all the way around


“Where are you going again?” asked my grandmother. She is 90 years old and traveled only once in her life in 1945 from Kazakhstan to Berlin with Russian Army (probably wasn’t very fun).

“Morocco,” I said.

“Oh, my Gosh! I don’t understand traveling. As our grandfather said – you can travel all your life and still don’t know who you are.”

That’s true. Most of us, Russians, Kazakhs and the rest of ex-Soviets, don’t understand travel mostly because we don’t know how the world works. Everybody who saw us abroad knows that we look like we just crash-landed from another planet. We don’t know how to flush the toilet and when to smile. The big world scares us. His habbitants send us undetermined signals, often in English. That’s why our idea of travel look like:

  1. To spend all money in Duty Free believing we are making a good deal (we like to spend because we didn’t yet learn that having money actually brings pleasure too)
  2. To look for unusual things and complain when we find them.

Anyway, I told my grandma, “This place is amazing. De Saint Exupery wrote “The little Prince” there. He found the Sahara desert incredibly inspiring.”

It was dangerous territory. 90 years old could be unpredictable. Grandma could decide I go on Mars. Finally I got advice like “don’t go anywhere alone and especially don’t go anywhere in big groups” and also “don’t come close to volcanos”.

Yesterday I landed in Casablanca. From the plane it looked like a different planet. Good for me! I feel pretty comfortable here since I’m from another planet too.


One Response to “all the way around”

  1. karenconnelly Says:

    i love that! ‘don’t go anywhere alone and don’t go anywhere in big groups!” perfect. i think your grandmother knows a lot about travel!

    i wonder if you will even read this, my dear. it was such a pleasure to meet you and I wish we’d had time to talk–you are quite wonderful!


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