"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Home Again

Whew. What a week it's been. 4000+KM in 8 days. I'm beat!

I had to cut my trip short because I got an email informing me that I've been selected for an interview in Winnipeg this coming Friday. Flights won't be cheap, so I chomped two days off my trip. That said, I save a ton of money in an unexpected category while on this trip: gas. In my city, gas averages out to about 1.15$/L these days, making a full tank cost about 46CDN (OUCH). In the US, I was encountering gas prices that averaged out to 3.15$/G, making a full tank cost about 33$CDN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Every time I tanked up, I had an extra 13$ to do something fun. I haven't finished crunching the numbers yet, but it looks like my gas expenses came in close to 200$ UNDER budget. Wow!

The main reason of my trip was to spend a day in Savannah, Georgia.

I'm glad I booked just one day, with a second spent exploring the environs (Bonaventure Cemetery, Fort Pulaski, Tybee Island). One day in Savannah was plenty. Maybe even too much. The following will make it seem like I had an awful trip, regret my holiday, had no business going to Savannah, etc., but that's not true!

Savannah is touted as being the US's most beautiful city. My eyebrows continue to raise at that. Its historic district is quite beautiful, but, overall, Savannah is no more beautiful than San Francisco or Chicago. So, right off the bat, I didn't succumb to this city's fa├žade.

There was something else going on, though, something that not very many people understand. Those who know me well take this as being a fact about me, an integral part of me the same as my having grey eyes and a love for grilled cheese sandwiches cut into triangles--I am very 'psychic.' Not in the sense that I see the future (although I do have the odd premonition dream), but that I can feel 'vibes' around me, and, yes, I sometimes see dead people.

Savannah's vibes were really bad. I knew from the second I set foot in the historic district that this was a place where horrible things had happened, where the current beauty had come at a price paid with innocent suffering.

My last night in the city, I took a ghost tour. I'm not so gullible as to say that I took everything I was told at face value. But the guide did explain a lot of things to me about Savannah's history, things I've been able to corroborate with other sources, and the vibes the city gives off make a lot more sense now.

During my full day in the city, I noticed a house that bothered me. 432 Abercorn if you want to Google it. This house turned out to be the last stop on the ghost tour. The guide had stories about this house that completely freaked me out, but I'm pretty sure these stories were 99.9999% fiction. That said, there is still something horribly wrong with that house. Perhaps the problem lies with the ground the house is built on.

Edinburgh, Scotland, is another city with bad vibes (so bad, in fact, that I cut a four day stay there down to a day and a half!). I think that it's important for me to show respect when I go to this sort of city. I need to understand the history and pay my respects to those souls that have stayed behind, but once I understand what I'm feeling, I need to move on. It would simply be disrespectful to have a merry time in a place that is begging me to notice its suffering.

I'm glad I went to Savannah, but I'm not convinced that I'd go back.

My favourite part of the trip was definitely the excursion to Tybee Island on Wednesday. The day was gorgeous, temps in the high 20s (C!), the ocean plenty warm enough to swim. I couldn't believe that I was a mere three days driving time from winter. My skin was shocked by this sudden exposure to the sun and burned right through my two layers of sunblock, with my back being the worst, but I can't regret to decision to spend the day out in the full sun in skimpy clothes because it charged my thoroughly depleted batteries. It was the kind of afternoon that defines 'vacation.'

What this trip did best, though, was prove to me that the bus idea is a very good one. I could have stayed on the road forever, but would have been much happier to be able to sleep in my own bed at night with my cats.


Lady Em said...

I just got your message on my blog. I'm not originally from Savannah, and I understand the feelings that this city gives off. It is true, the historic district is seeped in "bad vibes," that is why I don't spend much of my time there, nor live there. I don't know what it is about that house, it freaks me out too. A history professor in Atlanta contacted me regarding my blog on the house, and is currently doing research to find out what really happened there. He is going to keep me updated, and I will keep updates on my blog. I have to say that when you're in downtown Savannah sometimes you don't know if you're walking the streets with the living or the dead!! Tybee has a much better feel, and I enjoy it very much. But I was much like you when I moved to Savannah. I expected a sleepy little southern city, and even though some parts are, the majority of it is riddled with past atrocities and modern day poverty. It grows on you though, and even though I'd opt for living out in the country, Savannah and I do have a love for each other.
Nice to meet you!!

