Friday, December 29, 2006

Flashbacks from England; Ascribo's Dissociation

It was a narrow path that runs between the Pitts River Museum and New Marston Neighborhood of Oxford, England. I can still see the blue sign indicating that this is a cyclist/foot path. I observe people smiling back at me as they stroll along the leafy trail. Horses in farms on the right, the gleams of sunset colouring the horizon with golden red, a boy with a fishing rod on the left. Soft breeze is blowing; water-flow under the small bridge is making a soft, pleasant bubbling sound, and creating, with occasional songs of birds, a romantic scene.

Not after a long time, I find myself sitting in a train, staring at a panoramic view of Oxford, and thinking about my past two months, and my next station. Against me a young boy is playing cards with his father, his Mom is reading The Times.

Shortly, the scene changes. I'm staying in a Victorian guesthouse, then I'm standing confused (again!) in a large supermarket. Rain washes it away, to find myself sitting in a garden by the lake. Then the lake becomes a ship canal, and I'm standing at the top of a high tower. It's just like a mixed-up filmstrip...

Finally I’m sitting in a waiting hall at an Airport terminal. A Virgin Atlantic Jumbo is preparing to take off, and I’m solving Sudoku in today's copy of The Independent. After a while, as I'm taking a final glance at the beautiful green piece of land that surrounds Manchester Airport, I think I should have stayed more in this pleasant land. Eventually I fall asleep.

Next morning, I wake up on a different combination of sounds that comprises the most irritating melody I've heard in my life. If a picture equals a hundred words, then a video is worth a thousand pictures. You'd better take a look at what I saw from my room's window:


What a cruel, abrupt transition! In less than 24 hours my deadly calm room that looks upon Lyme valley turns into what you've just watched. From now on, this would be the morning annoying alarm. No more green horizons. I think of that Airlines agent asking: "Are you sure you want to fly on Thursday?” Then I dismiss all those memories to where they belong: the PAST, in an attempt to get back to the awful reality.

But now, after I somehow got over the so-called: reverse cultural shock, I'm starting to have flashbacks of those memories. I never expected that I'll see it all again so vividly, and to the smallest detail. But here it is, I start to feel my personality dissociating.

Finally Ascribo tells me he wants to get back to England. He insists he never wanted to leave it in the first place. Now he wants to stay in that "PAST", writing about what he's seen and learnt. I have no choice, for now, he is the one who thinks and dictates; I only write what he says.
We'll call it: "Lessons from London". I think it's interesting that although he's spent just few days there, but he got most of what he's learnt in England from that old city, the heart of civilized world, More or Less.

8 comments:

abufares said...

Good writing, good video
You know what some crazy people I meet tell me that this is what they Like or miss about Damascus.
Luckily, we're not there yet in Tartous, but from te look of it, we're sure heading toward that road.

Angel said...

Flashbacks.....UK is simply: too many nice memories, new lessons and new ways to look at life. Ascribo is right with his decision… Wish he will resume posting soon, I miss his adventures in Britain…
By the way! Do you know “the Environment police” phone number? We should contact them at once!! Your video is one hell of an evidence: "the so-called environmently clean capital" ;-)

Awesome post….. beautifully written, beautifully expressed…

Ascribo said...

Dear Abufares,

I'm glad you liked the post and the video. It always strikes me with surprise that some Damascenes actually like the idea about noise&traffic jam...

Either they haven't travelled around enough to see the difference, or they're too arrogant to admitt it.

I hope our Tartous will stay calm for some time, at least...

Ascribo said...

Dear Angel,

Thank you for passing by. I hope I'll get back in the mood to post very soon...

By the way, if you come around where I'm staying, you'll see better versions of that video nowadays...

Arima said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. But seriously WOW!!!! That is an amazing post you have! Fascinating blog in general!
You know I had exactly the reverse when I left Syria to go back to the UK...reverse culture shock. I remember crying and crying when the plane landed in Heathrow airport and alll I could see was grey, rain, unsmiling people, no music, no life!
I've gotten used to it but I still dream about damascus...the noise (I like it), the smells, the crowding, the view of Qassyoun. I'd quite gladly change places with you :)
I hope you find peace where you are or get to come back to the UK sometime.
But please keep up the excellent writing !

p.s. you should check my post on Oxford if you want a dose of nostalgia.

http://je-suis-ici.blogspot.com/2006/10/me-in-oxford.html

Lost In London? said...

Well, Ascribo, it's true that one man's dream is another's nightmare...

I, for example, would love to be sat in an apartment in downtown Damascus looking out onto (in my opinion) the most beautiful city in the world, with it's friendly faces and bustling lifestyle.. and I'd embrace the sounds and scents and memories that come with it - the good and the bad.

Instead, I am here in the cold grey UK... Sure, it's pretty, and the life here is quiet and the people are polite (and no-one uses the horn in their car!!!)... and you'd have thought I'd have gotten used to it by now after spending over half my life here... but it's not "home" and never will be.. I'd choose Kasioun over the rolling green English hills any day!

The grass is always greener on the other side!

I hope you find your British dream, ascribo... and settle somewhere that both your heart and mind are content and happy.

Anonymous said...

why not...

quotes of the day said...

nice posts thanks for sharing.