A few months ago I had an encounter with a psychiatrist. I have met him a couple of times before. Maybe you too are familiar with him? He is a good psychiatrist. One who is genuinely interested in his clients (well mostly, but then he is only human) and keen to do what he can to help them. He also likes to travel around the world and have adventures. And because he is such a good psychiatrist, he also takes the opportunity whilst on his journeys to find out more about the things that are troubling his patients. Universal troubles, such as happiness and love. And it's a good thing too, because being a psychiatrist does not make one immune from suffering the very same problems that people pay them to help with. Hector, for that is the name of our psychiatrist friend, is indeed only human, and that's one of the things I find so charming about him.
On his various travels, Hector never fails to make friends. One of these friends, the old monk that Hector met during his first adventures, had gone missing in quite highly publicised and puzzling circumstances. That the government of the country in which the monk resides may be responsible for his disappearance is especially concerning. And so our intrepid explorer goes on a quest around the world to try and find his old friend. He visits many countries such as China, the country of the Eskimos, a country where the ancestors 'had conquered half the world on their hairy little horses', a warm coastal country where its inhabitants lead long healthy lives and to the mountainous country that borders China.
Along the way Hector makes several new friends and he also reconnects with old ones. Friends we also know from his earlier adventures, such as Edouard, who has certainly changed his life and his outlook from when we first met him, to Ying Li whose life has completely changed (and for the better too) as a result of her encounter with Hector. I only wish that we had also had the opportunity to reconnect with Vayla, the sweet and kind waitress that accompanied Hector in his adventures concerning a certain love drug (no, not that type of drug, rather a drug to help take the unpredictability out of love).
And of course, Hector's travels would not be complete without him trying to understand more about something that seems to be troubling his patients a lot recently. The eternally troubling notion of time. Of time never going at the speed you wanted it to; either seemingly too fast or too slow. Have having too much time or not enough of it. Of people living too much in the past or looking forwards to a point in the future, whilst not making the most of the present. Of wanting to halt the physical progress of time on your person. It certainly seems that people spend a lot of time thinking about and troubling about, well, time!
As you can probably tell, I simply adored accompanying Hector on his travels. Hector's journeys are quite simply charming, I really can't think of another way of describing them. The gentle and humorous tone in which his adventures are told are just perfectly suited towards the gentle and humorous Hector, yet at the same time their deceptively simple manner hides real insight into the things that we as human tend to obsess about. And could there be a more perfect guide and companion than Hector?
Many thanks to Gallic Books who very kindly sent me a copy of Hector Find Time.