06 March 2006

Official opening of the Travelling Season 2006

The past week I was first in Dublin and then in Scotland (Inverness and Kirkwall on the Orkney Islands).
It's been about a year since I moved from Dublin. I indulged myself a very nostalgic week-end with fellow former Dubliners: Marije, Ari, Karen, Vale, Matt, Dave... and MLE honorary members by way of flatmateship, Edson and Phil... and friends still in town, and new friends who have more recently joined the circle...
First striking thing: how the little things of everyday (the 123 bus, the roads to MLE, the sound from the traffic light...) resonate like present threads into a past which realness I'm sometimes doubting.
Also stunning was the easyness we all felt getting back together into our old habits of being together, drinking - a lot - and dining - a lot -, laughing and telling our hearts.
Apart from that, I'm still convinced of the waste that is the closure of MLE. Such a diversity of people coming from all kinds of backgrounds and cultures with knowledge to share, to expand and to build and create upon. In the HC group alone, we were italian, dutch, american, irish, spanish, british, french, japanese, german. Where else can you see that? The other time in my life I encountered such a melting-pot was at Nofrontiere in Vienna (although I didn't live there as long and the mix was less intense). I think I miss being in an environment where not only I am a foreigner but everybody around me or almost is as well. The community of exiled ones celebrating life in a very intellectual and physical way...

My second trip shortly after was a business one in the very north of Scotland, in the Orkney islands. I traveled to Scotland a few times last year, to meet different actors in the Cultural/HCI research field, each time in a different location (Inverness, Cairngorm Mountain, Western Isles, Shetland). Like always, I feel I don't have enough times to enjoy the place. Landscapes are often amazing and I was happy to take many pictures, including those you can see here. Orkney's cultural world is very close to the Scandinavian's and it's an interesting mix with the more traditional Scottish aspects. I should go back there soon, therefore with more opportunities to immerse myself in the local feel. (Incidentally, I had in the Kirkwall hotel the best crab cakes ever).

It's nice to travel again after a 5-months break (except for 1 or 2 short trips in France). As many other travels are on the stove being prepared (Montreal, London, Berlin among others), I feel it's this time of year again, transport hunting has begun...

-- Joëlle


HopIsis said...

Having not much to do, but having to be behind the desk and in front of the computer, I began to organize in a worksheet the information in lots of little papers and cards – names, phones, addresses, and so on…
Well, in the middle of that I found Joëlle Bitton and www.superficiel.org... more than a year has passed since we meet at the Liverpool’s Youth Hostel and I had never visited the site! And what have I been missing… “C’est dommage” here at work I can’t see all the features but I hope at home it will work fine…

Your site and work are very interesting; I’m passing the URL to my friends!

A year has passed since that trip to Liverpool, and I also have the urge to “go out” again… I’ll finally go to Egypt and I’m also thinking of going to Montreal…

Unfortunately, work opportunities are not coming up nor giving me the excuse to travel, so as soon as this rather boring work I’m doing in a bank ends, I’ll flight of!

Thank you for your site which allows me a little entertainment :)

À bientôt Joëlle (nice rediscovering you),
Muna Sidarus

Joëlle said...

Dear Muna,

I can't find your email contact in my Liverpool notes which is surprising because I was sure I wrote it down.. or maybe not. I'll look for it further.
But in the meantime, maybe you'll glance another time at these comments so here's my chance to write you.
This trip to Liverpool is still in my mind as one of the best I undertook in the last year (and believe me I traveled a lot, a lot!), if not one of the best in general. It was short but truly intense.
I didn't expect either I would meet many nice people along the way, including you.
I hope all is good with you and your sister that I enjoyed meeting as well.
I'll be in Montreal in the last week of April. It's maybe our chance to meet again. If not, I hope to see you soon somewhere else.


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