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jeudi 5 janvier 2017


A traveler would often be asked, which is your favourite place? Which is your preferred country?
I have to pause, as these places and countries have changed over the years. When I was living in Melbourne, Australia I thought I had gone to heaven, that is how much I loved it and if someone had told me at that time, that I will not be living there anymore once I left for my postgraduate studies in Medicine, I would have looked at him with the greatest of amazement! But I no longer live in Melbourne and other cities and towns have come and gone and the permanent fixture of a city in my life, is the moveable feast that is Havana, Cuba.
If you get tired of London, you are tired of Life, said Samuel Johnson and it holds true for me, centuries later. The other major city in Europe that attracts me is Lisboa.
In the Americas, once upon a time, I was deliriously happy at a small town of Baracoa in the eastern part of Cuba. Buenos Aires always lifts my spirits up and I walk like my own ghost along the streets of Palermo where I was introduced to the prose and poetry of Jorge Luis Borges. Sao Paolo along with Havana can hold my intellectual curiosity.
In North America, it is Miami I always return to, it is comforting for me to return to Miami and in fact, in between various trips, I try to breathe the air of Miami for a day or two. Kingston in Jamaica captivated me for about six months and I have not been back since then.
New York, San Francisco, Seattle, New York are wonderful cities but they do not penetrate my heart.
In the Levant and Maghreb, I am becoming fond of Morocco; Israel for very obvious reasons for me, and Salalah in Oman has a soft spot.
In Asia, Fort Cochin in Kerala, KL in Malaysia, also Malacca; Siem Reap in Cambodia.
Melbourne, Australia as I mentioned above, but Australia has faded into that southern horizon but recently the passion was ignited by friends who visited me in Havana.
There were so many places that I thought I could live happily forever but I know that such places are just illusory, you can prepare yourself to live wherever, but ask yourself why is that you want to live or not live in such and such a place. The answer will always come back to you as the reason why you want to live or not live in such and such place. Rangoon, Suva, Fort Cochin, Kingston, London, Lisboa, Malacca all come to my mind.
Now I know I am destined to be a wanderer, finding peace within myself where ever I am, like this delightful flight from Doha to Boston on Qatar Airways.  Life is not going from Point A to Point B but it is a flow without BORDES, that lovely Spanish word meaning borders, limits that you place on yourself.
Life and Work should mold into our emotions, I don’t know when work begins or Life ends, it seems a continuous thread. Nothing is wasted, all interactions are useful, either at a later conference or taking care of a patient and just schmoozing (a lovely Yiddish word) with friends along Biscayne Bay in Miami
Was it G Inca de la Vega who said many centuries ago?
La Vida as un sueno
And the humble San/Bushman of ! Tsumkwe in the Kalahari once reminded me through two interpreters? San to Herrero to Afrikaans to English, that Life is a big dream that is dreaming of us...
This one to Ms. M from Bucuresti, she will know who she is.