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You've got to travel to get there

By Ed Brock

I believe I've mentioned before that I don't like to travel.

I like to be there already.

Indeed, I dearly hope that if reincarnation is true I'll come back in that long fancied "Star Trek" time when people simply beam to and fro.

Once again, I'm about to leave the country at a time when a terrorist attack is surely inevitable. And in fact they did bomb Bali back in October when I returned to my No. 2 country, Japan.

So what will happen now?

By the time this little script is published I will be six days tanned and surely dreading tomorrow's (relatively speaking) departure from that Caribbean treasure, the Rastafarian paradise of Jamaica.

Of course for me, now, in the act of assembling this humble collection of witticisms and semi-lucid ramblings, I stand on the verge of said trip, dreading the unavoidable frustrations that precede the joyful exploration of a "new-to-me" country.

In fact, when I'm finished slapping this together I'll have to hit the Wal-Mart (and I plan to strike it a mighty blow) in search of film.

Then, we'll have to wake up extra early tonight to compensate for the added security measures I can only hope are all for naught. But then we'll be on the plane, bedecked in our tropical attire, awaiting the pleasures of arcane, hepatotoxic concoctions and strikingly white-sand beaches.

Ignore that emaciated man selling coconut-head dolls and colorful cloths.

And don't go into the mountains, they tell me. Don't stray from the path, step only in the footsteps of the rum-sipping tourist herd that came before you lest ye be surely doomed!

I've heard nothing on drinking the water, but my experiences in the South Pacific encourage a weariness of eating the fruit.

And then there's that other thing for which Jamaica is so famous. Can you guess what that is?

Reggae!

Yes, the sweet tintinnabulation of steel drums (more a Calypso thing but who cares) and Bob Marley-esque lyrics will fill the air, no doubt, from arrival to departure.

Umm, my mind drifts.

Argh, it jars against the rocks of reality, shattered on the recollection that I have yet to fight the beast of ill chance that lies between me and near equatorial bliss.

Check in lines, security lines, metal detectors, uniformed cretins, immigration lines, the nebulous fear that the computer will eat our e-tickets just prior to our arrival at the airport. All this and the knowledge that a sizeable credit card bill lies in my near future.

But always and forever we pass through the night to reach the dawn. We fight down the demons of anxiety and what-to-do-ness in that eternal quest for our place in the sun.

Oh, right, I forgot about skin cancer.

Ed Brock covers public safety and municipalities for the News Daily. He may be reached at (770) 478-5753 ext. 254 or via e-mail at ebrock@news-daily.com.