One regularly reads about people embarking on a journey with some sort of highly artificial and in some sense comprehensive goal: hike the entire Appalachian Way, traverse England from south to north, cycle along the circumference of Afghanistan.
I’ve always seen the attraction in these endeavours. A variant which I imagine to be worthy of investigation is a thorough criss-crossing of a limited territory. For example, spend two months walking x kilometres of London’s streets, never walking the same street twice. Take a great deal of photos and write down impressions in great detail. The only downside to this would seem to be its gruelling monotony and potential loneliness, although one could undertake it as a group project. In that case, however, one can imagine what a juxtaposition of the initial and the last pages of the final report might look like:
“Seven Dials, Covent Garden, 6 am. A hazy, uncertain light greets us. Seventeen strangers have become friends within the last amazing three weeks of meticulous planning – and now we are finally here, burning to explore this familiar yet strange city with new, greedy eyes. Spiralling ever outwards, we will make our way through its pompous boulevards as well as its seedy side-streets. And off we go, sauntering giddily into the sunrise, towards Holborn…”
“Dave finally quit as well yesterday; stayed on another night at that dirty so-called hostel (forgot the name, too many recently lol!), while we were off again. Were going to get early start but Lizzy and what’s-her-face were bitching about some trifle again. Really don’t know why I’m still doing this. Oh yeah, and we saw the millionth independent fucking record store. Who cares.”
That’s how I imagine it anyway.