"I still have a very clear picture of the inside of that hut and of the bearded man with the bright fiery eyes who kept talking to me in riddles. 'We need a homeland,' the man was saying. ' We need a country of our own. Even the Zulus have Zululand. But we have nothing.'
'You mean the Jews have no country?'
'That's exactly what I mean,' he said. 'It's time we had one.'
'But how in the world are you going to get yourselves a country?' I asked him. 'They are all occupied. Norway belongs to the Norwegians and Nicaragua belongs to the Nicaraguans. It's the same all over.'
'We shall see,' the man said, sipping his coffee. The dark-haired woman was washing up some plates in a basin of water on another small table and she had her back to us.
'You could have Germany,' I said brightly. 'When we have beaten Hitler then perhaps England would give you Germany.'
'We don't want Germany,' the man said.
'Then which country did you have in mind?' I asked him, displaying more ignorance than ever." (p. 198)
Soon after, Roald Dahl finally made it home, being sent home due to blackouts probably the effects of his previous crash. It's unbelievable to me that he had such an unbelievable life pre children's books. A part of me really wishes that I could adventure in the same way that he did but back then he was more free to do so in a world that was still vastly unexplored. There were many dangers, of course, but he was so unaware of them that it led him to live freely in a way that I could never do today. I'm a little envious. Everything is planned (if even loosely), safety measures and precautions always in the back of my mind. I could never have that uninhibited careless adventure because there are too many risks and it's better to be safe than sorry. But look at him, he lived by instinct--some quick impromptu decisions literally saving his life--and in the end he died an old man with great memories and stories to tell (both fiction and nonfiction).
His memoirs are entertaining, nostalgic and insightful. I recommend Boy and Going Solo to everyone.
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