Cork, Ireland

Location: Cork, Ireland [umap id=”11906″ size=”t” alignment=”right”]

I started reading Ryszard Kapuscinski on Kamila’s recommendation, and after the first sentence of the first book became pretty much addicted. Now, in a third book, he is traveling through Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Agonizing as I am about flying east and resuming the trip, or calling it quits and heading “home”, I need to read about Yerevan and Tblisi like I need to read a romance novel: I don’t really want to be reminded of what I’m missing.

Maybe it’s all the English signage and literature, the more familiar cultural things, or the fact that Frankfield, Co. Cork, could be a suburb of Columbus, Ohio (except for the whole driving on the wrong side of the road thing), but I’ve been feeling like heading back to the States. I’ve spent a lot of money on the trip so far – eating in restaurants instead of picnicking from grocery stores, staying in single rooms instead of youth hostel dorms, etc., and with all the news of doom and gloom in the financial world (the Croatian’s prophecy that this crisis will make the Great Depression “seem like a party” echoing in my head) I wonder if it’s wise to be spending instead of saving. I haven’t had much savings in my life, and I guess I am starting to feel guilty about letting it burn a hole in my pocket.

So all the “Vans” out there – Yerevan, Tatvan, Lake Van – and don’t forget Batman (a town in eastern Turkey, not the superhero) – I think these will have to wait for another day. Samarkand and Ashgabat, Shiraz, Tashkent, Amritsar, the Pamirs, the Tien Shan, the Karakoram, the Taklimakan… I’d been looking forward to writing “Mark, reporting live from Qom” on a postcard. Well, hey have been around since long before Ibn Battutah and Marco Polo, they will probably be around for the next time I get itchy feet (which probably won’t be all that long anyhow).

I booked a flight home via Philadelphia, New York, and Columbus. Home in time for birthday and the Pumpkin Show!

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