Documenting the alienation and bewilderment of traveling to unfamiliar places through photography and prose. A multidisciplinary travel journal.
Ongoing project, more entries soon.
We touch ground
Glasgow has a relatively small airport
When we disembark we’re not safely shielded by an aerobridge but have to make our way across the open terrain
I want to take a picture near the plane’s mobile stairs
I take my first steps on Glaswegian streets, gaze upon the concrete waves before me, and I feel a hundred years old
When I look up to the sky I realise the taste of Victorian architecture never could translate well on tv screens
Storms here pass quickly like moods in a mind
We drift aimlessly through the city
Did you know that Glasgow was once the UK’s most violent city with six times more gangs than London which is approximately ten times as big?
The working-class sections in the South and East areas were most affected
A Glasgow Kiss is a euphemism for a headbutt — at least two people told me this when I mentioned to them I was visiting Glasgow
I’ve always wanted to headbutt someone but I’ve never gotten into a fight
I’ve researched the technique to a good headbutt
it mostly involves flexing the muscles of the entire body and not actually aiming for a forehead-to-forehead, but rather a forehead-to-nose point of contact as hitting the opponent on the hardest part of their skull isn’t actually very effective
The names of once-feared gangs sound more like bandnames now
Maybe the Beehive Boys or the South Side Stickets would have been popstars today We walked through the Shawlands, along the Queen’s Park with it’s roses and it’s reptiles, Govanhill, Eglinton Street and finally the Laurieston where a pub of the same name was awarded best pub of the year
Later we found out that this didn’t really say much as every venue seems to have gotten an award in Scotland at one time or another
I liked the South and East the best
Everyone was nice there
Maybe this makes me masochistic
FORT WILLIAM //
Leaving the city behind, we travel per train towards a promised solitude of mountains. Our time on the train passes as trees grow taller and thicker and an ambiance of ancientness takes hold. In the same carriage exhausted travellers are sleeping, locals watching documentaries on their laptops.
A train drives forward yet also lets you dwell on endlessly in the memories of your mind and therefore it seems to me a perfect collision of future and past. We saw Mackintosh art deco, Warhol’s Oyster Campbell Soup and a video installation about the death of a girl called Andrea Wolf whom I did not know. I need to buy some glue to fasten my Warhol Tomato Soup postcard in my travel journal. They didn’t sell any Oyster Soup postcards — why does everyone favour tomato soup?
At Corrour station I look out the train window and see a small grave near the train tracks,
just big enough for a squirrel or maybe a cat.
It’s adorned with a double cross.
I’ll never know who’s grave it was.
As we pass Tulloch the trees are really starting to get big and rocks split open the landscape in creaks, fields and woodlands. Slightly incomprehensible/seemingly surrealistic. Maybe here they know not to fear nature as it cannot be tamed.
We arrive in Fort William — rain and mist veil the mountain tops and I wonder if here you could feel truly alone. When we later visited the Ben Nevis mountain with a handful of other tourists I knew this wouldn’t be the case and was left feeling slightly like a fraude. My taxi driver said that in the off season everyone seems lonely here and streets are mostly deserted. There’s nowhere to dance, dance, dance. Perhaps that’ll be a better time to visit the mountains. Perhaps not.
The weather is ever a-changing but whenever it rains it hasn’t been a cold, harsh rain; more like a slim layer in the process of cloning the skin without fear of smothering it. In this way the world becomes an extension of ourselves. However, the rain quickly transformed into an eternal obscuring curtain. It was always nightfall.
People said it’s always raining in Scotland.
Scots said it’s always raining in Fort William.
Fort William residents said this was the worst Summer in five years.
The bus takes us through long and winding roads.
I lay my eyes on the tallest pine trees I’ve ever seen.
There are no stop buttons; the custom is to shout at the chauffeur if you need to get out.
No one knows when to shout as the busstops are unmarked.
The driver is speeding and my vision turns to various hues of green.
Near Loch Ness there’s a fish ’n chip shop called Nessy,
myth and modern day consumerism irrevocably intertwined.
Only at the beginning the trail is scattered with litter.
Candybar wraps and cellophane — evidence of human existence.
Later; rocks and a multitude of magenta-tinted flowers.
It can tell us nothing about the absence of evidence nor of existence.
The sky splits open through the array of clouds.
I feel more at ease under the cover of the leaves,
surrounded by fern and age-old trees.
Mountains are beautiful but very still.
I feel a certain festering, an apprehension towards the seas.
Still, I would love to have seen the dolphins.