The title of this post is in the very literal sense, to begin with at least. I have been ill, down with a fever, chills, cough, uncontrollable sneezing… the package, if you will. It is not a pleasant experience because I lose my sense of taste for a certain period of time and am suddenly only able to consume, if at all, copious amounts of flavored liquid in the form of soups – chicken noodle or egg drop for protein, orange Vitamin Water and warm water. Thus hydrating the humble self that wants to remain under warm knitted blankets. I couldn’t, however, remain under blankets, for I was on production support, which meant that I had to deal with releasing my applications in addition to troubleshooting and solving any issues. It is, to me, one of the most interesting parts of my job because what I have learned when on the on-call roster amounts to more than what my regular work could have granted me. A lot of people dread it because it puts you in the spot, but I revel in it.
I began this year, as I mentioned in an earlier post, traveling. I didn’t really take a lot of time off last year and it did take its toll on me, in that things became a little monotonous – as much as it possibly can for a person who does something new/different every weekend! I needed the jolt of invigoration. Being by myself does that for me. Be it sitting at a coffee shop with a P. G. Wodehouse or Jane Austen novel, or driving some place with Strauss (Johann) playing in my ears. I needed something other than swimming, which in itself always relaxes me. It is fun going places by yourself. I enjoy it. It sparks off something in you. A sense of freedom and calm repose. Except for me, travel always means discovering things. Whether it is in a place I’ve been to before, or a new one. I have stumbled upon some absolute gems of places – bookstores, museums, neighborhoods, dessert shops, restaurants, art stores, antique stores, parks, quite beaches… And I have met an array of interesting people with whom I might share very little or have a lot in common with. It has always been an experience I remember.
I am a city girl, having grown up in one and chosen to live in one now. I like the bustle of it and cannot imagine not hearing the cacophony of motor vehicles every morning. I do, however, long for some sort of respite from it every now and then. I do drown it all out when I swim, when I hear only the splash of water and the sound of my own breathing as bubbles float past me. Going places, though, proves to me that everything can still surprise me. How many ever times I have done it before. Self discovery, self hydration.