Radical Wanderlust

Persia, Russia and Jamaica. And yourself?

The repetitiveness and relentlessness of patriarchal destruction calls for Radfems to put the State of Atrocity to the back of our minds from time to time. Radical Feminists live by Crone time and as such we are therefore never wasting Time when we chat or write about things that excite us and inspire passion. It is our moral duty to search out pockets of space outside the Fathers’ State of Lechery.

Persia

Fauchcat left a comment here linking to snippets of a movie based on the biography of Annemarie Schwarzenbach. She went on an expedition to Afghanistan with a British woman Ella Maillart, travelling through Persia. Here are some clips from the movie “Journey to Kafiristan” . It looks magnificent.

Below are some selected quotes:

Man: Hello, Are you a member of our society? Only members are allowed access to our stack room.

Ella: My name is Ella Maillart [shakes hand] My greatest wish is to be admitted to the Royal Geographical Society.

[Man allows her to follow him]

Ella: I’m preparing a new journey to the Hindu Kush to a tribe of nomads in the mountains, the Kalir. I’m looking for maps on that region, North of Kabul…

 

Ella: …Kafiristan. It’s just a white spot.

 

ManTerra Incognita. One of the last unexplored territories.

Watching the link left by Fauchcat stirred up old memories in me, that I had long forgotten.

Annemarie: Why of all places do you want to go to this valley?

Ella: Few people have traveled there. It’s not easily accessible. It’s in a wild, high mountain with lots of ravines.

Annemarie: Kafiristan…a name like in a fairy tale.

Persia has always been somewhere I’ve wanted to go.

Annemarie wrote a book entitled Death in Persia based on her previous visits to the country. She was there during turbulent political times in the region. Kate Millett, author of Sexual Politics, was also inspired to travel there, a journey which led to her writing the book Going to Iran . Kate was there during the 1979 revolution, and was expelled from the country for marching alongside Iranian women. 

As Wanderers, what is it that makes us want to visit a place? Is it the Elemental Spirits that send for us and call us there? The wind and water sprites are different everywhere. What are they like in Persia? How hot does it get there? My body wants to know. What are the rhythms of the days? What do the people eat? What can I learn from the women: about food, about life, about the world?

To me, it’s all in the name– Persia. Persian People. Persian rug. Persian cat. Persian Poetry. “Iran” is not quite so eloquent, and apparently this word is rooted in the word “Aryan”, as in “Aryan” race, because Persia is where this race originated.

Language surely belongs to men today, but perhaps it was first invented by women. I shall continue to refer to Iran as Persia, because I like the sound of it better. It comes from the word Parsava which meant border, borderland. Elemental women might feel a greater affinity with such a word. Aryan is apparently is rooted in the words bold, noble and distinguished. Those are words which don’t really appeal. So you see, the word “Persia” calls me there, and has never lost its beauty; the word “Iran” tells me to back off and leave the place alone because, to me, it means mullahs, shadow women in black and war.

Persia evokes: Sunsets, Wolves, Cool Blue and White Marble, Ravines and Valleys, Rivers, Queens and Princesses, Empresses. Great Poems, Female Warriors and Commanders. It is also a country of wine.Wine’s discovery in old Persia predates French wine. The earliest evidence of winemaking dates from 5400 B.C., in the Haji Firuz Hills, near western Azerbaijan Province.

Persia

Persia

 

 

 

A 1979 Revolutionary

 

Photo recently uploaded onto a Facebook Page where Iranian women go to remote areas and remove their veils in places where the police can’t find them.

Russia

 

Russia

The second place of my dreams is Russia.

When I was 14 I arrived there to compete in a dancing competition, and in the home-stay family that they put me with there was a girl of my age.

Thus began my love affair with Russia (and with her). We wrote letters to each constantly for the next three years. It was in the days before the internet. I remember being more excited than I’d ever been before when a letter from Russia came through the post. I lived for those letters. As soon as I got one I would quickly write a reply then skip (yes, skip) to the post office to post it. We joked that, having carefully saved them over the years, there were enough letters to wallpaper both our bedrooms.

At seventeen, after begging my mother for the money, I traveled to Russia alone to see her. The stay was everything I’d hoped for. We went away to a summer cabin in the forest, trailed around St Petersburg city drinking beer, and visiting her family (she was living alone in an apartment).

