The distance between Amsterdam, Netherlands and Lima, Peru, as the crow flies is 6533 miles (10513 km) (5677 nautical miles)

I only looked it up after I was informed of this fact at a party on Saturday night.

It was that mellow time of the evening, when the drinks have started to kick in and people are getting tired.

When the party is over really, but no-one is inclinded to leave. There’s always one more drink to be had, some little musing to be made. Crawling home to bed seems so lonely, so pointless. So a few of us stayed behind, lingering, hanging on the balcony, drinks in hand, watching the hoardes of little boats bobbing around on the river below.

And then, through the silence Patricia muttered that little obscure fact.

“6000 miles”

We turned to look at her, unsure of the significance of this figure.

“That’s how far it is to Lima. How far it is for me to go home. I’m a long way from home”

6000 miles. It seemed so far. An improbable distance really.

Up there in the cool evening breeze, with the lights flickering around us, the voices and laughter of the people below rising up through the night, the moment seemed so present, so real, so NOW that Lima, Peru, hell everything and everyplace that wasn’t part of that moment, seemed somehow not to exist.

6000 miles.

It hung there in the air around us as our fuzzy, drunken, heavy heads tried to contemplate it. But the sheer scale of it couldn’t sink in for some reason. A place so far away was impossible at that moment. It couldn’t exist.

Patricia took another sip of her drink and sighed, staring off into the distance at those little lights in the harbour.

And everything at that moment felt so ephemeral, those lights down below as distant and unreal as this dreamed of place called Lima.

500 miles, 10,000 miles. In then end it made no difference really. In the blue light, as the night deepened, home was always going to seem so very far away.

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