Where Next?

Orlato adored fast cars, writing articles for punch magazine, avant-garde fiction and sailing with the world's beauties in tow. His luxury yacht was fitted with every luxury imaginable and supplies were flown in by helicopter once a week. Not that he did much sailing though; he left that to his crew. He concentrated on the beauties and his stock of fine wines which inevitably made up large part of his order every week.

Today, however, Orlato had a decision to make. The recent storms had left his yacht in need of some urgent maintenance work. But where to go? The nearest port where the work could be carried out, was Hong Kong. But the articles he had written at the time of the island's handover to China, made that solution impracticable. Although he often visited high-flying government officials, he didn't quite fancy a lengthy stay as guest of the country's security service. He could try heading towards the coast of Africa but if he was persona non-grata for the Hong Kong authorities, then the pirates that infested these waters were most certainly persona non-grata for him.

No, there was nothing for it but to make a frantic scramble back to Europe. His first thought was to head to Germany. There were more than enough workshops who could do the required work, and as money had never proved an object to him, their exclusively high prices were not a problem. Besides, while he was there, he could buy another Ferrari and take it out for a spin on the 'autobahn'. He loved the idea of those long, straight roads with absolutely no speed restrictions. But a quick check on the internet soon put him off that idea. Not only were there no Ferraris available, but the government had had an attack of greenitis and had laid down stingent new measures on road behaviour. You were still allowed to drive as fast as you can. No German government would take to take on that cherished right, but you were no longer allowed to own a car that drove as fast as you liked. And the amazing thing was that no one single German seemed to be distressed over this.

He could, of course, set course for the mother country, good-old England - as very distinct from the sing-song Welsh or the barbaric Scots whose palate had been ruined by centuries of whisky. In England everything was permitted, everything that is except that which was expressly forbidden. But the current government had passed so many new laws, almost everything was expressly forbidden, nowadays. He couldn't even buy a copy of his favourite author's latest novel without having to confront the pungent odour of underground book-stores, nestled deep inside the seedy intestines of the capitol city, far from the watchful eye of the CCTV freaks. No, there was nothing for it. He was going to have to eat his pride and lurch towards France. Not that the legal situation was much better there. Indeed, the French have more laws than all the other countries put together. But the Frenchman has learnt one essential lesson, one he prided them for. For the Frenchman everything is allowed, even that which is forbidden. France was Orlato's kind of country.


Via la France!

I enjoyed your piece detailing the various parts of the world according to Orlato.

3 February 2010 at 15:50  

Life is indeed a journey. I enjoyed the travelogue of Orlato.

3 February 2010 at 17:15  

I enjoyed reading the travels of Orlato.

3 February 2010 at 17:32  

I, too, enjoyed Orlato's journey. Great story!! Can we read more of Orlato's travels?

3 February 2010 at 17:56  

Sigh. I want to travel now.

3 February 2010 at 18:11  

A fantastic story, the details are superb. Great piece. Will be sure to stop by for more.

3 February 2010 at 22:00  

Could I trade places with Orlato for a week? lol...great read!

4 February 2010 at 02:48  

Travels with Orlato are probably never boring - good tale!

4 February 2010 at 20:11  

Poor Orlato, all dressed up and no where to go...Wonder how the US compares on this list of laws? It seems to me we have laws for everything and if it isn't against the law you have to buy a permit!

5 February 2010 at 23:41  

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