from “The Art of Travel”

Rarely, if ever, do I allow someone else to write my blog post, but here, without consent and possibly in violation of copyright laws, I quote from Alain de Botton’s “The Art of Travel”:

…Nowhere is the appeal of the airport more concentrated than in the television screens which hang in rows from terminal ceilings announcing the departure and arrival of flights and whose absence of aesthetic sef-consciousness, whose workmanlike casing and pedestrian typefaces, do nothing to disguise their emotional charge or imaginative allure.  Tokyo, Amsterdam, Istanbul.  Warsaw, Seattle, Rio.  The screens bear all the poetic resonance of the last line of James Joyce’s Ulysses: at once a record of where the novel was written and, no less importantly, a symbol of the cosmopolitan spirit behind its composition: ‘Trieste, Zurich,Paris.’  The constant calls of the screens, some accompanied by the impatient pulsing of a cursor, suggest with what ease our seemingly entrenched lives might be altered, were we to walk down a corridor and on to a craft that in a few hours would land us in a place of which we had no memories and where no one knew our names. How pleasant to hold in mind, through the crevasses of our moods, at three in the afternoon when lassitude and despair threaten, that there is always a plane taking off for somewhere, for Baudelaire’s “Anywhere! Anywhere!’: Trieste, Zurich, Paris.

One thought on “from “The Art of Travel”

  1. Lovely! I remember standing at a pier looking out at ships coming into the San Francisco docks, or departing, and imagining the exotic places where they came from and where they were going. This really tweaked my travel dreams into reality! I have since been to Costa Rica, Guatemala, Paraguay, Brazil, Ecuador and the Galapagos, all over Europe, Japan (four times), China, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei on the island of Borneo, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Alaska, and more! So my dreams that day came true! Lucky our son joined the US Foreign Service and welcomed us to each place that he was posted, along with his Japanese wife, of course. He now is married to a Peruvian – they live near San Diego and operate – take a look! Anne Marie

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