I’ve Done France

By | Category: Travel rumblings

I’m in a train, listening to the passenger sitting in the seat in front of me. She is talking about holidays and is trying to decide on where to go this year. I’ve done Ireland, I’ve done France and I’ve toured England.
What do we mean when we say we’ve “done” a country? How can you ever see everything? Does it mean we have seen enough? Or that we have seen what we wanted to see and nothing interests us any more? It was almost like she had a list of countries she had to holiday in before she left this earth and was methodically ticking them off as she “did” them. There are some places I’ve been to at least half a dozen times, Venice, Edinburgh, Sydney, Chicago, Le Cagne, Paris, to name just a few but I wouldn’t say that I have seen all I could see or would want to see. I can see a bit more if I’m lucky to go there again. Some places I have only been to once such as Turkey and that was Istanbul. I doubt whether I saw a quarter of it. Or even a quarter of the main tourist areas. But it was all I had time to do.
When I go somewhere to write about it, a lot of tourism offices like to escort you. I prefer to go by myself because you see and hear different things. Snatches of overheard conversation like this lady. Complaints, moans, praise and comment are all more easily found when sitting on a bus, a train or a ferry. A cafe is a great place to find out what interests people. There is always something else or something new so how can this lady say she has “done” somewhere? It’s like saying London is the UK. Or Oxford Street is London. You’ve only seen what you were able to see.
God rot me for ever saying that I have “done” somewhere. All it will do is tell me I’ve had enough of this world and am ready for the next.

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