Where is Abroad to a Broad like me?

Dortmunder_Nashorn_-_World_RhinoDortmunder Nashorn mit Weltkarten-Motiv (World Rhino) by Erich Ferdinand

.

.

If you’ve got this far, please explain yourself. No, wait, let me explain myself to you, I’m sure that’s what you and I would rather that we do. No?

No…..

Has he gone yet? Or was he a she? Has she gone yet?

.

.

“If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.”
― Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

.

.

I really couldn’t tell whether that was the sound of retreating internet footsteps or just my mind unraveling again. Or whether they were a he or a she… something which people have often wondered about me.

There are many things people have wondered about me in my wanderings around the world, online and offline… most of them don’t matter.

It doesn’t matter… but things which don’t matter often become things of great matter. Sometimes…

Sometimes because people are people wherever they are in the world and… don’t always see other people as people too, and stuff like that.

.

.

“The story so far:
In the beginning the Universe was created.
This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”
― Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

.

.

What am I talking about?

For simplicity’s sake, I’ll say I don’t know and so will you. And we’ll move on.

Except… does anyone ever really move on?

We say we do, but do we do what we say or say it hoping we’ll do it? That by saying it, it is done.

We sometimes move on by moving abroad to get away… and perhaps get a way to be different, change, be someone else somewhere else.

It can work.

Sometimes for only a while until you realise you packed more than you thought you did when you left A to get to Z.

.

.

“In Paris they just simply opened their eyes and stared when we spoke to them in French! We never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language.”
― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad

.

.

Sometimes it can work for a lifetime because you go somewhere which doesn’t necessarily change you but accepts you as you are – that can be a very profound experience. Finding your home, the place where you belong as you are.

Some people dream of that kind of place, but never find it even if they travel the world and study every inch of it. Those people look at the stars and wonder…

I was one of those people who looked at the stars and wondered… if I’d been accidentally dropped on Earth from another planet. No. I wondered if I’d been abandoned here because there, wherever there (theoretically – home) was, had decided I didn’t belong there either.

Kids, teenagers… and their silly thoughts which carry over into adulthood.

A brief history of me and pre-me:

A person from one country met one from another country in the latter’s country in which the former had been studying and living. The former had not intended to meet and later marry some foreigner, their studies abroad were to further their ambitions for themselves. They were following the path of a dream, a career.

They split ways and then later married (on a whim – some versions of this story claim it was an anti-racism inspired action, but it was more like a teenage rebellion lived out in adult bodies) in the former’s country… then wandered around their respective countries’ continent, until they ended up in another continent where they incontinently popped out a child (me – no others have been found to exist). But that continent couldn’t hold such incontinence… so they kept wandering.

.

.

“And men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, yet pass over the mystery of themselves without a thought.”
― Augustine of Hippo, Confessions

.

.

I grew up in bits and pieces. In this country, that country, and that other one, and there which was different from those.

When people ask me where I’m from…

These days… I just look at where my feet are, the earth beneath them and what that’s called, and try to give the answer which will sound least sarcastic (Planet Earth… most people think you’re taking the proverbial and worse when you say that) and confusing (I’m from nowhere and everywhere – not confusing at all).

I don’t know where I’m from, do you… know where you’re from? And how do you know?

Is it the place, the people… have you studied it, them? Have you studied you, your broad from A to Z?

When you go abroad to study… what is it that you are studying? And what is it that is studying you?

Because when you go somewhere else, somewhere abroad… it’s experiencing you as much as you experience it, maybe more…

.

.

“I know who I am. Bloody hell, I’m getting enough bills for Karl Pilkington so I hope I am him, ‘cos if I’m not, I have no idea who I’m paying for.”
― Karl Pilkington, An Idiot Abroad: The Travel Diaries of Karl Pilkington

Advertisements