Around The World In Eighty Words : 2. SELECTION

“Good God, it’s hot!”, said Lucy. “Stop complaining”, I replied, “and while we are at it, watch your language, they’re very religious in these parts, there are mosques all over the place”. “I’m entitled to my opinion”, countered Lucy, somewhat defensively. “You might well be entitled to an opinion”, I said, “but you’re not entitled to express it. You’re a dog, for heavens sake, and they probably take a dim view of talking dogs in these parts, and an even dimmer view of their owners!”

My dog, Lucy, and I were walking down a dirt track, heading for the city of Al Marj, in northern Libya. We were on the second stage of our epic adventure to travel around the world in just eighty word changes to the what3word geolocation code for my office desk at home. We started at ///tall.logo.select, then last week we changed tall for short which took us to the town of White Hall in Illinois, USA. A further change of select into selection, transported us to a dirt track about 100 miles east of Benghazi in Libya.

We could have headed north, crossed the Jabel Akhdor Mountains and walked to the Mediterranean coast to paddle in the sea, but that looked too much like hard work, so I had persuaded my companion to head south in search of culture, towards the modern city of Al Marj. My dog is not big on culture, however, preferring things she can eat, drink, or at least, paddle in. It was a matter of dogma, she explained, but I ignored her ridiculous attempts at humour.

As we approached the city, the landscape became less parched and more cultivated. Being fairly close to the coast, they do get a decent amount of rainfall, each year and grow barley, wheat, fruit and vegetables. In some ways it was not that different to White Hall, Illinois, but without the farm machinery, the big cars, and the Para Dice club.

Having made it to the city centre, we had stopped for a drink at the Green Mountain Coffee Bar. No cool beers, but it was pleasant enough with, for some reason, a good selection of sweeping brushes. “The old town was destroyed by an earthquake in 1963”, I explained to my dog who was eyeing one of the long-handled sweeping brushes suspiciously. “And the old town replaced an even older town called Barqa that was a famous Greek colony in the fifth century BC. People from here used to compete in the ancient Olympic Games, and several old trophies have been found in some of the ancient graves in these parts”

Lucy had stopped listening some time ago and was now approaching the broomstick with either attack or love-making in mind. Either could have had unfortunate consequences so, I finished my drink and propelled Lucy down the road.

“It’s time to move on”, I announced, “and it’s my turn to change the word this time. Let’s try our luck”, I said “by changing “logo” to “luck”. So that is where we are heading next …. ///short.luck.selection here we come.

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