Thursday, April 26, 2007

It's just a problem

As one travels, certain things become emblematic of the trip. That small part of your back that hurts after lugging your backpack around for a day. The throb in your left foot that makes itself known in the afternoon. And, very often, the things that you or others say. The mantra for this trip has definitely been, "It's just a problem!"

When ordering some lunch in Vienna's market area I stumbled on what little German I can remember. I asked the waiter if he spoke English. He replied (in English) that he only spoke a little English. I reassured him that was fine as I only spoke a little German. He grinned, shrugged his shoulders and said quite simply, "It's just a problem!" No doubt he was aiming for "It's not a problem" but he didn't quite get there. No matter. Food and drink was ordered, consumed and all was good.

As is common when travelling, little things go wrong. Buses are late. Trains are delayed. Items are misplaced and cross-language communication can lead to bizarre results. This trip has had it's fair share (such as riad bookings not being honoured in Marrakech). But in all cases we've reminded ourselves that "it's just a problem". And all problems can be (and thus far have been) solved. That one phrase has preserved sanity a couple of times and definitely kept our senses of humour buoyant.

As the trip continues (three days of the ATP music festival starting tonight) I fully anticipate something else to go wrong. But it'll be fine. After all, "it's just a problem."

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