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Foreword

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Thursday, 16 September 2004

 
I thought of starting this opening article with a cheerful proverb about travel, something along the lines of how jolly and interesting my journey will be. A proverb to describe the knowledge I will gain, the feelings I will experience, the life I will live. But also a witty proverb. Something funny, laughable, almost Monty Python-ish – on the verge of stupidity… Ok, something very stupid and funny. That is, until I found this:

 “ Travel is a foretaste of Hell ” – Turkmen proverb

Short, concise, brief and evil, it delivers the very opposite message of all the other sophisticated, eloquent and most importantly - positive - proverbs I was reading. Yet I found it funny in its own ways, so I decided to do a little research. Turkmen proverbs are generally short due to the lack of relative pronouns in the language. They have interesting proverbs such as “they eat food of him who does not eat his own food”. But I found no clue as to why travel is perceived so negatively.

So, my friends, throughout my travels over the next 11 months, I will try to confirm, in as much detail as possible, and as frequently as time permits, whether one should be so righteous during one's lifetime as to avoid Hell. I might not find it that bad!

Alex

PS. Big thanks to Barnes for helping me sort this trip out. Don't think I would have made it without him!

PPS. Leaving party 25th september in paris & 29th in london?