Yesterday, I went with a group of new friends on a trip. They're this bunch of (awesomely) crazy people with a dry sense of humour -to which I laugh along anyway because it's funny and I get it.
I have been to the Giant's Causeway (the main attraction of the trip) before, but I have been missing the ocean quite terribly and ached to see the sea and feel the waves crash through the inspirations of my mind.
The day was overcast and the weather forecast unpleasantly said that it would rain. The windows of the bus fogged up since morning when we got in it, shrouding us from the outer world. But we rubbed holes and patches in it with our bare hands and I shot through all the blurriness.
|probably wasn't too pleased at having the camera pointed his way ;)|
|the ground was interesting :P|
|man walking his dog in an almost classical residential area scene.|
|cave in the hill where people actually used to live.|
|witch on halloween.|
Scenes of the countryside throughout the journey.
|sheep in a cluster.|
The sun flickered in and out as if to taunt us. I just allowed myself to feel its hand on my cheek and was glad that we saw the sun at all.
So at the first stop, my friends went to cross a disturbingly narrow rope bridge that stretched across two cliffs. Due to the facts that: one, I had crossed that before; two, it wasn't my favourite experience, trying to convince yourself that it really was safe but the wide spaces around you and especially beneath your feet as well as the angry waves below begged to differ; and three, we had to pay an extra fee to get in; I stayed back at the little cafe they had before the entrance.
After they'd left, I sat at the tables outside, trying to sketch a mountain which looked like it was made of streak-rock. But then it started to drizzle, causing blobs on the little notepad of mine, so I decided to have a look at the cafe and souvenir shop they had there.
The first thing I saw as I walked in the entrance was a rack of postcards. I picked out a design (picture?), and took another two of the same and bought them. I was just settling myself at one of the small tables with four chairs around it, but really looked more like it was for two or something, when I saw the most spectacular thing: a rainbow glowing from a small cloud of mist from the middle of the ocean.
I couldn't quite believe how incredible that was, and stared for a few seconds longer before grabbing my camera. I shot from inside, through the window, then moved out to where others were also stopping just to witness that sight.
When Ever finally said enough, that I had taken enough photographs of the rainbow, I went back inside and decided to start on my postcards. I remembered the promise I had made to a cousin, so I wrote him one. I then wrote to my other relatives as well as a teacher who has taught me for the longest in my life and knows me better than anyone at all. I even went back to get three more, when I realised that I would like to write to more people.
As I was writing, I noticed people coming in with trays of food and occupying the tables. I'm not sure how I didn't quite realise that the cafe had almost filled up, till a guy came up to my table and asked if there was anyone sitting there in the seat opposite me. I looked up and immediately shook my head, so he took a seat and brought out a small book of traditional Irish family names which I recognised as one that was being sold at that very place. I continued writing and saw him flick the book open from the corner of my eye.
With the only pen I had brought along with me, I filled up another postcard, telling about the rainbow and all. Then I stopped, and tucked it back into the brown paper bag that the cashier had wrapped them in.
The guy had also closed his book, and I sat there, musing about some now forgotten thought. Then he spoke.
"You were writing postcards?" he asked.
"Yeah," I replied, with the feeling I always had when people asked about me writing letters and stuff.
"To your family?"
"Yeah, and to some relatives and friends (teacher? But I didn't want to bother with too much explanation, so I just left it as 'friends'.) as well."
We talked a bit and I found out that he was from France. He asked if I liked the place, and I said that I did; and we talked about traveling and how interesting it was, seeing new places. He told me about how nice it was to return home with stories and pictures in your head, and I smiled and pointed to my camera.
"No, not just those kind of pictures," he told me. "Pictures, stories, that you would tell."
I then realised his point, and strongly agreed.
We sat there, me looking around. A lady came up and asked if she could have a chair from our table, and I told her sure. Another passed by with a tray, eyes rather obviously searching for a place. I gestured to offer her my seat, I could go anyway, I wasn't even eating. But she smiled and said that it was ok, and found her seat someplace else.
The French guy then left for a few minutes, letting me know before he did. His belongings were left at his place. Then he returned with a piece of apple pie.
"Are you hungry?" he asked me.
I replied that I wasn't, but he still offered me some of his pie, handling over a spoon (he was using a fork), and then looking disappointed when I declined.
He then asked me if I was staying there for long, and I told him that I was actually with a tour and we would be going to the Giant's Causeway later. His face brightened and he said that he was heading there too, then further proceeded to shock me by asking if I would like to follow him.
"I came with a tour, and they went to the bridge and would be back soon," I repeated again. Perhaps I hadn't said it clearly before.
"Maybe you could tell them that you will go with me and you could come in my car."
In my head, I yelled, 'Whaaatttt?' But with some quick thinking, and without even having to lie (something which I don't do), I told him, "I'm with my friends, actually. They just went to the bridge," repeating that yet another time.
His face fell. "Ahh, you came with friends."
I think I smiled wryly, then checked the time. They would be back anytime, and I decided that it would perhaps be better if I just left now before he asked me to accompany him again. I don't particularly mind smiling or even having random conversations with strangers, but then following them just wasn't what I did. Being polite, kind, or even friendly was alright, but when it might get too much, you just know that you have your safety to consider; and doing that would just be reckless.
As politely as I could, I excused myself. He stood up and even shook my hand before I left, and we said that it was 'nice to meet you'. Then I went on, put up my hood for it was pouring again outside, and the rest of the tour wasn't as eventful even though it was still good.
|Having lunch out in the sunshine.|
|Ate 'nasi lemak' the traditional way because it didn't come with cutlery and we weren't allowed to eat, let alone borrow the cutlery from the pub-restaurant.|
|ulster Way causeWay coast Way.|
It was perhaps a tougher walk through all that rain and wind that were determined to get our teeth chattering and our coats and shoes soaked through, but laughter passed the time by and soon, we were at the rocks.
After careful steps through a hundred slippery hexagonal rocks, I found a place where I sat. Rain water collected in the dents of the rocks trembled humbly in the presence of the ferocious wind that threatened to topple us over, while the rain licked us thoroughly like an overly friendly dog. I stared out at the ocean from the stool I had made out of a friendly rock, as it crashed in some astonishingly smooth way into the crag, the rest of it washing up closer to land. And again, no matter how hard I tried, words to describe them would not come. Everything that came seemed much to weak, and were hardly even close to what I could see and was trying to describe.
"The boy felt jealous of the freedom of the wind, and saw that he could have the same freedom. There was nothing to hold him back except himself."
— Paulo Coelho
Looking up, I spotted the horizon. I was surprised to see how startlingly straight the line was, where the sky met the ocean. But the voice in my head spoke up, "It's just an illusion. See how jagged the sea is." And it was true. The ocean wasn't flat; waves rippled spikily over its surface.
My friend then came over and told me that it was the north pole right across that wide expanse there. I peered out and could not see, though I didn't doubt it either. They say if you don't realise the magnificence of the universe when looking out at the stars, or in this case, the vast ocean which seemed to end at a line, there must perhaps be something wrong.
❝Sometimes we have thoughts that even we don’t understand. Thoughts that aren’t even true—that aren’t really how we feel—but they’re running through our heads anyway because they’re interesting to think about. If you could hear other people’s thoughts, you’d overhear things that are true as well as things that are completely random. And you wouldn’t know one from the other. It’d drive you insane. What’s true? What’s not? A million ideas, but what do they mean?❞
— Jay Asher
|some castle on the other hill.|