Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ephemera (Sunday, May 23)

We spent our rainy Sunday roaming around Carthage, once the playground of Dido and Aeneas, today a tony suburb 30 minutes outside of Tunis. It takes some work to imagine what the city must have been like 2,000 years ago, but there was something about the ruins of the Antonine Baths, an ancient Roman bath house along the sea, that stunned both of us.

Weird. I mean, we've both put a lot of care into trying to get out of New York, wean ourselves from the rat race and do some soul searching. For us, at least, that's a lot of what traveling is - actively seeking perspective in the vistas of foreign and alien places and cultures, maybe better finding our own way in the world, how we might shape it and have an impact. But there was something ... something just completely tragic and beautiful about the ruins in the gray, misty cold, knowing that overpriced cafes and taxis were just a few blocks away, that a measly few dinar could get us access, to crawl over this dead grandeur. Time was just so tragically obvious and sad. The Romans thought they were building an empire to last forever. And yet here we are.