Posted by / Category Travel /

It’s time for me to come clean: I can’t keep up. Things are moving too fast for me, and I don’t understand the world we are living in any more. But first things first:

THANK YOU: my e-book was downloaded thousands of times while it was free, and reached #1 in its category (Humour & entertainment). I am humbled, and was very pleased to receive lots of positive comments. Once again, thanks for your support.

So what am I talking about? Well, first of all, hi from Melbourne where I am spending a few days. I was very lucky not to fly British Airways, and was surprised to see the chaos at London airports. Between you and me, the tickets on Qantas were cheaper anyway. What is going on in my home country? I couldn’t help thinking that BA computer system must have been hacked but right now I might not be thinking straight.

I must admit that I was pleased to get away from London. The Manchester attacks had reminded me of the 7/7 bombings (read here, and it’s always a bit of a difficult memory for me. Except that, this time, things were even more awful: children had been specifically targeted with a nail bomb. When does it stop? Every time you reach a new low, something worse happens. The whole episode made me feel useless and none the wiser.

Over here, down under, the media are going on and on about Schapelle Corby’s release from house arrest in Bali. Schapelle is an Australian woman who was convinced in Indonesia for cannabis smuggling. As much as I understand people’s interest, the media coverage is completely OTT. She had to change flights at the last minute, and organise various convoys to trick the press. She has spent the best part of the last 13 years in prison, isn’t it time for everybody to move on? Why don’t they give the girl a break?

In my home country, everybody is talking about the Macron effect. Will he woo banks from London? (Frankly, I don’t care). Look at his handshake with Trump, what was the message he was trying to convey (ditto)? What is the Macron effect anyway? Isn’t it just another word for ‘Charm offensive’?  In my view, one of the new French president major talents is to make everybody believe that he is different, when he belongs to the very system he now wants to shake up. Yep, he went to study at ENA (Ecole Nationale d’Administration), where most of our senior civil servants and politicians have been. Same old same old.

So-called énarques tend to be fiercely clever, and usually answer questions with the phrase “There are three points…”. They love to discuss French literature and use as many quotes as possible. The college selects its students on merit in a competitive exam, and tuition is free. ENA has been set up in 1945 as a meritocratic institution meant to produce a post-war administrative elite. Yet since about 1980, fewer people from poorer backgrounds have got in. To cut a long story short, I don’t believe that change will come from one of them. I would love to be proven wrong, but right now I feel quite pessimistic. Am I allowed to say what I really really think?  Most énarques are all so pretentious it hurts.

So what to do? Well when I don’t understand the world I am living in, I go for a walk, or a run. I escape. And today, here is what I saw: the Bass straight in the Tasman sea. And somehow, it made me feel better…What about you, how do you cope?