June 22, 2005

Lucid, frustrating dream

I get the feeling that because I can't remember my dreams for long, I think that I never remember them. So because I can remember the dream I had before waking I'll write it down.

I was on holiday in a resort in somewhere wild, somewhere like Mongolia. My girlfriend and I were sharing a hotel room, and that morning her parents were coming to take us on a drive somewhere. Her parents were definitely Katie's parents, and possibly so was she. Anyway, we got ready and went down to the car. I realised with dread that I'd left my wallet and camera in the hotel room and so I went back to get it. When I came back down, they were gone.

Figuring that maybe they'd driven up the road to turn round (I don't know why; the hotel was at the end of a cul-de-sac) I walked up the only road away from the hotel. Soon it turned into a track and I found myself walking across a very windy beach. The shelf into the sea was very steep, and the sand was very soft. The water was grey and whipped by the wind. Past the beach the track started up and I walked all the way up into a small village above the beach, on the side of a hill. There were lots of partially bearded Mongol faces, and lots of people were drinking some kind of yogurt drink. I stopped briefly in some kind of lodge for travellers at the top of the village but realised finally that the car wasn't here and went back to the hotel.

The car was still not there, but with a doubly sickening sense of dread realised that I'd left the camera - her camera really - back in the lodge. So I started back, but this time on the beach I wasn't concentrating on where I was going so I started slipping down the sand into the sea. At first it was just breaking over my legs, which I didn't mind for some reason, but with each break the backwash pulled a little of the sand back into the sea and me with it, until it was breaking over my chest and I realised I was being pulled out to sea. Panicking I started thrashing at shore and attempting to shout, but it's very difficult to shout when you're trying not to go under, and due to the wind, the noise of the sea and the language barrier I had no confidence in shouting for help. Instead I started swimming purposefully to shore but bizarrely my front crawl just seemed to be scooping sand out of the sea to accumulate beneath me. Thanks to the sand island that had formed underneath me I was able - I don't know how - to get out of the water. On trudging up to the lodge I found my old colleagues from CLMP in the lodge. Glen said, "Looking for this?" and held out the camera. I practically cried with relief and they took a photo.

The only real-world links I can find are:

  • Noriko left her sunglasses in the cafe on Sunday and it was so hot that getting them back felt like a mission
  • Last night I talked a bit about CLMP, but didn't mention any other staff or even think about them.
  • Also last night I drank 2 bottles of Yakult for the first time since leaving Japan.
Posted by Oxygenik at 9:18 AM | Comments (2)

June 20, 2005

June 8, 2005


I'm in Malta with the company conference, which is pretty nice. Certainly it beats working for a week and the 5 star hotel, quality restaurants and free bars are a pleasant break from London's rapacious financial appetite! Weirdly I got shocked by a faulty standing lamp in my room in the Malta Hilton last night - the whole socket hadn't been put together, but rather the parts had been simply balanced on top of each other, so when I tried to turn the light on it came apart in my hands and sent 220V AC down my arm and leg into the floor. Even more weirdly the hotel, while offering to call a doctor and so on, they didn't once apologise for electrocuting me.

So what's good and what's bad? Well most of it is neutral or positive: when not trying to kill its guests the hotel is very comfortable, although the lack of wifi in the rooms is disappointing, as is the fact that despite it being a 5 star Hilton, you're still expected to pay for it where you can find it. The weather - 26°C and dry, if rather humid, is great, the air is clean and the water, fresh from the reverse osmosis plant is scale free and makes lovely tea.

Yesterday's flight wasn't up to much though - I arrived at the gate at 8:50am for a 9am flight, right on time for me, 2 hours late if my mum's reading. Unfortunately my razor-sharp timing was all for naught because the plane was delayed. The captain gave some cock and bull excuse about taxiing, refueling and so on, but I knew they were just doing some last-minute gaffer-taping over the rusty old engine mountings - this was an ancient 747. Once in the air the movie was shown - it looked strangely like a worn out old 70s film thanks to the projector's odd coloration, and while it might have been quite funny there was no audio service from the seat sockets. And the meal... well it was supposed to be breakfast but it was about 12 noon by the time we ate, and the airline breakfast had been stewing below decks for hours. And it was obviously rubbish to start with. It was all I'd eaten by the time supper came round, and I was ravenous. I'd been ravenous throughout the afternoon and then I realised - you simply can't feed a thousand people from a buffet with anything approaching efficiency.

But the food was good - pork medallions, lamb mince kebabs, barbecued marinaded chicken, grilled bream, chicken tortilla wraps, olive and mushroom salad, mushroom, kidney bean and garlic salads, potato salad, delicious tomatoes, green and red leaves with lovely dressings, apple crumble and mango tart, pineapple and melon. Well, that was what I ate, but I don't think I had everything. My breakfast this morning was pretty good too - 6 rashers of bacon, scrambled eggs, 2 cumberland sausages, tomatoes grilled with mozzarella, smoked trout, smoked swordfish, salmon gravadlax, muesli, prunes and yoghurt. The prunes will hopefully help out, but I think I will be putting on a bit of weight over the course of this trip. Tonight we have a dinner at a fancy villa followed by a "Festa Evening" what that is I don't know, but it will doubtless include a free bar.

And this is a minor niggle - there are free bars everywhere! On the cruise I'm currently missing (due to a great walk through the old town with a colleague I'd never met before but badly needed to) and last night at the buffet, tonight at the meal, at the festa and tomorrow during the meal and at the nightclub afterwards too, there are free bars everywhere, and it's a little bothersome for me since I'm not that interested in drinking, as George Jean Nathan once said (thanks, www) to make other people seem interesting, and there's nothing else much to do apart from drink and make small conversation, and the latter without the former doesn't seem to satisfy. If only I'd muled a few pills out here, I could spend time high on a proper drug!

Posted by Oxygenik at 4:26 PM | Comments (2622)