|sent from: Bombay, India. destination: Bombay, India|
A memory of landing in a foreign city; a disorganised disembarkation from the plane into crowded buses, the heat folding around you on the blistering, blinding tarmac. The swell of smoke, sweat, perfume, dirt. Dust in the air. Outside, cab noise, beeping and pushing, a liberal adherence to traffic laws. Stern police whose attention can be distracted with some carefully placed currency. A crowded city, everyone on the street, walking, living, shopping, drinking, eating, cars weaving into any available spaces to keep ahead. Eventually the city falls away into the suburbs, everything hidden by billboards. Cars stopped along the side of the road, the driver casually relieving himself in the open as the overloaded family car idles. The alternative, the public loos, are worse, you never know what you’ll find. It is simple, it is exciting, a little animal, less civilised somehow, and yet more authentic.
I am in India, but this memory is of Spain in the 70s and 80s, going back to when my mind was first coming online and some of my earliest memories. India is all these things and more, everything pushed to the extreme. I’ve seen it change in the almost 5 years since I’ve been coming here. Certainly Spain has transformed in the time since these memories… It is cleaner, quieter, more “civilised”, and maybe a little less interesting. I wonder if that is also the future here.
I’ve consciously tried to make each postcard unique, although there are common themes that I return to again and again. I’ve also wanted to return to some postcards and re-do them, feeling that too many have a first-draft roughness about them. However I’ve never unintentionally improved on a card, as I have here.
I wrote the card you see here and then found that I’d already written the same card, two years ago. The ideas, the structure, the conclusions are all the same, although I think this one is a significant improvement over that one.