Thursday, September 11, 2008
Drawing into the distance
These are pictures of the aquaeduct at Segovia, in Spain. We did a little day trip, with my dear friend's parents kindly driving us there and back. They have a Mercedes, and on the way to Madrid to fetch me on my previous trip, the car had a crazy accident, at something like 120kmph if I know her dad. They were on a very high bridge, as the highway curved, and the car lost control. I was received at Barajas airport by a BA official who, palpably relieved I spoke Spanish, told me to call a certain number, where my friend's mum told me about the accident, and that not a thing had happened to either of them, but that the car was totalled. It really was. The inside, however, looked like nothing had happened. They bought the same car with the insurance money, saying that if there ever was obvious evidence of the level of safety Mercedes provides, they'd already seen it!
The funny thing for me was that, in India, the Mercedes is the car of the obscenely rich, and so I told them they made me feel like a princess, riding around to sightsee in a Mercedes, and stopping by the side of the highway to get hot chocolate.
I really began to appreciate the first picture only when it was framed and put on the wall, because only then, against the blank cream expanse, does the way it pulls you in really come across. Ugh what a dreadful sentence. And here the Bride's been telling me how my writing's getting better!
Anyway, the MAIN story attached to this picture, forgive me if I've already told you, is the silly conversation my friend imagined between an Iberian slave and a Roman master while building the aquaeduct:
RM: You are blessed slave, to be a part of this great project to carry water across your land!
IS: er...that's all very well, but why do we need to build this giant structure?
RM: Fool! It is to carry water across the hills, by giving it a level path, for it could hardly flow UPHILL now could it??
IS: But...you don't need to build a platform! Water rises to the same level on the other side if you use a tube...in my village we use a tube-
RM: *cracks whip* silence slave! Generations to come will revere this great work! To work!