal in abnormal conditions.
the thing about lists is that there is a pattern for me. i make lists. and i´m not talking about day-to-day to-do lists. i make dreamy lists: of things i´d like to do. then i put them aside and they get lost in the papers i tend to amass. then months (18 in the case mentioned above) or years later i find the list when sorting papers. and it´s always weird how much of what i´d written in some act of quasi-whimsy, i had actually achieved by then.

back to the childhood theme: one of my dad´s favorite musicals is South Pacific, and so i know the soundtrack by heart from having heard it 1000+ times during my childhood. so this whole list-compilation thing reminded me of that song that one of the characters sings, which goes

happy talking talking
happy talk
talk about things you like to do
you´ve got to have a dream
if you don´t have a dream
how you gonna have a dream come true




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