Friday, March 16, 2012

travelling by ear

The countryside rolls on and endlessly on. It is completely exotic, and shockingly bland. Mile after mile of beige fields. Mud huts. Flat roads. And, occasionally, the most vibrant, vivacious cadres of children in matching royal blue or kelly green or crimson red. A worker walks along the side of the road, his hoe slung over his shovel. 

I am wedged into the third seat of a Volvo wagon. Legs aching from lack of space and movement. Wondering how many times I've breathed this same air in the windowless back of this always too-warm car. The chatter of my parents, aunt and uncle just filter through the headphones of my (not a) WalkMan. Enough to know they are there, not enough to interfere with the music I am listening to. 

I am hot. I am uncomfortable. I am mesmerized by this flat, beige country flying past the window; amazed that I am there at all. 

It's an unusual connection, this aural, visual, temperate, muscle memory that floods me whenever I hear Bruce Springsteen's 'Glory Days'. The quintessential American song that transport this Canadian girl who'd brough only 3 cassettes in her carry-on luggage back to the plains of Zimbabwe. The tapes played on repeat as relentlessly as the sun beat, the flies buzzes, and the fields rolled on and on. 

We experienced stunning natural beauty at Victoria Falls, and the lasting legacy of human ingenuity and nobility at the Great Zimbabwe ruins. These memories too are special and vivid sparkling. 

But the unexpected visceral response that The Boss forever creates in me is that car, that endless road, and the amazement of my 17 year old self to be in Africa at all. 
Scintilla Prompt - Day 3:

1.Talk about a memory triggered by a particular song.


  1. That must have been an incredible trip!!

  2. Oh Noel, sorry I didn't respond sooner. Thank you - yes, it was an amazing trip ... 25 years later I still ache for it.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...