I decided to study Russian at university, which led me to stay there for a year. My friend and I met up as much as we could, but she was busy with work, and I was busy with study and the magic was quickly disappearing. We didn’t really get each other as much as we used to. One morning I watched her getting ready for the day with pin-curls in her hair and wondered why I felt she was slipping away into quicksand. I’d opted for a perm myself. I’d had it done in England, which must have been just as unnerving for her. We no longer held hands when we walked down the street together like we had in earlier years.

At some point, we had begun writing about “boys” in our letters. I’m not sure which one of us started it. We both betrayed each other, knowingly. One night at her place she began baking a cake. She used magic to conjure up meals and cakes out of what seemed to be no ingredients at all, with whatever happened to be lying around. She could make soups that tasted of a spring day. Extraordinary delicacies too. This cake happened to contain yogurt. She threw the ingredients together without measuring them. She gave me a slice, ate some herself, but then kept the rest for the man who was visiting her that evening.

Soon after I returned to England, and we lost touch.

We found each other years later on Facebook. Both of us were married and we found to our surprise that we were both living in the far East. Mysteriously, she had moved from St Petersburg to Vladivostock, around the same time I had moved to Japan, which meant she was living about three hours away. She came to Japan to stay with me. I was pregnant. We both made the best of the situation.

She’s gone back to North-Western Russia now and has three kids. Maybe I’ll get to see her again someday.

I haven’t even begun writing about what an enchanting place Russia is, but let’s just say it’s a part of the world where dreams are created.

Here is a place I spent many an afternoon. Such cultural attractions are affordable for everyone in Russia.

 

Tea from a Russian Urn

 

 

Jamaica

As a child I’d read about sailors found on streets knocking back rum, who surely must have just returned from the direction of Jamaica. Pirates too. They were also known for it. Ever since I was a child, reading about Jamaica in any context made me feel I had been given a key to some special unknown place.

I began listening to reggae when I was 15 and would just lie in my bed allowing the images the music invoked washed over me. Warmth. Music. Colour. Life. Brightness. I imagined people out dancing and walking at night, rather than hiding from the cold at home.  My favourite tune was “Kingston Town”.  Apparently Jamaicans living in London and other big cities during the seventies used to move furniture out of their homes in preparation for weekend parties where they would invite fellow Jamaicans and dance the night away to reggae. There was no reggae on the radio in those days so people rigged up sound systems. The furniture was moved out, and the floor-to-ceiling length speakers were moved in. When I heard about this it was as though I had discovered another jigsaw piece about life. What else would you do if you were from the land that invented reggae except dedicate your weekend to having fabulous house parties? I realize now it was inconvenient for women to have to put up with this moving about of furniture because these events weren’t just hosted by young people. But when you’re 15 all you do is think of life in terms of partay. As such my attraction to Jamaica was sealed.

Jamaican sound system

Anyway… when I was admitted into a psych unit last year ( something I am ashamed of admitting to) a Jamaican grandmother befriended me. She was 51 but she looked 31. She had been picked up by the police for smoking somewhere she shouldn’t have been. Reading through the lines, my guess is she kicked up a fuss about this and as a result was deposited at the mental hospital.

We sat together every day in the lounge. She dressed impeccably, in figure-hugging dresses, and one evening another patient weaved tight little plaits into her hair. She spoke to me about Jamaica, a place she had been to eleven times, because it was where her mother was from. She regaled stories about recreating Jamaica in cloudy England, of Sunday gatherings with recipes and drinks made out of rum and coconut. It was left unsaid, but I wanted to say to her “Show me Jamaica someday”

.

 

Japan

Aren’t we all looking for our place in the sun, asked Tracy Chapman? I ended up in Japan. In the comments of another post Black Metal Valkyrie asked me about Japan and I’ve thought a lot about it since then.

Japan has the potential to be the balm for a weary soul. The climate, the animals, the nature, the scenery, the flowers, the crops.. all of it is magnificent. The problem with Japan, I found out too late, is that it’s crawling with males. They spoil any elemental connection to the world and nature that a woman might have. They disrupt it. They get in the way. These men are masters of spooking women out of their Selves. I think Japanese men in particular have had to try harder than other men to interrupt women’s thoughts and get inside their skin, and the reason for this is the character of the natural world here. The biodiversity of plants and insects is extraordinary.

