Be There or Be SquareMonday, 31 October 2016
I wish I’d been in Berlin on 9 November 1989 to see the wall come down. I finally got there on 21 October 1991, nearly two years later, and totally because a collection of my German Berlin friends had all insisted I had to see Berlin before it was changed forever. At that time there were still lots of Trabants in the street and you could still feel the difference between one side and the other.
▲ And I really wish on 2 or 3 October 1972 I’d continued up from Kabul to Bamiyan in Afghanistan and seen the Bamiyan Buddhas, instead of heading over the Khyber Pass to Pakistan. When I finally got to Bamiyan on 23 May 2006 it was five years too late, they were destroyed by the Taliban in March 2001.
▲I didn’t go to Woodstock from 15 to 17 August 1969 either, I was living in Leamington Spa, England at the time and was about to set out to drive to Greece via Yugoslavia and back via Italy.
I certainly didn’t want to be in Chernonbyl, now in the Ukraine, on 26 April 1986. A few days later with my small children I flew out of Melbourne to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. The papers that morning were full of stories about something going very wrong in Soviet Russia.
◄ I finally got to Chernobyl on 1 July this year. Holding a Geiger counter in front of Reactor 4.
▲ On the other hand 4 April this year was a very good time to be outside the Mossack Fonseca office in Panama City. The Panama Papers scandal had just erupted here on 3 April.
But in one week’s time I do intend to be somewhere very interesting on an appropriate date. On Tuesday 8 November, US election day, I’ll be flying in to the USA to observe what the hell happens? Be there or be square, I’ll be there.
PS Although I can’t vote I have done my little bit – in Hong Kong – for the outcome.