Yesterday when buying the tickets to Djibouti, I had considered going to Mogadishu. The Turkish Airline flight that goes to Djibouti goes on to Mogadishu and back again from Djibouti. It would have been nice to go to Somalia even if for a day and stop on the way back in Djibouti. But I need someone to look after me in Somalia. So I decided I may need to wait some more until I find such a person or postpone it in the expectation that one day Mogadishu might become a safe place for me to visit by myself.
You see, I have read the book “The Mayor of Mogadishu” by Andrew Harding (“...immensely insightful read.” I agree with the comment of the “U.S. Current History Magazine”) and I now definitely want to go there. I mean I wouldn't mind going to Hargeissa, Somaliland and considering it as I've been to Somalia for the sake of the Mission to Every Country; but the point is not that. I want to see Mogadishu. I want to go and imagine how nice a place it was once upon a time, what lives were lived there. Harding says “I wanted to reach back to the years when Mogadishu was one of Africa's loveliest cities...” I wish to see that lovely city. Even though it is no longer so. I want to go see the Lido Beach, I want to go see the waterfront. I want to witness the places I read about in the book. I want to be a part of the history of what it was. I want to inhale that “once upon a time...”
And today there was a bombing in Mogadishu. In the Guardian article “Mogadishu truck bomb: 500 casualties in Somalia’s worst terrorist attack” by Jason Burke, it says:
Alinur Abdi, a local businessman, said: “There is nothing resilient about this. How can you say ‘we are resilient’ when people are being killed in their hundreds? We need to get our act together and find a solution for this madness.”
Yes, not only the Somalis, -even though they certainly should have a priority to get their act together and find a solution for this madness- the whole world, or rather the leaders of the whole world really need to get their act together and find a way to end this madness. We really need leaders, enough of misleaders.
Perhaps even the leader itself is a misguided term, perhaps it's actually impossible for anyone to lead a crowd of people. Yet I know one thing for sure: The rules of this world game we're playing need to be changed. We will never have total peace in this world, that's not possible. It's not possible even for two people let alone billions; it's not possible even for those who supposedly or supposed to love each other, let alone those whom we do not like. It's not possible even if we all had everything we wanted. I know how conflicts can arise even when there is no scarcity of resources or anything. We do not need a serious reason to hold a grudge, a hill of beans is enough. No, we won't ever have peace; not in this world. But we sure can make this world a better place to live in for more people by making changes to the rules of the game. I state the most important number 1 rule of the game:
If men want to play soldiers, they play soldiers. But they play only with those who wish to play. Please keep those of us who do not wish to get involved in your war game out.
I bought four tickets today. Three one way, one return. My pre and post menstruation period is especially dangerous, plus the days people upset me. In such cases, I go on to the internet foraging flights. My shopping addiction is this. At least, it's for a cause. Mostly, people want to travel the world, so they attach a cause to it to find sponsors. For me, this was the opposite. (No wonder! I always seem to see and do things from the reverse.) I had a cause, and I attached a mission to it. To get attention. It doesn't seem to be working, but still, my cause of Free Movement, Ending Global Apartheid, Ending Injustice at Birth, Migration Without Borders is there.
First I got a ticket from Luanda to Rome. I'll be burning my flight back from Cameroon. There's no point in going back there. I had bought a return ticket thinking the flights within Africa would be cheaper, instead no. Some routes are more popular and therefore much cheaper obviously. So TAP flies to Angola sort of cheap. I mean you can get a fairly reasonable price if you are flexible with the dates. So I bought my return from Angola. I already have my flight to Cameroon. Then I worked my way backwards. Bought the Kinshasa-Luanda. I'll be getting to Kinshasa crossing the Congo River by boat from Brazzaville. So next I bought my flight there from Gabon: Libreville-Brazzaville. I hope to get to Gabon by bus. I would also like to go to Equatorial Guinea. Again by bus. Of course if I can manage. Equatorial Guinea is one of the strangest countries I hear. I do not wish to fly to Malabo and back. The capital city is on an island. There's no point in spending that money. But if I have to, I will. They all ask for your flight tickets to give you the visa. What do I do if I wish to go by land? Equatorial Guinea also asks for confirmation of your hotel. How do I do that when I do not know the exact date I'll be travelling? They also ask for your criminal records from the courts. Good for them.
After buying the three tickets, I couldn't step on the brakes. I have tickets to four more countries by the end of the year. That would be bringing the count up to 142. But I wanted to make it to 143; then it would be 11/15 x 195. So I will have completed 11/15th of the countries by the end of the year. The next goal would be 12/15th which is 4/5.
4/5th of 195 = 156
So that's the next goal.
Let's see how many I can manage on the coming up Africa trip starting from Cameroon. Of course, first I need to see I get to the next five!
Carlo got my Eritrean visa today. After dinner, I got my passport out to have a look at it. It was written by hand. What's more, they had put it upside down on the page. All the other visas were facing outside as it should be, Eritrea was facing center. I read the name and the dates. Everything seemed to be fine. I didn't fold the passport and put it back in its place like I normally do after checking it. I kept looking at the visa. I noticed the holographic camel. It was so nice.
I kept staring at the visa. There was a bigger camel on the stamp too. So Eritrea was a camel country. I had seen the same camel magnets in Kuwait, Qatar, United Emirates and other gulf countries. All produced in China of course. It was the first time I was seeing it on a visa stamp.