Women’s connection with, and knowledge of, nature would have served them well historically. Indeed at one recorded point in history ( 170-248 )  the Japanese people refused a male leader, deciding only to follow the great Queen, magician and witch Himiko. When she died, a man was appointed as King but nobody obeyed him and he along with his followers were slain. Himiko’s thirteen year old niece stepped up, the people accepted her as Queen, and order was restored.

It is said that Japan became a patriarchy quite late in comparison to other parts in the world, and I’ve no doubt it was women’s fiercely protected connection to the natural world that staved off the rot until the last possible moment, until Japanese women were finally defeated. Still today, people remember that the sun goddess, Amaterasu, played a central role in creating the world, and her worship became the central element in the Shinto religion developed by the island peoples.

But mark my words, Japanese men are making up for lost time. Nature is no longer strong enough to help women preserve their integrity against the collective male force in the four small islands of Japan. Japan can actually be used by Radfems as a measure of how strong patriarchy is and of what we’re dealing with. Their power has culminated over the years to the point where they have successfully severed women from their Selves by  combating and vanquishing nature’s soothing and healing presence, so that women are reduced to preoccupying themselves with potted passions– only those passions legitimated by the rulers.

On the surface (commercials, postcards, Spa days), nature is espoused as being important, but not in a truly Elemental way. The culture has somehow been designed in such a way that although you can see nature and sometimes touch it you can never be immersed in it. As a Canadian friend of mine, who has lived in Japan longer than me, once suggested to me, although the nature is not as beautiful in our own countries, we can at least be “in” it, and surrounded by it, should the mood take us.

She was right. This is not the case in Japan. You can only approach nature in certain ways, and in certain situations. Most peoples’ contact with it is regulated, regimented and a little sterile. Although there are certainly more natural dangers in Japan than in Western countries (such as typhoons), and these might prevent people from being immersed in nature at particular times, I still think this severance from nature is a deliberate and effective tactic on the part of the P. I feel that under normal circumstances there would be more of a continuity between people’s lives and the natural world, not just lip service being paid to the archetypal autumn leaves and spring cherry blossoms. You can see remnants of this ancient continuity, but it’s not really here anymore. Nature has become objectified. It’s hard to explain. Even when you’re in it, you’re not. It remains always on the periphery. Or maybe nature’s spirits are playing a trick on us foreigners. At any ratel you feel something is missing. The rampant construction industry depresses the soul and puts pay to any claims made by Japanese leaders that this patriarchy is made up of nature-lovers.

 

 

 

 

Japan

My favourite home-made plum liquer- Summer cool

Japan

Japanese monkey enjoying the hot springs

Homemade plum liqueur warmed in Winter

I had fun choosing those images, I don’t know if you noticed.

Tell me where you would like to go one day. What made you interested in that place? Have you ever been somewhere that you would recommend? Do you have family roots outside the country you were born and a yearning to return to your place of origin?

Tracy Chapman, She’s got her ticket

She’s got her ticket
I think she gonna use it
I think she going to fly away
No one should try and stop her
Persuade her with their power
She says that her mind is made
Up

Why not leave why not
Go away
Too much hatred
Corruption and greed
Give your life
And invariably they leave you with
Nothing

Young girl ain’t got no chances
No roots to keep her strong
She’s shed all pretenses
That someday she’ll belong
Some folks call her a runaway
A failure in the race
But she knows where her ticket takes her
She will find her place in the sun

Kingston Town

The night seems to fade,
But the moonlight lingers on
There are wonders for everyone
The stars shine so bright,
But they’re fading after dawn
There is magic in Kingston Town

 

 

