Saturday, 19 February 2011
turning the guns on their own
When I was young we used to try and visit the places with leadership we approved of. We would not have dreamed of going to apartheid South Africa for instance. Though we would go to the USSR, which was considered cool, but that is another story. But in those days more than half of Europe was under dictatorship, including Spain, Portugal and Greece. Most of Latin America too. The fascists had the best weather, as we used to say. In those days travel was in real terms much more expensive more difficult and thus less accessible to ordinary people. I did not leave the UK untilI was 16, and then to Spain, and I spent the summer in Germany when I was 17 - for someone from my background I was considered well travelled. My own children are 29 and 34 and have travelled much more than that, but it never occurred to me to send them for language summers in their teens, as is very often done now (I know, I have taught them), We know the world these days, because we have visited it. Or so we think. I have had holidays in both Tunisia and Egypt, but the young men I see in the streets here in France, whose parents came from Tunisia but who themselves have never left France, know far more than I do. Which of us has the clearer perspective?