Eye for an eye

Trip Start Feb 15, 2007
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Trip End Jul 17, 2007


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Flag of Portugal  ,
Monday, July 16, 2007

Time to go. But before that, time to say my goodbyes. Goodbye to the city, said by finally going to the Porto wine cellars which I had managed to somehow miss for the five previous months (and sharing two bottles with Matthias and his friend Andres); goodbye to the trip, said by packing my stuff and steering my mind towards the return; goodbye to the family, how to say it?
The question of what I could possibly say or do that would make the parting suitable after being welcomed with overwhelming hospitality had been rolling in my mind for a fair while.
It still was when they set up a farewell dinner for me. And then I had to accept the obvious fact that there was no possible way for me to adequately retribute the hospitality I was given. That got me pondering, and I concluded that, just as the retributive model of violence doesn't hold because each new act raises the overall level of violence (and thus worsens the big picture), the retributive model of good will doesn't hold because every good act is either spontaneous (and thus demands no retribution) or meaningless (and thus there is nothing to retribute).
Of course that conclusion might partly stem from the fact that keeping the old model would lead me to be burdened by un unpayable debt, but that is irrelevant - I shall try my best to show other people, family or not, the same good will I was shown, and consider that the appropriate retribution, as it is the deepest expression of my gratitude.
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