Cogs in the Mountain

Boredom greases the cogs in the machinery of marvels. Oh, God, will you be bored. The three days waiting for an Indonesian bureaucrat to issue you a travel permit; the rock slide in Costa Rica that caused a twenty-three-hour traffic jam; the five-day wait for the Congo River passenger barge; the eight sweaty hours spent in the transit lounge of the Bujumbara airport, waiting for crews to clean up the wreckage of the last plane that tried to land in Kigali. Boring. Bring along a big book. This is your chance to finally finish War and Peace. And remember – while you’re plowing through Andrey’s interminable conversations with Karatayev – that boredom is often the price we pay for marvels.

Tim Cahill

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