Thursday, February 28, 2008

I'm back

Today would have been dress rehearsal, but we're opting for margaritas at the hotel bar. It's not our fault, really. When you work in a tent, hurricane-force winds mean a day off. Locals tell me they haven't seen it blow like this in Veracruz for at least a decade. It's howling like a hound out there and churning the pool into a boiling stew garnished with debris. My curtains billow and I find myself coated with a thin layer of sand that's snuck through window cracks. Meanwhile, I experiment with cooking an egg in my coffee maker.

I don't have the energy to go into all the nitty-gritty, but I almost gave up this blog, among other things, including hope. Scroll back through my posts and you'll see an oh-so-different trajectory from the one I'm on now. No more being a San Franciscan. More Cirque touring. I tried unpacking the suitcase, settling my feet on solid ground (as opposed to 30 feet up and in a hoop) and assembling a new life for myself. It didn't work (I won't name names) and so I'm learning the art of being alone.

After wallowing around for a while in a thick pool of self-pity, I bought a ticket to France. Cirque's touring Europe next, but we have almost a month off. I'm hoping it's not a cliche after Eat, Pray, Love and Under the Tuscan Sun, but I'm doing it anyway. I'm adamant about doing it solo, and am consequently scared witless. But I've rented an apartment on an island on the Seine in Paris, listen to "The French Podclass" daily, and am gobbling up Peter Mayle's Provence. It's my all-consuming project for now, conjugating French verbs and reading up on Cezanne. What will follow I don't know, but it's a good kick in the derriere.

How nice to have returned to blogging, having been daunted by the idea for a while now. I've enrolled in the London School of Journalism's Freelance Travel Writing course, and while I'm equally daunted by the idea that everyone and their itinerant grandma wants to be a travel writer, it's an enjoyable thing to pursue.

Time to check on the egg. Add a little herbs de Provence and some Kosher salt (always carried in the suitcase, of course) and voila! Hotel cookery at its finest. Should I survive tonight's tempest intact, I may someday have my own kitchen.