to Ulysses or not to Ulysses

I’m terribly hooked onto Bourne books when I travel. I’m sorted this time around. 2 Bourne + my ol’ faithful Salman RushdieLuka and the Fire of Life.


My sister who is coming along had been harassing me to get her the latest Dan Brown and lug around (and at some point) read various travel/ guide books. I vehemently refused.

I don’t read Dan Brown. Heck, I don’t read much mainstream type books.

Bourne was something I had “accidentally” picked up on the way to Sarajevo-Kosovo-Pristina-Albania-and-what-not at an airport that had limited choices of English books other than {blerk} self-help Malcom-what-ever Tipping Point, Kiyosaki‘s wealth inequality amongst dads that some how diversified into real estate and what not, the Chicken Soup series*, and authors who seemed to be fixated with colours – Blue Ocean, Purple Cows … well, at least the Bourne paperback had three things I like: (1) Matt Damon, (2) Black ninja-like overalls, and (3) Range Rover, on it’s  cover!

As for various travel/ guide books … why bother? All guide books are over-rated and written by easily impressed people or ill-traveled people with limited varied experience to exercise relativity and hence provide useful advise or critique. With free travel apps in abundance that has real people’s photos posted, you don’t need to lug around guide books.

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But as with every long road trip that does not require me being stuck behind the wheels deciphering the GPS, I’m wondering: to Ulysses or not to Ulysses

 This is really the only time where void of most other reading entertainment, I will be forced to finish ridiculously long (some times dry and difficult to read – given the era in which it was written) classic books. The last time I had done this was January this year with Anna Karenina in Africa; where it was first handed down to me, and thus, had to be returned in Africa.

Looking back now, Anna Karenina was an easy feat at 976 pages divided into 8 parts compared to Ulysses which is approximately 265,000 words in length, uses a lexicon of 30,030 words (including proper names, plurals and various verb tenses), and is divided into eighteen episodes. The only thing is, the reward of the 18th (and final) Episode is, it is named after me! … or rather none of our names are original, as we’re both named after Homer’s Odyssey.

“he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.”

As ridiculous as it may seem, something tells me my decision will be made based on the weight of Ulysses … I’ve got to lug 3 luggages (assuming I won’t be buying any more en-route) for a 2-day “working meeting” that’s happening in the little island south of my home country right after I’ve landed from a 18+ hours 1 (with one short stop-over) flight from LAX in the wee hours of the morning; only to jump onto another flight 4 hours later.

The game plan is a bit hazy at the moment as the carriers are different. The “connecting” flight has not been confirmed. There are no PODs / capsule hotels for rental in the airport in question … but thank goodness for showers … thanking little mercies in advance!


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* I’ve never read any of the Chicken Soup and have no intention to purely because the fonts and colours of the book cover turns me off – sure, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, but hey, when you’re seriously up against billions of books being published yearly the 4Ps of marketing applies!



one year older, one bucket list tick-ed

When you get to a certain age, it’s just a number.

Interesting observation on the number of well wishers though. Social media mostly. Not surprising – it cost just a micro second of one’s life to click the Like button or 30 seconds to to type a short wish.

Some long distant chats perk the day up.

An awkward meeting with an extremely critical CEO ended up being bizarre-ly weird and awkward in the presence of my Country Manager – a deliberate move. And I can’t be more thankful for it.

And finally, after numerous marathon nights post the trip from Europe, I was relieved to have met the Travelogue dateline; not the number of pages, not the original story line.

I had almost resigned to fate when at 11:42pm the servers hung.

The MacBook Pro (that’s due to see Dr. Mac) proceeds to crash soon after.

And at 11:58pm the time indicated to complete the upload was still fluctuating between 9 minutes, 14 minutes, 32 minutes, 18 minutes … thanks to my unreliable broadband. By 1:32 am time was still ticking and I was far from done; sick of the fluctuations that gave me no comfort.

I slept. “It’s a long hectic day tomorrow,” I thought.

At 3:29 am I was woken up by a blinding light and a “zing” type ping noise – indicating it had gone across / or maybe not.

I turned over and slept. Hoping for the best.

I heard nothing the next day. And the next. And the next next …

On 3rd October, I get a note that all is well.

On 5th October, away from home on a work assignment, I receive a note that a copy has been sent across … and here’s the copy …

One 2013 To Dos completed.

Yet another Bucket List ticked off.