Issue nº 232

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Travel Stories

Travel Stories

Ekaterinburg (Russia): Shoes

Right after the fall of communism, a Belgian company sent two representatives to look into the feasibility of selling their products. Two different reports were received.

“Nobody wears Western shoes here,” wrote the first representative, “if we install a factory here, we will suffer heavy losses.”

“Nobody wears Western shoes here,” wrote the second representative, “If we install a factory here, we will start the fashion trend and sell the entire production.”


Kairuan (Tunisia): The Truly Devout

Abu Sari owned a haberdashery in the middle of the main market in the city. He spent all day selling, buying and bargaining with the customers.

But every afternoon he drew a cloth curtain in a corner of his shop around himself and prayed.

One afternoon, a mullah visited him. He said he was close to God and wanted to share his joy with Abu Sari.

“Where do you live?” asked the merchant.

“In the desert. There, I manage to contemplate the face of the Almighty Lord and swim in his blessings.”

“If you live in the desert, that means that you are still far from the Divine,” answered Abu Sari, “an enlightened man lives in the middle of a market, and is never a single moment absent from the company of God.”


Odessa (Ukraine): The Seagull and the Mouse

A seagull was flying over a beach in the Black Sea when it saw a mouse. It swooped down from the skies and asked the rodent, “Where are your wings?”

Each of them spoke a different language, and the mouse did not understand what the seagull said, but did notice that the animal standing before it had two big strange things emerging from its body.

"It must suffer from some disease," whispered the mouse.

The seagull noticed that the mouse was staring at its wings and said quietly, “Poor thing! It was attacked by monsters that left it deaf and robbed its wings.”

Filled with pity, the seagull took the mouse in its beak and swept it away for a ride in the skies. At least this will bring memories of the old days, the seagull thought as they flew higher and higher. Then it very carefully deposited the mouse back on the ground.

For a few months the mouse was a very unhappy creature, it had flown high up in the sky and seen a vast and beautiful world.

But as time passed, it eventually grew used to being a mouse again, and thought that the miracle that had taken place in its life was just a dream.


Irkutsk (Russia): The Beloved Man

A Siberian shaman asked God to show him a man that He loved. The Lord advised him to look for a certain farmer.

“What do you do to make the Lord love you so much?” the shaman asked the farmer when he found him.

“I say His name in the morning. I work all day and say His name before going to sleep. That’s all,” the farmer replied.

I think I found the wrong man, thought the shaman.

Just then the Lord appeared and said, “Fill a bowl with milk, go to town and then return. Without spilling a single drop.”

The shaman did so. On his return, the Lord wanted to know how many times he had thought of Him.

“How could I? I was worried not to spill the milk!”

“A simple bowl made you forget Me,” said the Lord, “and the farmer, with all his tasks, thinks of me twice a day.”

Issue nº 232
Agenda: if you want to know where Paulo Coelho will be this month, please click here