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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Spice Road-

I follow the travels of Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain on the Travel Channel as much as I can. They are interesting personalities, the production values are high, and the travels are interesting. Additionally, the programs are focussed on food.

Eating and travel. Well, at this time of my life I at least can eat. Too much.

Zimmern mentioned the Spice Road in a recent rerun I watched (again). Then Bourdain did so in one of his programs. I had been vaguely interested in this long and ancient communication between the East and the West, and so applied my access to technology.

I did a Wikipedia search on the Spice Road, and got nothing. However, it is also referred to as the Silk Road. That got an informative hit. The article is rather long for a Wiki, and is massively hyperlinked. I shall probably be reading it from time to time to gain more knowledge of this bit of history.

It was an avenue of exchange in all aspects of culture, and has existed (to varying degrees) for two thousand years. Obviously a lot of history, a lot of culture, and a lot of interesting stories.

Books call out to me to learn of this thing called the Spice Road. Yet it is so huge, and spans so much time. The writer in me sees a lifetime of historical novels. If I were sufficiently obsessive and able to focus on such a task, there is more than enough.

For me it is a vague icon, bringing to mind glimpses on the horizon of camel caravans. My mind touches lightly on the concept of such a road, reaching across continents and through most of history. What were the cultures like along the route? How did they change? What were the economic impacts of the various cultures clashing?

What would life be like along the Spice Road?

I will probably obtain at least one book on the subject. It has fermented in my mind a long time. I will absolutely watch any documentaries that come along. Such a huge subject, however, will probably not be dealt with comprehensively. Still, it is interesting, and I shall take what I can get.

If I were more motivated, I would pursue this little itch. Unfortunately, that is what this is. A little itch, and not a passion. I have a lot of little itches, and not enough lifetimes to allow them all to grow into passions.

Life is so short. There is so much to see, do, taste and learn. I can't do it all.

I can, however, scratch where it itches.

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