Finding Nemo

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Worm-Holes on Earth

George Takei would approve of this fruity wormhole. Oh my.

What is a "border?" They often so randomly placed that it feels like some bureaucrats had lunch, pulled out a napkin, and started scribbling on a cartoon map. (What's that? This is how the Middle East was drawn up? Explains a lot...)

It always feels to me very weird to cross them. I mean, the earth is the same, the air is the same. But because the earth has been partitioned, fenced off, and jealously guarded by each of its warring tribes, you have to walk past guards with machine guns, barbed wire fences, and smile nervously as an underpaid man looking for a bribe scrutnizes why your passport photo has no beard and your first name was stolen from a Disney movie.

You walk the 100 feet or so, through a no-man's land which on paper doesn't actually exist, temporarily exiting the world into a limbo fuzz. Finally, you emerge through another gate, where another set of underpaid guards hold up your photo and point at your beard again.

But suddenly, just over that short distance, everything has changed. The guards speak a different language, dress differently. The cars are nicer, the road looks better paved. You enter a restaurant, and instead of your usual hot noodles with disgusting coffee, they have steak, pasta, real espresso and chocolate! The toilets are sit down instead of pits. They might actually even have free toilet paper. The signs go from an unintelligible scratch of random lines to an unintelligible jumble of Greek letters.

The faces go from big, square, and flat, to western-looking, with light skin. Instead of the uniform black hair and brown eyes, people have light eyes and purple and red-dyed hair.

You spin in a circle, taking it all in. You may have only walked a few hundred feet, but that 100 feet might as well have been a worm-hole to a another universe.

That about sums it up

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