It began as a way to pass the time in Tripoli, a challenge to learn all the flags of Africa. It has travelled with me everywhere I’ve been since. And now, at long last, it is approaching completion. When it’s finished, it will be by far and away the best thing I’ve ever made. It will be a blanket big enough for two. I’m sure it will be unique. Who else has ever made a crocheted Africa-shape formed of its flags and surrounded by the sea?
When people ask about my experience in Libya, my response is always positive. I remember the unique places I got to see, the generosity and hospitality I encountered, the enthusiasm of my students. I tend to forget the incessant honking of car horns which kept me up all night, horrendous traffic matched only by the driving etiquette, not to mention the many perils of being a pedestrian. Isn’t it usually true that once it’s over, the bad parts of an experience fade away in your memory, leaving the good parts to fill up the spaces?
I have (finally!) got round to editing and uploading my Libya pictures over the last week or so, and I have been reflecting on so many good memories from those short months. I was in Colombia for a similar length of time, and yet I have hardly any pictures. I conclude this is because I rarely did anything interesting. Either it was raining too hard, cost too much, necessitated another unendurable hour on an overcrowded bus or more often than not, all three. Wandering round aimlessly taking photos, like i did on countless days in Tripoli when other options were thin on the ground, held little appeal with scaremongers at every turn telling me stories of the latest person to be attacked/mugged/stripped naked in broad daylight with the police standing idly by.
grafitti from La Candelaria
Six months on, and when I think about Colombia it is quite hard to think of good things to say. I guess the good/bad memories filter doesn’t work all the time. In the interests of positivity here are some pictures of Bogota’s artistic offerings, which was one of the good things about living in this capital city. That, and the orange juicing ladies on street corners.
poster from mexican design exhibition/fat bird from Botero museum
These are part of my Bogota Galleries & Street Art set, on flickr.
The rest of the Libya photo sets are queued up for this week.
Around this time last year I had the chance to visit a really special place, hidden away in the Libyan Sahara. I wrote about this unique corner of desert called the Ubari Sand Sea and about the amazing hospitality we received.
The best pictures (of the hundreds I took) have finally made it to Flickr:
Sahara, a set on Flickr