Room better decorated: festooned with possibilities

Lovely map, exciting world

After the undergraduate IR lecture this morning, I took the plunge and used most of the book credits that Alex and Sarah gave me to buy an enormous map of the world. You can’t really tell from the photo, but it’s a very fine laminated map, with metal strips along the top and bottom to keep it in shape. While the college will fine you one pound for each piece of blu-tac you use to affix something to a precious wall, they will happily provide you with a hammer and nails with which to do so. For an international relations student, it seems an entirely advisable thing to have done.

The map now hangs on my wall as a reminder of all the places where I need to travel. Sipping coffee from Sulawesi and looking it over, I have been imagining all manner of possible future expeditions. During the next month, I will see Tallinn and Helsinki. Next year, I would dearly like to arrange my thesis so it requires a trip to Brazil. Given that it’s a particular area of interest for Dr. Hurrell, a developing country, and subject to a great many environmental considerations, that may well be possible. The plan for after the M.Phil is to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with friends. After that, Australia, New Zealand, all of Asia, and most of Africa will remain. Then, there are the really exotic possibilities: lemurs in Madagascar, the more remote islands of Indonesia, the far north – complete with the Aurora, and Tierra del Fuego: practically touching Antarctica. I am glad that I’m only 22.

Another excellent thing about the map is that it gives me a better sense of where my increasingly far-flung friends are now located: Astrid in Ecuador, Neal and Marc in Beijing, Adam and Nick in India, Gabe in Finland, Tristan and Viktoria P in Toronto, Sarah in London (just down the road), Kate in Victoria, and everyone back in Vancouver. I miss you all and I hope our paths will cross soon, whether in Oxford or elsewhere.

14 thoughts on “Room better decorated: festooned with possibilities”

  1. Not quite the familiar Mercator projection, I see. It looks as though the continents are being magnetically drawn northwards, at the extreme eastern and western portions of this map.

    I hope you get to see these places in person.

  2. This is rather off topic but, inlight of your birthday I just wanted to take the time to appologize for not having sent you anything,..yet and say a few things. From someone outside the shere of the elite, it is quite daunting to leave a post. My words are simple and I do not dare to tackle most of the subjects in your blogs,..with the exception of you. Be proud Milan. You are in an incredible place, indeed in the sphere of the elite and you are also an incredible person. Look around you and look at the loyalty of the friends you have in B.C. and abroad- you are exceptional and it’s undeniable. It’s bitter sweet to spend time walking and exploring the city, particularly the sea wall. I become nostalgic. Thank you for sharing your love of this city with me. Coupled with your irreplaceble conversations it wasone of the most precious gifts I have ever recieved.
    Finally in the spirit of your post and in celebrating you, I leave you with this.
    “Oh, the places you’ll go!
    You’ll be on your way up!
    You’ll be seeing great sights
    You’ll join the high fliers
    who soar to great heights.

    You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed
    You’ll pass the whole gang nad you’ll soon take the lead
    Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best
    Wherever you go, you will top all the rest

    Oh the places you’ll go!”

    Much love

  3. Thank you very much Meaghan. I miss you. One day, we will have to wander the moonlit seawall speaking French again.

  4. Heya Milan!

    Your birthday is just a day ahead of mine! I turn 22 on November 29th! I’m still in hiding, but maybe you could guess who I am.

    Here are some clues:
    – I seem to be one behind you all the time (think of our birthdays and something with regards to order…)
    – I saw your muddy track pants and hiking shoes very well on May 27, 2005.
    – I am also doing an MA in International Affairs but I’ve been left behind in Canada.

    Bad clues perhaps…but if you can guess it, you’d make a good detective I suppose :)

  5. Clearly a co-graduate at UBC, either in International Relations or Political Science. Not Sasha Wiley, since she would just use her Blogger profile. Not Ashley Thorvaldson, because she isn’t doing an MA. I am guessing Ebony.

    Regardless of whether that guess is correct or not, happy birthday tomorrow.

  6. Cheating and looking at the server logs, I can see that you are at Carleton University. It may be snowing a tiny bit here, but I bet things are chillier for you.

  7. Hmmn, going places isn’t always the best solution. I’ll draw your attention to the cautionary tale ‘I had trouble getting to Solla Sollew’ (where they never have troubles, at least very few). It concludes thus:

    “Then I started back home
    to the Valley of Vung.
    I know I’ll have troubles.
    I’ll, maybe, get stung.
    I’ll always have troubles.
    I’ll, maybe, get bit
    By that Green-Headed Quail
    On the place where I sit.

    But I’ve bought a big bat.
    I’m all ready, you see.
    Now my troubles are going
    To have troubles with me!”

    That text was one of the most important I read at Oxford, especially when combined with the insights of Machiavelli.

  8. It would be particularly appropriate if you were having troubles with crickets, but alas I believe it is too cold for them at the moment.

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