Raven said...

Hi, thanks for visiting my blog!

Please keep me updated as to any info you might learn about the house. I'll add your blog to my blog reader, too.

I'm really happy that I went to Savannah, but there is no way I could live there (as if the humidity wasn't enough of a reason, LOL!). I don't mean to sound so contrary about the city; I had a lovely time there and found Savannahians to be extremely welcoming. In a way, I think it's a good thing that I could feel her vibes, bad as they were, because they let me meet the 'real' Savannah.

Tybee was woooooooonderful. I had the best time there!!!

1001 Petals said...

I very much feel the vibes of a place as well. New Orleans was the most tangible to me, oh I loved it there. Kind of freaky, but I really liked it.

That said, Edinburgh feels very innocuous to me, just fine. I wonder if it made a difference that I was there in the winter? I thought it was one of the best cities in the world, just felt very isolated and lonely (I wasn't lonely at all, the city just felt like that.)

Maybe it has to do with taste. I tend toward the macabre and big city vibes.

Raven said...

Funny you should mention New Orleans. My ghost tour host told me that if Savannah made me uneasy, I'd be best to not visit NO.

Edinburgh just felt sinister to me. Glasgow, on the other hand, was very welcoming. I expected it to be the other way around. My favourite part of Glasgow is the Necropolis; the giant cemetery on a hill in the middle of the city.

Did you go down into the tunnels under Edinburgh?

I did on a ghost tour. I stood in a closed underground vault with a small group of people and the ghost tour host. I didn't feel well being there. Suddenly, I felt something poking me. There was nothing behind me. Poke. Poke. Poke. Finally, I conceded that my imagination was not running away from me and I moved away from the corner where I was. The tour guide interrupted his story and asked me "How many times have you been poked?" I told him four or five. "Then it's time to leave before we're told to leave." We went back up to street level and he finished his story there. This was my first encounter with 'something' I could feel was truly malevolent and it marked me for life. It's been ten years and I remember that experience like it happened just a few minutes ago.

I can say that this incident is what so badly marked Edinburgh for me. I would like to go back to the city and see if I still get the same impression of it.

1001 Petals said...

Oh, wow :) No, didn't go on one of those tours, though I wanted to. We will likely go back in the next year or so though as my husband is from there and all of his family is still there.

I didn't catch much off of Glasgow at all. I didn't really like it...seemed so grey and humdrum. Wow, we have such different taste :) Whereas Edinburgh was so intricate and prettily detailed.

Raven said...

As said, Glasgow really surprised me. It fit me very well, which is the last thing I expected. It's a matter of vibes, not taste. I do find Edinburgh MUCH prettier and 'touristy'.

My favourite part of Edinburgh was the b&b I stayed at, tucked away in a tiny little close after a couple of blocks of winding cobblestone streets. It smacked of 'old country.'

1001 Petals said...

It is true that I believe the physical is a reflection of the inner. They go hand in hand, to me. Sometimes that which appears to be attractive really is not.

If something looks like it's been built up over time by many different hands, all patchwork and crazy-hectic, that is also the vibe I get from it all at the same time. .even if hardly anyone is there at the time, for example.

I guess I can't separate the feeling of something with what I see of it. Maybe I don't feel a vibe as much as I see deeply into things (I was a designer for this and other reasons!) I really don't know, just being a bit self-reflective right now and telling you what I understand so far.

Raven said...

Beauty can sometimes be only skin deep.

Just about every place on earth has a difficult history. What I think causes the bad vibes in some places is the way that that difficult history is suppressed or disowned. Take Savannah, for instance. It touts itself as being the most romantic and beautiful city in the US, but the truth about its foundation (on desecrated graves) is information that an average tourist will probably never find.

I feel things about a place very viscerally. It's just a feeling, an emotion really that doesn't have a name yet. What I find most interesting is that I don't always feel this emotion in places where I think I should. For example, I frequently sleep in the room where my father died and I don't feel anything 'weird' about that room. But I've seen shadows in the hallway outside that room that have made me pause (my sister, too).

I can understand how difficult it is to verbalize this sort of thing.