Sunday, April 25, 2010

The traveller returns

I've been back at work for week after our month long trip to Israel, Jordan and Korea. The picture is taken at the Dead Sea - the mud ain't pretty but it works wonders on the skin. We looked radiant when it washed off. Rather than bore the sewers with a travelogue, I want to share 10 things I learned on the trip:
1) Never travel with a dodgy camera - We lost about 200 images due to a corrupted memory card. These included photos of embroideries and fabric art taken just for you guys!
2) Your 18 year old daughter living 12,000 kms away does not necessary welcome your visit, but will not have the courage to tell you before your arrival.
3) Even the most enthusiast 14 year old traveller has a limited tolerance of ancient ruins. After a while they become "just a bunch of old rocks".
4) Fabric art is huge in Israel. I went to several exhibitions and visited a few artists and their galleries. See the Israel Quilters Association website to see the depth of talent there.
5) Israel is changing immeasurably due to the rise of Jewish and Islamic orthodoxy. One consequence that wouldn't be immediately obvious to people who aren't obsessed with cloth is that women's clothing is not particularly decorative. Even the Palestinian women have largely given up their colourful embroidered dresses that I remember from 30 years ago for the long black coats and plain scarfs.
6) Time in the desert is good for the soul.
7) Jordans are wonderful, hospitable people who live in an amazingly beautiful country. Go there!
8) Taking a wrong turn and ending up in the West Bank in an Israeli plated car is not a pleasurable experience. Nablus is not a friendly town. It is easy to become irredeemably lost when all signposts are in Arabic only.
9) One hour is not enough time to spend in the labrynth of the Dondaemum Fabric Market in Seoul.
10) The fabric available at the market is very variable in taste and quality, but there are great pieces to be had. The buttons were the best buy, but I didn't have enough time to make the most of it.


  1. That is an AWESOME picture! And your daughter will be glad later for your visit, even if she's being a "teenager" now. :) My 14 (now 15) year old son is the same though. He LOVES history and would probably pick a ruin over a theme park, but after a day of it he's ready to strangle me. haha! I'm glad you had a good time!!

    Oh, and your Miss Moneypenny blouse(s) was the reason I got mine out and finally made it up last month! I'll check your post for a different way to line the front. I really hate that floppy facing thing.

  2. Welcome home! WOW - sounds like a great experience!

  3. Sounds like you had quite the trip! Can't wait to read more.

  4. I LOVE the ten honest pieces of wisdom you shared....I was nodding and smiling as each struck a chord with me.....what memories,what laughs what a treasure. You will have these for the rest of your share with grand babies.....
    I will be in Europe this summer with my mother and two daughters, geez I will have a list of 20 bloody things I learned with 3 generations of females by the time we return....and I will need a vacation to recover from my vacation!!!

  5. Welcome home! I was planning to go to China next month, but I've changed my mind. Looking forward to hearing more.

  6. oh yay you're home again! Jordan does sound fascinating, I'm sure your avid readers wouldn't mind you slipping in a travel photo or two here and there!

  7. Look at you two! Like exotic creatures from the sea! Sounds like a great trip! I've never been to Jordan and look forward to seeing any other photos you'd like to share.

  8. Oh! Welcome home again, I've laughed a lot reading your ten things learned, I have wanted to know more about your trip.

  9. Welcome back! Sounds like you had a wonderful trip... along with some learning experiences!

  10. Welcome back!
    Wow, sounds like an awesome trip. Thankyou for your ten tips of wisdom. I especially liked the time in the desert is good for the soul one, so true... I hope you managed to get to Petra? imo it is absolutely amazing...

  11. I was just looking at holiday brochures for Jordan this weekend, it's nice to hear positive feedback.