from palenque with love

I wonder what will be left of our great cities in years to come, when ours is the ancient. Churches and houses of parliament, galleries and perhaps the foundations of our skyscrapers. Twists of metal and plastic; my mothers’ ornamental plates, broken apart; your iphones, smashed to pieces.

What new age hippies of eras to come will wander down George St, stand on Gowings corner, where Supré today sports neon, and say ‘Wow, I can really feel the power of this place.’

Will my touristic ancestors mosey the crumbled ruins of the QVB on some cliché journey of self-development, while their mothers receive postcards with pithy sentiments about disruptive tour groups and monkeys?

I close my eyes and try to imagine Palenque, this great city so named by the Spanish, as it once stood, bricks deep red and Mayans wandering, ruling, fucking, worshipping, eating and sleeping. I amble up temples and sporting arenas and wonder what it would now look like if the same effort had been put into constructing houses as these tombs and pyramids.

I was told to get a tour here and so, concerned about time, I took that advice. But, after comical mechanical disasters, we arrived late and 2 hours at Palenque was not nearly enough. I returned today to take my time in the sun, sit beside waterfalls and clamber down forbidden jungle paths, rest atop monuments, listen to the birds and discuss life, love, travel, anxiety and tattoos with a barefoot German yoga teacher called Gita.