Miniature Disasters

by tjmHolden

30 March 2010


When peripatetics get out on the road, all manner of trouble can result: from bags redirected to a different city to a failure to pack enough underwear. A belt goes missing, a tie has to serve as a sash. That’s called “making do” and it is one of the peripatetic rules of the road. But there are some things that are less amenable to adjustment—difficulties acclimating to time, weather, food—oh, and people. Feisty, hard to fathom, difficult to suffer, human beings.

In the trips I have detailed over the past five years here on these pages—to cities and thereabouts in South America, Asia, Europe, North America, the Middle East—I have encountered all such difficulties. But, you know . . . in the grand scale of things—say compared to a crucifixion, genocide, an atomic bombing—none of these really rise beyond simply irksome and discomfiting; they are all relatively piddling concerns. Nothing more than a “miniature disaster”, to coin KT Tunstall‘s turn of phrase. Surely nothing dire enough to get worked up about, since none ever amount to more than “minor catastrophes”.

And with that in mind, with KT’s tune swirling around in (and over) my head, here are some of the miniature disasters—real and imagined—that I have bumped up against over the years; this time in pictures, set to song. This batch primarily—though not exclusively—from Paris, Kyoto, Oslo and Sendai—with a little Hiroshima, San Francisco, Vienna, Tokyo, Barcelona, Miyajima, Macau, and Stockholm spritzed around the edges.


Now that you’ve watched the show, I hope we have succeeded—KT and me—in convincing you that, when on the road, there isn’t much more to do than smile through whatever crops up. A disaster—sure, possibly, perhaps—but probably not really. In the largest scheme of things, maybe just a miniature disaster, a minor catastrophe, a maximal inconvenience.

And, if whatever assailed you wasn’t enough to make you succumb—if you were able to live to tell about it—then it wasn’t a full-blown cataclysm, now was it? Those disasters were minimal enough to enable you to keep on motoring.

. . . Still and all . . . they may just have been good enough to result in a passable slide show one day.



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