Advertisements

32 thoughts on “Radical Wanderlust

  1. Dear cherry,
    thank you for this beautiful post! you have certainly stirred something in my heart here. Yes i do have some places that i have felt this magical connection to and often without ever having been there. i wonder whats up with that, you think thees could be some Archaic memories?
    Also, on a side note, i’m glad you mentioned your psych ward episode, because I was worried about you last year. after the “do men know..” post you posted some sketchy stuff and then went AWOL. i figured the snools and their henchwomen must have gotten to you and i’m SO HAPPY you’re back and sharp and poetic and smart as ever! ❤
    so, about my places of Archair memories:
    1. Spain. I don't know why, but since the time i was a teenager, Spain has had this magical pull for me. something about the sound of the language, the architecture (of southern Spain) and first and foremost the horses! horses to me are magical creatures and especially Arab horses and Andalusians make my heart go faster, they are so magical. i got so obsessed with Spain that i started to learn Spanish it at highschool and then briefly at university, but i never actually went to Spain. not really, even though i went on a two week trip walking the Camino de Santiago, but that was different. It wasn't the Spain of my dreams.
    2. Greece. I have family roots there and have visited it very often. However, i have never actually gone on a real quest there, because I have had to always visit family when i went. one day i want to search for the Greece of the 70s though, this magical land of Hippies who sleep in caves at the beach. There is something about Crete specifically which evokes images of priestesses doing ritual/magic together under the Greek sky that I know and love so much. There is something about the intensitiy of the nature inGreece (because of the heat and the wind and the herby smell) that i don't feel here in the more northern part of the world that i usually live in. i have been to Crete, twice, but it wasn't the place that I mean when I say I want to go to Crete..not sure it makes sense.
    And 3. Persia.
    For the exactly same reasons as you. i remember when Disney brought out Aladdin, i was obsesses with it. The djinn, the magic carpet, the MAGIC of the place.
    Just yesterday I had a pang of desire to travel, to vagabond. Reality feels different when I travel, more real, more magical, everything has meaning. I don't feel like that in my normal life but i wish i did.

    • Hi Alexis, it could be deep ancestral memory. Or it could simply be that maybe there’s some sort of energy transference from that place towards you, personally, via people and objects. So if you saw a shawl you found original and beautiful, and asked the shopkeeper where it was from and she replied “It was made in Iran”, that can invoke the far-off land in question. The shopkeeper might be from there, or might have visited there. My Eastern European friend living here in Japan said that when she was growing up her mother had obtained some Japanese photographs from somewhere and they hung on the walls in their modest home. She always knew she would live there one day.
      That never happened to me at all with Japan so I wonder why I ended up somewhere so out of kilter with my dreams and I think it’s because I thought I didn’t deserve to go somewhere from my top 3. I’ve never visited Italy for fear I’d never return because I knew I’d fall in love with it and never come back. ( I’d heard about Italy from my mother who had gone there to work as a grape-picker when she was a student) I wish now I HAD gone to a place of my dreams instead of sabotaging myself and going somewhere I never really found inspiring compared to other places. Japan has such a constrained culture. But I found the conditions allowing me to write here were good, so that’s something to be salvaged.
      Yes, the Mediterranean is such a magical place too: France, Italy, spain, Greece, Portugal. Perhaps thode countries are situated on lay lines, those lines of energy that pass through the earth.

    • Imagine how easy it would be to travel if there were no men around. They’ve invented passports and border guards and guns to prevent “people” from travelling. We’re supposed to think these measures have been put in place primarily to stop men, but true wanderlusters are women, so men have needed to find a way to keep us stuck inside valleys and towns and countries so that we serve them instead of simply getting away from them!

      Without men, we would go on massive road trips across the world. Hell, we could just go on foot and walk huge distances, just using a boat as and when needed. We could go alone, in pairs, or in a group. In fairy stories, travelling strangers, always men, sometimes knocked on the door of a cottage and they would be offered hospitality for the night. In some countries like Japan the hospitality sometimes extended to offering the stranger your daughter, or in other countries, a slavegirl. So these wandering men were well-respected as travellers. Of course, as patriarchy strengthened women could only do that if they dressed as men.

      If men would just fuck off the planet we could all travel to the destinations of our dreams. We would be offered food and shelter along the way, and would do the same for other women.

      Men haven’t got a clue how to live, or what life is about. But they do know that they need to stop women from living full lives. Stopping us from doing this helps keep their feelings of rage at our existence at bay. They’ve stolen all the joy from our lives so that they can feel like they’re the explorers and adventurers and diplomats. Kind of like kids playing dress-up. Preventing women from doing things, whilst stealing our ever-abundant ideas about how life should be lead is key to the Bore-ocracy that is patriarchy.

