Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Travel, Tourism, Pilgrimage

Blogging will be sporadic, or maybe nonexistent, for the next week as I head for the Mysterious East (Virginia) for M.'s family reunion.

I do want to make a little bit of a pilgrimage along the way, and if it happens, I'll blog it.

Right now, I am obsessed with the thought of flying into a strange airport, renting a strange car, and driving three hours at night through a mostly unfamiliar area to find a place that I have never seen before.

Unlike your typical road warrior, I have to do that only about once a year.

Really, it's nothing compared to what some people have faced:

I had decided quite definitely that if I could find the right kind of Kurdish brigand — and the hills around Kuchan were infested with them — then by means of a goodly sum of money which I felt confident of getting, and the promise of some plunder into the bargain, I would be able to get through the mountains with explosives.

Now that is what is meant by "travel, not tourism." It's from The Spy Who Disappeared by Reginald Teague-Jones, a memoir of his months in the Caspian Sea region during the Russian Civil War.

My pilgrimage connects with that era too.

But I all I need is someone helpful at the Avis counter, not Kurdish brigands. (Imagining an Avis counter manned by Kurdish brigands ... Like this?)

At least we can come back by train.



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