Saturday, 14 April 2012

List making 'phenomenon'

Lists. I guess that's what's really popular. Or what I've come across so many times for the last couple of weeks. List of things to do before I turn 30, list of my favourite places, 10 best movies of all times, 100 books you have to read... and so on, and so forth. Lists. Obsession? Definitely. Especially at the turn of each year. And so says the person who really loves making list. My husband can surely confirm that. He's probably already sick and tired of all the lists I've already made, not to mention all those still to come. Well, his problem, not mine ;) He knew exactly what he married into, so... tough love, baby ;)

My lists, however, are more down-to-earth. More practical. To me, of course. I'm aware that many people would say that lists, as such, are a total waste. I'm not going to argue with them, I'm maybe even going to agree with them. But what can I do? I need planning, I need organising, and making lists just gives me that special opportunity, that perfect way to do it. I'm not going, though, to make "a list of things I want to accomplish before I turn (insert a given age)". Nope, that's not my kind of list-making. Maybe, but I repeat it once again, MAYBE I'll make a list of places I want to visit in my life. But that's it for the "far-in-the-future" lists. However, for the last couple of years I've been making lists of books I read that given year. Just to get the general idea of how many books I read and... to make some progress in that area as I still believe people read way too little.

Recently, I've been wondering how many countries I've already visited. It occured to me that it can't be many. Less than twenty for sure (don't know, haven't counted that). Of course, there are many countries that I've visited more than once but in their different regions. And there are places that I've visited more than once, but on different occasions. But that's not the point. The thing that came to my mind was that I haven't visited that many capital cities, though. I've been to France, but never to Paris. I've been to Spain, but never to Madrid. So I started counting (and making list, boo-hoo):
- London, UK - twice,
- Vienna, Austria - twice,
- Budapest, Hungary - once,
- Bratislava, Slovakia - twice,
- Rome, Italy - once,
- Stockholm - once,
- Helsinki - twice ;) ok, once, the first time we were just passing through, on the way from the airport to the train station.
And these three that I'm not even including in this list - Vatican City, Andorra la Vella and Monaco. Oh, and I forgot about Warsaw. Yup, I've been there a few times. Four or five maybe.

There are still a couple of European capitals that I'll love to see. Paris, for sure (my husband has promised me once to take me there... We'll see whether he'll keep his promise... :>). Oslo,Prague, Belgrade, Dublin, Cardiff, Edinburgh (the last two if we split UK into four states), Podgorica, Lisbon, Zagreb... just to name a few of the European ones.

However, I've been wondering... Can you say that you've visited the country if you haven't been to its capital? And, in a similar matter, can you say that you've been to a country if the only place you've been to is its capital? I mean, countries are so diversified! Let's take Italy as an example. The northern part is so totally different from the southern part. The way of life, the attitude to life... The history. The buildings. The atmosphere. And Sicilly is even more different! Can I say that I've been to Italy seeing only Rome? Or Venice? Or Palermo, for that matter? I don't know. Well, for sure I can say that I've been to Italy. But seeing just one of these place (or any other one place), I can't say that I've seen the country, that I've experienced it, can I? I can't even say that I know my own country, living here for so many years. But, on the other hand, can we ever say that we really KNOW something? Or someone? Or even ourselves?

[I kinda feel that I'm getting too philosophical, too existential... the direction of my thoughts is strange so I probably should finish right about now... Well, I should... But will I?]

[Ok, I will. That's enough for today ;)]

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