I still kept staring at the visa. For some reason, I couldn't bring myself to fold the passport and put it away. Then I realized... I realized how excruciatingly painful it is going to be for me to burn these passports. I mean, if you set aside what they symbolize, passports are such a precious and nice memento. All the visas, the colorful designs, emblems, dates, stamps showing your history. It is my life. For a traveller, her passports are the embodiment of their life, the experiences, the arduous trips... To burn them would be to burn my life, even if only figuratively. Some might not understand this, but those who travel would know and understand it so very well. There is a romanticism to passports.
So if burning my passports is going to be burning my life, why do I want to do it? Because Passports are a symbol of discrimination. That's why I am willing to go to every country in the world and then burn all my passports.
I'd rather forego the testimonial to my life than have so many people suffer from not having the right passport.
Keeping Quiet is NOT Sexy, Raising Your Voice IS...
Raise Your Voice Against Global Apartheid & Be SEXY...
To Be SEXY, Raise Your Voice Against Global Apartheid...
These are several titles that I thought of before deciding on the final one. Who knows, perhaps then I can get somebody interested in reading what I write!
Reading Aviva Chomsky's “Undocumented” was such a relief. I finally found a prominent person outspoken about immigration and talking about it in terms of questioning the ideas we take for granted, not arguing from an economic point of view.
The entire immigration apparatus is based on the presumption that we know where people belong and we need to legislate their mobility.” Aviva Chomsky
This needs to be written in capitals and starred all around to attract attention.
Let's admit that our discriminatory laws are unjustifiable. Let's abolish the category “illegal” and give everyone the right to exist. We would solve the problem of illegal immigration with the stroke of a pen.” Aviva Chomsky
Yes YES YES!
Yes, let's give people a right to breathe. Let's internalize the motto “Live and let live.”
Dear Followers and “Friends”
I'm almost only retweeted by sex girls, it's depressing. I'm quitting Twitter at the end of the year. (Unless I miraculously get a real 1000 followers and/or some main sponsor backs me up on this mission.) I'm also “quitting” Facebook. As if I ever was active on it! My husband had attached Twitter to Facebook and that was it. My posts get a like or two if they ever do; no shares, no interaction there either.
I seriously am not interested in followers, what do followers serve unless they read you and pass your pieces on? I'm not interested in “friends”, so called friends, who do not even bother to write a sentence to share their thoughts. There are also those who ask for friendship on FB, I don't even know who they are. I mean I'm open to being friends with anyone, I like it so much that children can say “Let's become friends” and start playing. But at least, it's common courtesy to introduce yourself. I understand you're interested in me and what I'm doing, thank you for that. But I'd like to get to know you too. I shouldn't be obliged to scramble through your posts and read irrelevant details about your life, which are no concern of mine; but I'm sure interested in what you think of my ideas. Please have the courtesy to say hi and comment on why you'd like to be a “friend” if you are asking for friendship to someone whom you do not know. By the way, if you're only interested in my travels and not the ideas behind it, sorry, I'm not interested in you.
I'm not interested in likes either. What does “like” serve me unless the idea is passed on to others to spread the message? The movie Zeitgeist may have got almost 25 million views... but obviously that's not enough in a 7 billion world. Okay, it has made a change, a dent in the mental curves of some people. Still, to me, it's no use unless the proposal is realized. We need to work to bring change. And change can only happen through the change of mindset, of concepts; we need a certain number to get to the tipping point.
I've got perhaps two people -and those are people I already know and call friends as in friends- who really care about what I'm doing and support it. That's a pitiful number given what I'm trying to do, and given the graveness of the situation with so many people dying, so much suffering, being right in the center of the current news, and given how majestically unacceptable this discrimination by nationality, this injustice at birth is.
If they're not after cute kitten photos and videos, people go after local politics. They keep propagating whatever is on the media. If the topic does not get media coverage, if an argument does not fall into one of the perspectives of the media coverage, they're deaf. I cannot explain this total indifference to such a huge global injustice any other way.
At Chomsky's university, they were discussing accepting undocumented students openly and organizing a public event about it or just opening some back doors quietly. Some suggested the latter, claiming that doing it openly would endanger the undocumented students. There is truth in that. But we cannot act in fear. Then, they will have “won.” I know governments always win, but still...
One person retorted at the suggestion of doing it secretly: “Do you know of any historical example where social change has come about by people keeping quiet?”
That sentiment resonates with me. This Injustice At Birth as I call it, or be it Global Apartheid, Discrimination by Nationhood, Citizenship or Birthplace... Whatever you call it, this needs to become a SEXY topic. Of course with that I do not mean sex girls retweeting me! I mean more people openly saying the things I and Aviva Chomsky are saying. Yeah, I did that, I put Aviva Chomsky together with myself. It feels so good.
“I've got Aviva Chomsky on my side, I've got Aviva Chomsky on my side,” I sing hopping in the corridor.
Politicians and media personalities cannot risk to say this openly lest they lose their voter or fan base, but we, the ordinary people, should be saying it out loud:
Defining people by the imaginary line they're born in, what's more, defining their radius of movement again by that imaginary line is nothing but madness.”
Start repeating these lines and BE SEXY like Aviva Chomsky and me.