Saturday, December 03, 2011

The End of the Earth...

I found it.  It's at the International Bus Station in Vienna.

Not by a long shot really, of course.  This is a brief thought on my psychology and sociology.  I'm not sure people know what I mean when I say that we draw lines around reality.  These lines usually relate to real things--like where rivers are located.  But we construct boundaries in our minds well beyond.

When I went to the International Bus Station to buy bus tickets, it had the feel of getting ready to cross a line.  An unfamilar subway to the industrial side of town.  Down a side staircase and out into a none too friendly looking street.  Then a bus station with a lot of Eastern European looking people, people headed to places like Belgrade and Serbia.

It was then the thought hit me.  I was at the end of the earth.  I don't know Hungarian or the host of languages spoken in relatively tiny patches of southeastern European lands.  Then this morning we crossed the barrier to the East, leaving the "Western world."

The current line in my mind was drawn more than anything by the Soviet Union.  It more than anything else is responsible for the difference between how the subway trains here look here in Budapest, Hungary where I write and how they look in Austria just a few kilometers to the west.

To think that Austria-Hungary used to be a unit!  The buildings here are as beautiful as anywhere in Europe and more than most. To think that the oldest underground train is here--Hungary was not behind technologically a hundred years ago.  And of course I'm using Wi-Fi as we speak and paid for the hostel with a credit card.

The lines are as much in my mind as in reality.  We did not fall off the earth in the bus just after we crossed the border.

1 comment:

Angie Van De Merwe said...

The "end of the earth" was anything beyond the ancient's usual expeience. Therefore, your situatedness was "the end of the world"...