A Visit to Houston, Texas

I arrived in Houston from Tampa, Florida by United Airlines …. travelling on this occasion was quite an improvement on my last outing with the airline.

My sister was at Houston airport to meet me, such a delight, it was so good to see her after all this time, but strangely, it was as though for the first time – she is such a beautiful soul.

Houston was a surprise, my love for cities in general is rare … Houston is by and large a clean city from what I saw and surprisingly it dawns on you slowly about the paradox that is Houston, others have wondered what my perspective might be – frankly it was a surprise, for in one area you have the absolute frenetic activity of the business side, from the wide expanses of freeways, with layers upon layers of cloverleafs and crossovers, to the broad clean streets of the one way roads in the city center, to theatres, where we took the opportunity to see an Arthur Miller play ( A View from the bridge – here ) at the Alley theatre, then the transition to the unexpected simplicity and beauty of close residential areas of the green inner city suburbs, the quietness, the oak trees and the beauty of nature expressed in the parks, sculptures, community gardens and parks, such a nice feeling it generates.

Although I am writing this in September, I visited Houston in May / June 2017 … hence now we also have the perspective of the impact of Hurricane Harvey …. as well.

Flood control is a priority in the city, so how much does Houston spend on flood control – here is an article that gives a view on this – here as well here is an article concerning the effect on Houston of the recent Huricane itself – here

A picture of an inner suburb in Houston .. an area of parks, museums, art galleries and a University.

A Community Garden in the inner suburbs of Houston

We went to an Arthur Miller play ( A View from the bridge ) at the Alley Theatre in Houston. It had been a long time since I had seen a play with stage acting … nice!

To encapsulate, I really like Houston …. it had a calming feeling to it …. trees and greenery in those places I visited was refreshing and energising.

I Left Houston by Amtrak train to El Paso as I thought it would give me time to see some scenery and meet and talk with other people …. that experience comes in the next travel post where I am on my way to Santa Fe, New Mexico via Albuquerque.

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When you go to India, you come face to face with yourself

I couldn’t agree more with this quote from E.M.Forster

My personal experience in India involved both my physical and spiritual bodies ….. you may remember that I was sick for over 5 weeks, now as I look back on this, I see it as a renewal, and an incredible experience, it affected not only my physical body but my spiritual self including my access to and conversations with my soul, I am not the same person I was …. what I am in transition to, I have no idea, but I obviously will.

In hindsight, together with the feelings that came when I first arrived (total self confrontation, I was way outside my comfort zone), I feel the experience has shaped me and changed me for this moment onwards, a process that stripped away the person I was, the past, relationships, ambitions, perspectives, expectations – I felt I was like a block of moist clay that once I was over the sickness itself, I was shaped anew, as my soul said, “to prepare you for what is to come”.

Change is the only constant, and how we relate to it shapes our lives – I leave India in about a month, to travel to the Mediterranean – firstly, to Cyprus, actually to Paphos on the coast of the far west of the island country I am looking forward to this, to learn more about the history of the country, the archaeology. the culture, the values and beliefs, but most of all meeting and engaging with people.

Where I go from there, I have no idea, I will play it by ear and accept and flow with what life brings,

I chose to learn Spanish, truly I am not sure why, but I know I would like to explore Spain, to start with Barcelona, as well and I have an invitation from a friend to go to Madrid, time is limited because as it is part of the Eurozone, and hence as an Australian, I have only 3 months per visit to the whole of the Eurozone.

Part of this constant change is sometimes accelerated, one cannot expect anything here in India, and assumptions are dangerous, for a start, electricity is totally unreliable, every day there is at least one power failure, mind you I suppose that is something you can rely on, whether the reason is the lack of capacity, poor distribution, faults, or conscious load shedding is unknown. The balance is covered in previous blog posts.

The landscape in India is beautiful, here in Dehradun, we are in the foothills of the Himalayas, however there are large quantities of discarded packaging from our consumerism is in most places, basically rubbish. I have also observed that in the Dehradun there are no rubbish bins, perhaps that may be part of the reason for this large amount of mainly plastic (packaging) and household refuse.

I am thinking of returning to India next year, there is so much more to learn and experience.