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The original world nomad "Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance." - Confucius.

Such a small thing

AUSTRALIA | Sunday, 10 December 2006 | Views [1487]

Just a trinket spied in a street market in Athens ...

Just a trinket spied in a street market in Athens ...

The moment was so short and so fleeting that I can't even remember it. I think it was when I passed through Athens in a wonderful winters day in January 1989, where locals were friendly and the sun was out. I didn't know it at the time, but that moment, the one where my eye was caught by this shiny little thing, was to have an extraordinary impact on my life.

I'd all but forgotten about it and never really wondered what it was until last week, when we were flicking through the Lonely Planet guidebook for Crete as we plan our Mediterranean sojourn for 2007, and there it was!

The Phaestos Disc estimated to be about 3,500 years old, but it remains essentially un-deciphered.

So, later in 1989, after many other adventures, I found myself in Broome, Western Australia, having early morning breakfast with a Japanese girl who spoke only a little English. She was travelling around Australia like me, but in an opposite direction. On the day I left Broome to continue down to Perth I left her the tiny silver replica of the disc thinking that maybe one day we might meet again if ever I found myself in Japan or maybe write.These were in the days long before e-mail and now, looking back, somehow a silver charm has so much more mystery and appeal than an e-mail address!

Now, 17 years, two children and many, many adventures later I'm sat here in the couch with that same girl planning a trip to Crete. But thinking back to that winter day in the market in Athens, I wonder what caught my eye and for how long? 5 seconds? 10 seconds?

A moment, nothing more. And on that tiny, fleeting moment hangs almost half of my life. That is certainly pause for reflection.

Tags: family, magic, philosophy of travel, yuki

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