Why go to see what in Italy are called ‘film orror’ when all you need to do is to watch the news? What’s even worse is when places you loved become associated with this ‘orror’.
Sousse in Tunisia, where we spent our honeymoon and from where we branched out to explore fantastic places like the gorge we travelled up on a narrow gauge railway when a young group of Tunisians started singing to the hypnotic beat of makeshift drums on the wooden seats, has now been subject to a terrorist attack with an unknown number of victims littering its beaches.
I read the next item and find that Air Products, the firm I gained my daily bread as a software developer has a decapitated body on its premises in France after yet another terrorist attack.
And it’s no better in the past. Our wedding anniversary, spent in Bali was followed by the nightclub where we went, being bombed. And as for our lovely trip to the Ukraine…well Chekov’s house doesn’t belong to it anymore. Nor do the lives of too many people….
Going back into the more distant and dim past, the hippy trail we took when we escaped from school is now littered with millions of either dead or refugees. OK fabulous Lebanon, where we worked in a bar, is making a comeback but, again, Kuwait, where we transfused pints of the red stuff to get some money to carry on our trip and even concocted a radio programme, has just had a mosque blown up by fanatics with many dead. And I haven’t even mentioned Syria and Iraq.
Our goal, Kathmandu, has recently had its worst earthquake in living memory. And as for our hitching across Afghanistan and its incredible abandoned Alexandrian cities and those Buddhas…anyone today would think we’d be stark raving bonkers to hitch a ride from Herat to Kandahar.
In the middle of this maelstrom of iniquities we managed a fabulous trip down the Nile in a felucca just a few years ago and our trip to Jordan, the middle east’s Switzerland (we live in hope), was last year’s biggest dream journey experience for us.
Mongolia was transcendence on earth or was it a lunar seascape? I can still go back there, thank goodness!
My flight to Vietnam last year was the best escape from Italy’s unpredictable winter weather I’ve ever had. . And a relative of ours waxed lyrical about her journey to Iran this year.
Our journey to south India was much more hassle-free than a typical journey on British rail:
and we are still raring to go to places our feet haven’t trod yet. Galapagos, Ecuador, Namibia, Trans-Siberian, Tahiti?
Sadly, too late for exploring Yemen, though. A big regret and even bigger regret for the suffering of indiscriminate bombing so bravely reported by Bowen.
As for dates. Why should our wedding anniversary, the seventh of the seventh, be now remembered for another ghastly atrocity in our home town ten years ago this year?
I sometimes think the more extreme religious sects are right in predicting the end of the world when they do. But aren’t they too helping along to further these predictions? The end of the world will come, as far as I’m concerned when I crash my scooter into a wall like that poor dad who died just a few days ago near Bagni di Lucca’s mayor Betti’s dream village at Pian di Fiume, the victim’s feet sticking out at the end of a bloodied sheet too short for him.
Will our part of the world ever be affected by the ‘orror’? I don’t want to think about it although it’s given us its fair share of tongue-biting experiences in the form of regular earth tremors, the tornado earlier this year that ripped out so many roofs and trees and changed the landscape for a long time to come and the usual water bombs due to sudden precipitous rainfall.
Of course, as Sartre so poetically put it in his play Huis Clos, the biggest ‘orrori’ are some people one has occasionally have to encounter, even here…..
Enough of this. Let us enjoy the company of true friends, of harbingers of heaven, of things that make us forget life’s weariness its fever and its fret, nature herself whether it be in the flowers we surround our little homes with
or our animals:
or the wonderful countryside which surrounds them and us!