Camino de Santiago不止一條，我走的是黃線Camino Francés，由Pamplona出發。正式的起點其實由巴黎開始，由東至西徒步橫越兩國直至西班牙左上角的Santiago，但是寒室淺窄，地圖只能貼巴掌大。(Map from "A Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino de Santiago" by John Brierley)
There came a moment that I couldn't stand London anymore. Everyday I struggled to ford the harshness and melancholy of this fucking city, like a flea crossing the Thames. I could no longer pretend to be a tourist. The cathedral-effect of those breathtaking halls in the V & A had suddenly receded; the smell of Pret's sandwiches grossed me out; and the poor Tate Modern, had lost totally its charm.
I couldn't stand those drunkards in my neighbourhood anymore. I couldn't stand the boiling tube in sweating summer, and those flirtatious Somalians who followed you all the way home from the grocery shops got on my nerves. I loathed my flat; I loathed my room; I loathed my writing. In other words, I loathed myself. And in pain I realised, it's time to travel, to escape again.
Yet this time it is very different; it is not another Paris or Prague. I had no clue about the place I am going to. I had never heard of it, until a month ago, in a causal conversation with J. She described to me this mystic route which she had stepped through, in the same way as Marco Polo described the Mongol Empire to Kublai Khan. And immediately this invisible journey got stuck in my head, cunningly offering an exchange for my peace of mind.
So here I am, about to start the Camino de Santiago, a path walked by thousands and thousands people in front of me, and will only have more following from behind. Everything else has failed, maybe walking could be the last remedy.
2th June, 2006 in East London