Far

How far did they fly? Five and a half thousand as the crow. Or: from Indianness to Englishness, an immeasurable distance. Or, not very far at all, because they rose from one great city, fell to another. The distance between cities is always small; a villager, travelling a hundred miles to town, traverses emptier, darker, more terrifying space. — Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses

Our cur­rent stay in Mada­gas­car has almost come to an end. The return jour­ney is planned for Sat­ur­day, but men­tal­ly we already made the biggest step. Last week­end we crossed the “emp­ti­er, dark­er, more ter­ri­fy­ing” dis­tance between Ambo­hit­si­laozana and Tana. Two months in a vil­lage among the rice fields, and now the big city. An awful lot of cars, super­mar­kets, news­pa­pers… Unlim­it­ed inter­net use, mean­ing: new music, Dutch tele­vi­sion and for me pick­ing up work again. It is all a bit over­whelm­ing.

tbrousse

Nine hours of trav­el­ling by bus.

We can start to get used to the inten­sive urban life, which in Hol­land is not restrict­ed to the big cities. Some­thing we did not leave behind is the rain, that is tick­ing on the roof right now, while Fred­dy is trav­el­ling to an appoint­ment.
That is one thing less to get used to…