Monday 19 December 2011

Advent 2011: Door 19

Yoopee! - as The Adorable Nephew would say.  I've finally caught up on myself and have the right door for the right Advent day.

Today's hint comes courtesy of Martha Gellhorn, who not only survived numerous conflicts as a female war correspondent, but also survived marriage to Hemingway.  As well as these, she is a worthy member of the Pantheon of Lady Travellers.  Her hint relates to travellers' tales - and it is very good advice indeed...
Upon our return, no one willingly listens to our travellers' tales.  'How was the trip?' they say.  'Marvellous,' we say.  'In Tbilisi, I saw...'  Eyes glaze.  [...] 
The only aspect of our travels that is guaranteed to hold an audience is disaster.  'The camel threw you at the Great Pyramid and you broke your leg?'  'Chased the pickpocket through the Galeria and across Naples and lost all your travellers' cheques and your passport?'  'Locked and forgotten in a sauna in Viipuri?'  'Ptomaine from eating sheep's eyes at a Druze feast?'  That's what they like.  They can hardly wait for us to finish before they launch into stories of their suffering in foreign lands.  The fact is, we cherish our disasters and here we are one up on the great travellers who have every impressive qualification for the job but lack jokes.   
Martha Gellhorn, Travels with Myself and Another.
 (image of Martha Gellhorn - and yes, Mr Martha Gellhorn - 
from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library via Wikimedia Commons)

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