  2. My family are Acadians on my mom’s side and on my dad’s side United Empire Loyalists (ironically descended from France) and Dutch. I would really like to go to France, the Netherlands, Germany, Greece, Norway and Sweden. I also have a deep connection to Nova Scotia, where I have always lived and where the Acadians have lived for 500 yrs. They consider it “Acadia” which comes from the mythical Greek Arcadia. You can look up the history of the Acadians and UEL if you feel like it. The Acadians are different than most Euro people in the new world in that they were politically allied with the local natives called the Mikmaq and where highly intermarried with them, at least until the British forced them to leave. My Acadian family came back here from the states, as MANY Acadians did so strong with their love for Acadia. I would be content if I never left Nova Scotia. I disagree with you about nature being less beautiful in Western countries. Of course the nature in Japan is breathtakingly beautiful but how could you say that some nature is better than others?! I see nature spirits too. I have always called them faeries but I am unsure of what to call them, glowing orbs of multi colored lights. They are probably sprites. They are especially active on Midsummer’s Eve. Listening to that reggae song I can hear the warmth, I had never listened to reggae before right now but I had the impression it was warm and full of life bc of hearing about it or something. Ironically for a radical feminist, my favourite music genre is black metal which is so desolately cold, serious nercophilic and dark. I would like to be a black metal musician. There are lots of one man bm bands and I want to make one and go by a male name so ppl take my music seriously. That is my biggest goal in life, to put out a black metal album. I don’t play any instruments, due to being poor my parents never put me in anything, but there is this awesome music co-op in the city run by a woman check it out. Of course its a woman who cares so much about making music accessible to everyone, instead of just a privilege for the middle class & rich. http://thehmc.ca/

    • Btw the band in my picture is an all female black metal band called Astarte. They are wearing corpsepaint.
      I really love this band called Dissection, not exactly bm though:

      • Not trying to comment spam you here, this post just stirred my passion. Another band I love is called Unanimated and it is blackened melodic death metal like Dissection. They have this song called “Life Demise” which is about a man stabbing himself to death because he sees the living world as oppressive/limiting to him. There is a similar song to this by Dissection called In the Cold Winds of Nowhere. In Life Demise he says “I drain from blood” which I love because most people would say “Blood is draining from me”. He sees his Self as eternal rather than just a mechanical bodily process that rots with you. Dissection and Unanimated have a focus on the afterlife that I adore and the guy who created Dissection actually killed himself in much the same vein as the songs I mentioned. He believed in something called Anti-cosmic satanism which is gynocidal and bizarre. Its interesting to read about though. It really shows the extent of men’s perversion. The thought of the Self ceasing to exist after death has always really bothered me bc in patriarchy no woman ever really gets a chance to Live. I am sick of atheist men exploiting women’s oppression and acting like only religious people can be sexist when the New Atheists are sexist as fuck, IDK if you pay attention to the SHIT Richard Dawkins says or “The Amazing Atheist” asshat YouTuber. They seriously say anyone believing in any religion is weak minded and that religion needs to be abolished from humanity. Ignore any religions other than the main Abrohamic 3 bc they are too ignorant to care about any others. FUCK MEN! I was just kicked out of a feMANist group for saying trannies. TRANNIES TRANNIES TRANNIES!

    • Yeah, I guess my Canadian friend and I have forgotten how beautiful our own countries can be, because the Japanese emphasize nature to the point of objectification. You’re right, nature in one place cannot be compared with another. Also, nature is not just plants and trees. I miss the wonderfuly long summer evenings in the UK. Nature is also darkness and night, and elements such as metal and steel, amber, jade, whatever minerals happen to originate and form in a particular area.

      I’ve just googled Acadia. Now I remember once meeting a young man who was a dancer and he was from Nova Scotia. I asked him to show me his dancing (we were at a student party) and he went to get a CD. He was actually a brilliant dancer, but the reason I mention it was because the music he danced to was Celtic music. Being Celtic I felt an instant affinity to it except in Wales we don’t play that type of music. Welsh music is much more sedate and calm. I asked him about the music and he said it was played in bars and by bands all over Nova scotia. I felt like some older music culture must be preserved there. The only thing this has to do with radical feminism is the fact that the music made me feel like my people were there. Those were my people. Again, some sort of deep unexplainable affinity to something, but this time not to a place, but to music.

