Tuesday, 23 October 2018
Traveling forces one to be flexible. If you are not, you will break.
Our train got cancelled on our way to Gent from Amsterdam. The turn of events landed us in Rotterdam Centraal on a "layover" en route to Belgium.
If our train hadn't been cancelled, and if we hadn't had to twice change platforms, we wouldn't have enjoyed our moment in the sun, drinking coffee and eating a warm slice of Dutch apple pie. If we didn't just accept the circumstances and let go of the oars, so to speak, we would've been thrashing against the current, fighting the flow of events, and potentially missing out on one of Holland's finest desserts. Instead, we peacefully drifted on, munching contentedly, while observing a few such thrashers.
One of these was a lovely, blond woman who looked to be in her late 20's. She fought the current with all her might. Blush and lipstick delicately - purposefully - applied, hair coiffed just so, toffee-coloured peacoat cinched around her tiny waist, she clomp, clomp, clomped in dainty heels to the new train platform. Italian curses and manicured hands flew feverishly around her head. The way she furrowed her brow and huffed and puffed through her cute little nose, one might have mistaken her for a rhinoceros in pumps.
The proof's there in the pudding: Beauty does not beget happiness. Especially when paired with inflexibility.
"Accepting what is", however, does. I am not traveling in style. My hair is due to be washed, and the little make-up I did have on has been rubbed off absentmindedly as the day progresses. I don't mind. Like unpredictable train travel, I accept it, and move on.
While I admire those who find joy in traveling stylishly, for me it is just something else to think about. Something to distract me. The hair up-keep, the lipstick maintenance - these things would keep me from being fully immersed in the present moment.
I cast no judgement on those who look like they've stepped out of a fashion magazine, complete with a matching roller bag. By all means, carry on with your attractive ways, strut your stuff from London to Paris. The bedraggled rest of us are looking on with admiration, enjoying the view - and the pie.