Thursday, 20 January 2011

Travel Tales #2 A spiritual haven for the New Age Traveller

Every so often the traveller stumbles upon a location that almost leaps out at him (or her) and such it was with this peaceful cobbled street in Antibes.

It was a hot day and had seemed a long one, not helped by a discourse with a passenger on a bus on the “merits” (he said) of the Revolutionary Calendar, this “supreme monument to human folly and stupidity” (I said) from the French Revolution.

The Revolutionary Calendar was a part of the Metric System which decided that everything should be divisible by ten. It therefore decreed that each year would be composed of ten months, each week of ten days and each day of ten hours. 

“Clearly the citizens behind this foolery had never heard of the Laws of Nature and the cyclical movements of the earth around the sun and the moon around the earth”, I told my fellow traveller.

He laughed amiably, but already I was in full flow.

“We can only be grateful”, I told him, “that your revolution occurred in the eighteenth century and not at the dawn of human civilisation, otherwise Hercules would have had Ten Labours to perform; there would be Ten Deadly Sins; Ten Wonders of the Ancient World; Jesus would have had Ten Disciples; and Shakespeare would have had to redraft his play as The Ten Gentlemen of Verona.”

We moved on to discuss Globalization. 

“Is it a plot? A conspiracy? Some sinister design to rid every community of each last vestige of its culture and its uniqueness and replace it with a bland one-size-fits-all monoculture? Or is it a mere marketing ploy to allow global multi-nationals get their grubby little hands on the contents of your wallet?”

This was me. Clearly I was unstoppable. Almost New Age. He disagreed, said it was helping to lift poor people out of their poverty. I disagreed, said that was “Bollocks!”

He got off the bus before me and I continued to Antibes and came upon this picturesque café where Revolutionary Calendars and Globalization seemed light years away, and where it was more congenial, almost spiritual even, to watch people than to dispute with them.

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