Monday, January 16, 2017

Abroad at home

I never forget that it was a fit of laughter
that changed the wind for us. Since then, I've
always kept something absurd to say to myself
when things go wrong: when, for example, the
customs officers hunched over your expired pass-
port decide your fate in an incomprehensible
language, and after a few ill-received inter-
ruptions, you scarcely dare lift your eyes from
the ground.

Then some silly pun, or the memory of a situation which still seems comic, is enough to give you heart - even to make you laugh out loud, alone in your corner - and it's the turn of the men in uniform not to understand; 

they look at you in puzzlement, 
raise an eyebrow, check their 
fly-buttons and assume an ex-
pression, and then the obstac-
les they'd put in your way are
removed, who knows why.

Nicolas Bouvier
Robyn Marsack
Marlboro Press, 1992
New York Review Books, 2009©

Nicole Gomes
Ioannis Stefanidis
Kwamman Chu

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