      • Yes it has been! Cape Breton fiddle is a form of fiddle no longer played in Scotland but preserved here, a lot of people in CB also speak Gaelic and carry on old traditions. I think you’d like Cape Breton. Its a place in Nova Scotia, its beautiful. The Acadian French dialect includes words deemed “archaic” by the Academie Francaise. Perhaps with the Victorian age and such music in the Celtic countries became more sedate? Maybe in the older days it was more lively and wild? United Empire Loyalists btw were people that were sided with the British during the American Revolution and had to leave when the British were defeated so they came to Canada because it was British colony.

      • Well my first language is Welsh and when I went to Brittainy as a child I noticed that the language was simliar to Welsh. I saw house names etc when I was there. I checked and it’s in the same group. So thanks for telling me about Cape Breton because I’d never heard of it!

  3. It’s okay to sound harsh, men torture us endlessly, its healthy to hate them for it. Jon Nodtveidt of Dissection shot himself in the head, I just meant that he felt having a living form was oppressive and something to be liberated of. So different than the female consciousness of it being a gift.

    Regarding his views on suicide, Nödtveidt said “The Satanist decides of his own life and death and prefers to go out with a smile on his lips when he has reached his peak in life, when he has accomplished everything, and aim to transcend this earthly existence. But it is completely un-Satanic to end one’s own life because one is sad or miserable. The Satanist dies strong, not by age, disease or depression, and he chooses death before dishonor! Death is the orgasm of life! So live life accordingly, as intense as possible!”

    Death is the orgasm of life… *sighs* men. They have to make everything about their dicks.

  4. Hi cherrylobssomlife,

    I have been meaning to comment on this. Was waiting till I had time to gather my thoughts. This post was so inspirational, and I also realized while reading it that we have this vagabond thing in common. I have only just returned to the USA after 6 years abroad. I did go to two of the lands on my wish list, which were Germany and Turkey. Germany was the first place I ever went outside the USA, and so much happened there for me that I needed to return after graduating university. The country is so layered. On the surface, it seems to be just another European country, but the center of phallic obsession was there at one point: Hitler, the massacre of the Jews, WWII. So many deaths, so tragic. Prior to that, some of the worst witchhunts of the Burning Times happened there. And then deeper into the history there are stories of the various peoples who settled the region all the way back to Neanderthals. I remember being on a street train my first time in Germany and jumping off of it because I had seen a gothic-looking building, which turned out to be a city building, and it was dated in the 16th century. I stammered: this building is older than my country. I was 22 then, but this realization and others while there ripped open a Wonder/Wanderlust that has never ceased.

    Later I lived in Istanbul, Turkey. I was memorized by the colors of the city–and the smells, which I still cannot explain well. The photos of Persia that you chose have a similar feel to them. I needed to be somewhere very much unlike where I had been, to see a completely different way of being in the world. One of the most fascinating things I came to know in Turkey was a different way of conceiving time, communication, interpersonal relations, and thinking. Hard to explain, but basically there is more spiraling there, I think some remnants of the herstories of the region, the proximity to places like Catal Huyuk and Anatolia, Goddess worshiping clans, and the Turks who later settled being shamans with women on horseback joining them in their voyages to the new lands. Obviously Islam is coated over the top, but standing on the land/ground there, I could feel ANCIENT history. Old. Old. Old. Going way back. I stood in the center of a gladiator ring once, and it is now a market square. There are still the carpet shops, women weaving, and a culture of partial segregation between the sexes which amounted to a very rich and robust Background realm of women.

    I still yearn to see: Budapest, New Zealand (I heard sheep outnumber the people; I’m in!), Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand, Tuscany (Italy), and Africa…I know Africa is a continent. I don’t know where in Africa, but I have wanted to see those open plains since I saw them on the discovery channel as a little girl. Africa seemed the most majestic place on Earth. I was also recently in South America and I must go back to experience it more. Being below the equator felt different spatially, and I haven’t soaked up enough of that. I’d love to see Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Venezuela.

    I know my list is hella long 😀 If I could afford to do so, I would walk the distance, or just get a little moped or something. I want to be moving all the time. I feel dead when I am stagnant/in one place too long. It’s very hard for me to stay still. Most days, the only thing that keeps me going/waking up in the morning is the notion that I haven’t seen certain places yet and I can still go there before I die, perhaps, somehow.

