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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Travels with Kapuscinski

One of the really nice things about our regular winter pilgrimage to Lazarevats (Serbia) and Sliven (Bulgaria) this year was Jelica reading to me ‘Travels with Herodotus’ by Richard Kapuscinski while I was driving. Sometimes these long drives can be just a bit boring (10h. from Lazarevats to Sliven) but we found the cure this time – reading. Well, it is easy to listen and not that easy to read but Jelica did it so well. Dziekuje (thanks in Polish). To whoever doesn’t know Richard Kapuscinski is a famous Polish journalist writing mostly about his travels. This is only the second book I (we) were reading after the Shadow of the Sun which Nathalie happily possesses now.

There is a funny story about all that. I found out about Kapucsinski thanks to a Spanish friend of mine – Mar Roman – whom I met in Kenya. Mar is happily married to an Indian now but the Shadow of the Sun is about Africa. Actually ‘Travels with Herodotus’ is partly about India. My copy of the Shadow of the Sun is with Nathalie whom I met in Budapest but Nathalie is currently in Kenya where I first discovered about Kapuscinski. It’s a crazy world.

But let me mention just a couple of words about Kapuscinski. I really recommend him to anybody who likes travelling and to anybody who finds it hard to travel to poor, run down countries like most of the African countries he depicts in the Shadow of the Sun. He simply shows how it is possible to find beauty, friendship and love even in the most wretched and dictatorial places. He proves how it is possible to turn on the ‘good filters’, of course properly analyzing all that the ‘bad filters’ filter out.

View of the seafront in Lamu, Kenya

Local girl in Lamu

1 comment:

Plamen said...

mnogo dobra ideya za tyagostnite chasove na pytuvaneto.
Ste opitam da namerya ednata ot knigite na Kapuscinski. Pri vas predimstvoto e obstia ezik, dokato pri nas ima oste da ucha estonski, za da cheta na Kaidi :). Ili tya bulgarski.

Inache otnosno Istanbul mi struva, che kakto sme blizo do tozi grad, taka i usestaneto e, che si na po-visoko myasto, otkydeto vijdash sveta - i na iztok i na zapad. Ako Tallinn beshe Istanbul steshe da mie po-lesno da svikna, makar che e po-chist i normalen grad lipsva istinskoto bezbrejie na jivota i horata.

Ste tryabva da sme kym sredata na mart v Bupapesta - po sredata mejdu Konstantinopol/Stambul i Tallinn.

Pozdravi na semeistwoto.