superlative

Hello, my name is Alex.

Day Three: Time on a Rainy Day [9/9]

Most of today was spent looking at really old things in the British Museum, while it rained and poured outside.

For some reason, I would look at an object, find how old it was on the placard, and then would do the math to see how long my remaining 21 days left in Europe was in comparison to said really old thing. Like I said in my first two blogs, this whole traveling thing is a lot harder than I thought it would be, harder than I think most people think it is. It’s challenging and I’m frequently confronted with myself, all my anxieties and flaws, whilst in a foreign place and amongst strangers (who have thus been mostly wonderful and pleasant, except the loud, older French guy in my hostel who seemingly just lies in his bed all day).In its challenge, I question my ability to actually do it, and with that comes feeling that 21 days is quite possibly the largest increment of time ever.

So I would look at a 1,800 year old vase, calculate how many days it was, divide 21 by that number, and the result was 0.003%. Every time I would do that, I would feel dumb for two reasons. First, it’s just a dumb thing to do, to sit in a museum and calculate a useless statistic. Second, it’s dumb because I both know how minuscule 21 days already is and that it’s a selfishly dumb thing as I’m living a dream of mine and to think about how long I have left is extremely ungrateful, though it only exists when I’m doing nothing. After feeling dumb, I would strangely feel better and would move on from that five minutes of intensely stupid deliberation.

I’m having the most amazing time when I’m out in the city seeing things and I don’t regret a thing. The challenge is just difficult and makes me do things like comparing 1,800 years to 21 days to cope with it until the next great sight is seen.

Tomorrow, I’m planning on strolling Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, and maybe try to get up to Tate Modern if I’m not too tired—if I do, I’ll end the day chilling on the South Bank. I’m sure I’ll remember the calculations and use them to “stabilize,” but I think it’ll get better as I start to travel around and leave London, when I realize none of this is permanent, fleeting.