    • Six years is long time outside of your own country! Mary Daly spent 7 years in Switzerland and never wanted to leave. I know what you mean about time being different. I do have an experience of that in Japan, with the rhythm of the days. I feel like I’ve got a lot of time to do background stuff like meet my friends during the day. Even my friends who work full time are able to meet for lunch twice a week.

      Turkey sounds amazing. I just rewatched that youtube Clip with my daughter. She was fascinated by it. The tune was truly wonderful. I feel like radios keep us from experiencing good music. Britain is the worst for this. You will only ever hear English music on the radio. It’s like a cartel.

      Japan has had a similar war history to Germany. I feel the two countries share national characteristics such as organization, recycling, cleanliness. All good stuff on the surface but the Japanese are scarily anally retentive, obsessed with order and etiquette and other irrelevencies. Germany seems to have a good alternative counter-culture movement. Japan does not. Japan could resume it’s militaristic tendencies overnight. Yesterday I had to suffer my daughter’s sports day. I hate it. It’s very much the foreground. A male voice blaring directions to the kids on a microphone and the kids jumping up and down and running in the heat for hours on end, all dressed in exactly the same clothes. Brrr.
      I’ve been to Germany to visit my uncle who is based in the army there. He took me to see an ex-concentration camp. I felt a deep sense of foreboding in Germany. Later I learned that Germany had killed more women as witches than any other country. I think about Germany a lot tbh. I think if I had three lifetimes I’d like to spend one of them getting to know the place, but I’ve only got one, so my sights are set on other countries. I keep thinking about how woman-identified the women must have been for so many of them to have been massacred as witches. I hope that hasn’t been eradiated.
      On a final note, Thailand! I went backpacking there for a month, using the student loan I got from the government. It was well worth visiting!

    • I got that stammering feeling when I read about China. In the UK we have Stonehendge, which is 2000 years old. Other relics date from then onwards, including buildings. But Chinese civilization is 5000 years old, which means that place must contain a lot more herstory even than Europe.

  5. Example of Istanbul time:

    You’re walking to Earth and see THIS happening. Of course, you MUST stop and watch. Cause she’s amazing. Luckily, everyone you work with does the same sort of thing, so being late isn’t a big deal.

  6. Lol “You’re walking to Earth” was supposed to be “You’re walking to work.” That’s what happens when I type while listening to her :/

  7. I think the reason I am okay with being here is that so many Acadians in the southern US and other regions of the US had a strong drive to return to Nova Scotia. I would also like to travel around Canada, especially Ottawa, Vancouver and Montreal. I have always seen myself not simply traveling but settling in a new area but that mostly has to do with me being low income.

    • Yes settling permanently somewhere different to the place that you were born and raised is another option, as well as simply travelling.
      It takes a lifetime to get to know a country properly, that’s one thing I have learned from travelling. An entire lifetime–just to get into the deepest layers of a country. If you can’t afford to travel outside your country, then it makes sense to discover your own! The other day on my Facebook a random old friend posted the most beautiful picture of the sun setting on a lake with golden sands. I nearly fell off my chair when I read that the photo was taken in Scotland. It was so extremely exotic-looking. It made me think, what on earth am I doing in Japan, when Britain looks like that. I’ve left my own country and there’s so much of it I have never discovered.

      • Thank you that made me feel a lot better about the fact that I will probably not travel for leisure… maybe not even at all. I would like to live in Sweden because I love the language, the natural landscape and how progressive it is. Lower risk of being stolen into the rape trade as a newcomer, in case I ran out of money or something. I take back some of the European countries I listed, most I would only visit if I was rich. If I was rich with zero chance of accidentally having no money I would go to countries with legalized commercial rape (Germany, the Netherlands etc) but otherwise no, not even if I had a lot of money saved up, just in case. Screw ups can happen you know. Right now in Canada the prostitution debate is in the limelight because of a bill which is inspired by the Nordic model. There are some problems with it but its mostly solid and something I would like to see become a reality. I don’t know if you read this blog called the Feminist Current, but you should really check it out if you don’t know it already, its basically everything mainstream moderate feminism SHOULD be. A lot of people with views similar to those expressed in the Feminist Current are labeling themselves as radical which is a big reason why there is so much petty bullshit on Facebook imo. They think just because they aren’t libtards that they’re radical. No.

