Sunday, March 02, 2008

Pilgrimage to India founders in France

Times OnlineMark Boyle, 28, and two companions had the noble idea of making a pilgrimage to India. By not taking or spending any money they hoped to show that it is possible to achieve goals without depending on cash.
Armed only with his backpack, 3 tins of soup, a bag of trail mix and a chocolate bar, the plan was that human kindness and generosity would provide their food and shelter.
Unfortunately, the first country on the itenerary was France.

It seems the French thought they were a bunch of freeloading backpackers and gave them no help at all.
Writing on his blog, Mr Boyle said that the optimistic philosophy behind his project had somehow got lost in translation: "Not only did no one...speak the language, they also see us as just a bunch of freeloading backpackers, which is the complete opposite of what the pilgrimage is really about."
"That really scared us, and given that we now were pretty much out of food, hadn’t slept in days and were really cold, we had to reassess the whole situation."

They were advised to head for Belgium where people might be more inclined to speak English, but baulked at the three-day trip to hike to Bruges, and so turned tail and went home.

The story is less an indictment of French lack of charity or accomodation of foreigners as it is an indication of Mr Boyle's lack of preparation for the trip and absence of intestinal fortitude.

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At 8:38 pm, Blogger dND said...

They speak French in France!!!! Who' of thought it?

At 9:02 pm, Blogger jamon said...

Apparently he deliberatly didn't plan for his trip - relying instead on his wits and human spirit.


At 10:06 pm, Blogger travelling, but not in love said...

I saw this story on the BBC website and laughed, and laughed.

What kind of stupid hippy is he?

Why can't he save the money for the plane ticket like the rest of us fools have to?

Vive la France!

At 11:20 pm, Blogger Breezy said...

Poor love. Still it's a useful life lesson

At 1:39 pm, Blogger pecheur said...

I diasgree I think it is an indictement on the inhospitability of the French.

They lack two major things in their culture (well 3). 1. No hospitality--they are tired of all of us immigrants. 2. No patience--They are feed up with us for whatever reason. 3. Tongue in cheek. There is no English here--well there are plenty of English people. I was referring to the language. =)

Take care. Peace

At 12:42 am, Blogger Forty_Two said...

They remind me of hippies in California.


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