The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

‘I AM stand­ing on the bridge of a Greek ship, which will take us to Mar­seilles, look­ing down at the pier. The noise is deaf­en­ing, and peo­ple are run­ning and pass­ing bag­gage, cry­ing out in Ara­bic: ‘‘Be care­ful . . . turn right . . . No, I mean left . . . You idiot! Why can’t you be more care­ful!’’ Fam­i­lies are gath­ered in a cor­ner say­ing good­bye to those leav­ing. Most of the pas­sen­gers look young. I imag­ine that, like me, they are go­ing to Europe to study. The war has been over now for nearly two years and the Mediter­ranean, which had been mined by the Ger­mans, is now de­clared safe. I am ex­cited to go back to France, where I was born, al­though quite sad to leave my Egyp­tian grand­par­ents and Egypt, where I have spent eight won­der­ful years.’

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