  8. I loved this post! My desires to travel induce feelings of guilt in me. What business do I have inserting myself in someone else’s culture, land, history, etc? I haven’t even fixed my own country’s problems and “earned” the right to leave… maybe I played too much Super Mario World as a kid.

    I yearn to get a feel for the Earth as a whole, to know it as intimately as I know my own body. To experience myself in the presence of the mountains, ruins, beaches, people, and misty forests that cover the Earth and for these experiences to teach me who I am, and who She is.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

      How can you fix your own country’s problems when a) you are not a member of the class that created those problems and b) you are not a member of the class that has the power to end all rape, war, and poverty overnight if they wanted to! Women politicians are tokens, parroting the party line. They have no more power than children. Most countries are STILL having the abortion “debate”‘ which tells you women’s real place in relation to countries.

      Which brings us to the word ‘ country’. Nation states ( countries) are a fairly recent invention. Passports and flags and borders also had to be artificially created by men in order to contain women and uphold male power. Kids face a lot of indoctrination so that they can be persuaded that the place they live ‘belongs’ to them, and other places belong to others. Men also teach that it doesn’t matter if a place belongs to other men anyway, because if you’re more powerful you can take their resources. No place, certainly no country, ever belonged to women. That doesn’t mean the world is not ours to enjoy. Remember Virginia Woolf’s words:
      “As a woman I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world”

      • I guess the same way kids in a dysfunctional family think there is something they could or should do to make it better, women think they are responsible for fixing the mess men make of the world…. Another part of it for me is that I have a better chance of surviving and mounting some sort of collective resistance among women in the culture and location i have spent the most time. But i dont want to spend my whole life fighting, holding off on having fun until patriarchy falls!

  9. Right. Finding a way to enjoy life is also resistance. Women in the most dire circumstances are often able to laugh with one another. But sure, it’s not enough just to withdraw from patriarchy. It’s better to organize with women if possible.

  10. I don’t have the desire to travel, but I keep thinking about this post and wanted to say something about the attraction to Japan that some people have. I have that in some ways. It’s because the art/architecture is simple and seems designed for quiet and contemplation. At least there is lip service to valuing simplicity, quiet and contemplation. Haiku is another example of this. I realize that this is likely to be a stereotype in many ways and not true, but it does inspire that feeling. I hate the noisiness of U.S. culture, the whole “in your face” mentality that’s everywhere.

    I’m not attracted to Eastern/Asian religions, though, like many people. Or East/West blend of philosophies. (I realize not all these are Japanese). This was adopted by Westerners who rejected the mores of the West, but not me. Maybe because of the inherent patriarchy in all of them. I like yoga as a form of physical exercise only, not some of the mumbo jumbo that I’ve seen paired with it and just a way to part people from their money, especially women. Usually by a man who saw a business opportunity in that trend.

    Your postings about Japan make it more real, not a stereotype. Thanks for your blog and your comments. I would like to travel but only in places where patriarchal cultures did not exist. And those places don’t exist. Why have to learn to deal with other forms of patriarchy? My local one is taxing enough.

    • I do see what you mean about travelling within patriarchy. Obviously travel experiences for women are not what they should be. It’s not only the dangers of being on the road, but there’s also the issue of when you settle somewhere, like I have, men’s oppression of women ensures that women can’t enjoy the things that are there to be enjoyed. Men have made it so that we exist to support their enjoyment of the world.

      • Yes, take an example of a local public park. How many of us have gotten harassed in a park? I don’t mean rape, but made to feel unsafe? Even if not harassed, we know we are at risk. I suspect most have. I may still take a walk in a park, or run, but always weighing risks vs benefits. The risk of no exercise, for instance. Or is the gym safer? Pervy men there, too. Always being watchful, monitoring when we can be in a park, etc. Not dusk, not early morning unless plenty of others are present. Do I still enjoy the trees, etc. that are there? Yes, but never as much as I might if not for misogynist danger. If you think further, women’s tax money helped pay for these public places that men enjoy more fully than women. Pervy men frequent parks, gyms, museums, public transit, etc. All places where women might be unprotected. It’s surprising that women don’t die younger than they do given the constant stress of always monitoring our safety.

        So, women who travel probably figure that they may as well travel since misogyny is universal. No safe spaces on earth. I do enjoy your writing about places that I won’t ever travel, and other women doing that, too. Especially the women of the places you go.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s