Thursday, January 31, 2008

damn the Irish! damn them to HELL!

I'd normally file this post as a "postal scrotum" (newbies: that's Kevinese for "mail bag"), but I had to title the post as violently as possible to express my hatred of all things Irish-- an animus acquired only minutes ago thanks to an email from reader Paul C., who sent a link to an article about an Irishman who plans to walk from Bristol, UK* to the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi in Porbandar, India. To make matters worse for yours truly, the man, whose name is Mark Boyle, plans to do his walk in an even more extreme form than I plan to do mine: he won't touch any money. That's right, folks: he's relying entirely on the kindness of others. For everything. Puts me to shame.

And where did he announce his intentions? On his blog, of course.

A man is planning to walk to India without using money, relying on the goodwill of people along the way or working for bed and board, he said Wednesday.

Former dotcom businessman Mark Boyle, from Bristol, aims to end up at Mahatma Gandhi's birthplace after the 9,000-mile trek, which he reckons will take him about two and a half years.

"I've got some sunscreen, a good knife, a spoon, a bandage... no Visa card, no travellers' cheques, no bank accounts, zero. I won't actually touch money along the way," the 28-year-old told BBC radio.

Walking between 15 and 45 miles a day, he plans to work his way down through France, Italy, eastern Europe, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan before reaching Gandhi's birthplace of Porbandar on India's west coast.

On his blog, Boyle said he was setting off Wednesday.

"I will start writing a new chapter in my life. From this point on I endeavour to never touch money again," he wrote on the blog, at Just for the Love of It.

Describing the trip as a "pilgrimage", he told the BBC he aims to demonstrate what he calls a "harvest philosophy" in which people can live by sharing skills rather than using cash.

Damn the Irish and their legendary pluck!

On a more serious note, I wish this gentleman Godspeed. I think he's engaging in a far more dangerous undertaking than I am. What I'm doing is probably a close cousin of stage diving: I'll be in my home country the entire time, restricting myself to religious facilities, and I'll be borne across the country on the arms of friendly strangers. I expect a soft landing almost everywhere; what does this guy have coming to him? I shudder to think of it.

(I could be wrong, of course; if I'm directed to a house of worship deep in gangland territory, I might be in for interesting times as well.)

Anyway-- good luck to you, Mr. Boyle. I don't really want God to damn the Irish to hell. But I wouldn't mind if God twisted your ankle so that we may all know you by your limp.

*Will he be swimming the Channel to France, or walking through the Chunnel (if that's possible for a normal citizen)?


1 comment:

  1. Glad you got the email.

    At least you will be able to follow his progress for the next couple of months and see what difficulties he has and how to overcome them.

    I think some illegal immigrants have tried to walk through the Chunnel but it's not the done thing. I think this guy was going to pitch up at the ferry terminal and try and sweet talk them into letting him go for free.

    I shall be interested to see how he gets on with the kindness of strangers in Afghanistan, if he gets that far.



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