Friday, April 29, 2016

All the way to Timbuktu

When I was a child in Grafton (Australia), adults often mentioned the city of Timbuktu (Africa) as if it were a particularly remote place. To indicate that somebody we knew had moved far away, it was sufficient to say that he had gone all the way to Timbuktu. I knew immediately that the fellow in question was no longer in our vicinity, but I had almost no idea of where he might be located, because nobody had ever bothered to tell me where in fact this place was located on a map. Meanwhile, I imagined that there was little point in asking anybody to tell me where this place might indeed be found. It was surely so far away that the route to Timbuktu would be beyond my understanding.

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