Friday 27 May 2011

How small is Europe

In the commute in the train today, I saw at random one of my fellow thespians who did the two acting courses with me. (An observation that struck me: it appears that I often find actors on the train.) She was getting to work, but since we have a long weekend because of a Bank Holiday, she was planning to take the ferry to Belgium this very afternoon. So from her home, to her work, by train to whichever port the ferry was leaving and from there to Belgium. And I learned tonight that my blogging friend Cynthia is going to Brussells too, from Paris.

And then it simply struck me tonight: Europe is a small continent, where you can change countries and cultures in a few hours, without having to deal with jetlag. We are at the doorstep of so many different places. I don't do that much about it, not during bank holidays anyway. Maybe it is because I am a North American, coming from a place that could contain five times France. You travel six hours in a car and you are still in Québec. Plenty of space, but comparatively little diversity on it. Just in the UK, you have four different countries. In Belgium, you have two different cultures, Wallons and Flamands. I am not talking about immigration here, simply about all those different nations living so close to each others. So close, yet so foreign to each others. Maybe that's why I stick to England for short trips: I still find it exotic.


tao.owl said...

This, I love about Europe. I am lucky to have had the opportunity to visit Belgium, Bruxelles and Bruges. I love the fact that you can experience so much diversity and change countries in just a short amount of time. Here in the states, we struggle with keeping up with advancements in transportation. It takes the same amount of time to visit another state as it would take to visit another country in Europe. I get limited time away from work and when I do get the chance to take an extended vacation, I long for Europe. I am really looking forward to my trip to France and Switzerland, soon enough.

Cynthia said...

I am finally begining to take advantage of the short travel distances in Europe ... I'm already planning trips for November and one of them should be in England :D

Guillaume said...

Alors faudra qu'on se rencontre en novembre!