Springboard to the East

For Europeans, to travel anywhere in Europe outside their own country is a chance to see different scenery, new nations, and experience local customs, food and drink. But Europe is well-mixed, both in culture and blood; A+ is by far the most common blood group in Europe, with exceptions such as the Basques, where Rh negative is dominant.

When I go to different European countries, I feel completely at home. I prefer some to others, but there is a commonality which gives Europe its own identity in the world. Of course they drink beer in the north, wine in the south, but Visa will get you by anywhere, and so will English.

But take a step into Africa, across the straits at Algeciras, and land in Ceuta, 40m later, and you are in a new world. The escutcheons of the Portuguese crown still visible on the flag, a memory of the conquest from the Moors in 1415 by the greatgrandfather of King John II, John I of Portugal.

Or take off from the cosmopolitan vibe of Lisbon and land in Mozambique, where you feel the warmth of the land and the people, and the soft kiss of the Indian Ocean, in a crazy mix of Portuguese colonial architecture and avenues named after Marxist-Leninists of total irrelevance to the locals.

That is when travel becomes disruptive, and fascinating. Everything is different, incomprehensible and fun. After you’ve done it, you can never see it on TV. Because there is no smell. No heat. That notion that things might suddenly become dangerous, or that you swam out too far, and what’s that dark shape anyway? And a trip in Europe is like popping to the grocery store.

The Spy is about to arrive in Alexandria. Everything will be different from now on.

http://www.theindiaroad.com/blog/1487 – The Knights of the Hospital.pdf

This is the last public post for The India Road, now all chapters are redone. Everything will be different from now on.


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