Life, I have decided, really doesn’t make sense.
And it’s really better not to ask questions, expecting an answer.
For example, I remember asking for an aerogramme at the post office near the station in Venice. ‘Sorry,’ says the man behind the counter. ‘Not sell aerogramme Fridays.’
Now I could have asked him why not, but what possible answer could there be to make sense of a statement like that? Let it remain an intriguing mystery to haunt me for the rest of my life.
Um, well, maybe there are times when it might be better to ask.
After all, I really should have asked what that sign meant on the ricefields that day. It was just that it seemed so idiotic. We often went birdwatching there, roving up and down the bunds in a car, setting up telescopes and observing such gems as Imperial Eagles or a couple of Paintedsnipe, or two thousand egrets following a tractor.
But that day the access road bore a sign that read: Please vacate the area by 2 p.m. No reason was given. We promptly forgot all about the sign and drove on. In retrospect, we really ought to have asked someone why it was necessary to leave by two…
Come 2 p.m. we were still in there. And then this plane came over … and we found ourselves being crop dusted. I’ve never driven so fast in all my life – down a gravel bund just as wide as my car, hotly pursued by a Cessna spewing insecticide or herbicide or something equally toxic. I swear, I burned rubber off the tires and hit eighty kph in three seconds flat, with my telescope still tucked under my arm and winding up the windows at the same time. Bet the fiendish pilot was laughing his head off.
However, I refuse to ask why on earth Mr Bush thinks the Iraq war is not making Americans less secure. I know there is no answer he could give that would make sense to me, or to anyone else who doesn’t live in a glass bubble fantasy. It just has to remain one of life’s little mysteries.