If a pain in the ass in the middle ages, strained the patience of his fellow men, wish to him to pepper the country. It was assumed, erroneously, that the Land where the pepper grows, is the furthest away.
pepper was incredibly expensive, because he was transported on a months-long and dangerous journey by Arabs and Venetians on the overland route from India to Europe. Only wealthy people could afford the pepper, so the nobility and the clergy. It therefore called it disparagingly “pepper bags”. The spice was a status symbol, and, intermittently, a second currency with Gold. So anyone who wanted to buy in Europe, peppercorns, paid a “peppered”.
poor people, and at the time, most of them, flavored their food with mustard broth. This was used so eagerly as today’s Ketchup. To gave every meal, “its mustard”, also a common phrase today.
The eternal rival Spain and Portugal divided the world and wanted to reach out over the sea, the legendary spice Islands. The Portuguese Navigator, Vasco da Gama, went along the African coast and discovered the Route to India. His compatriot, the Magellan fleet for the arch-enemy of Spain towards the West and found the Passage to the Pacific ocean. In September 1519 he set out with five ships and 234 men, after nearly three years of 18 Survivors returned, four ships were sunk, but the last was fully Laden with pepper grains, nutmeg and cinnamon in the value of 500 gold ducats. This corresponded to cost a hundred times the Expedition.
Asia on the doorstep
Magellan none of it had. The Filipino tribe leader Lapu-Lapu had made a dash through the bill or a spear through the chest drilled.
Magellan’s first circumnavigation of the globe was the prelude to the bloody Christianization of South-East Asia and the eve of globalization. Meanwhile, Asia is on the doorstep.
Therefore, you wish for today, annoying people, not to the pepper country, but on the moon. It is questionable, however, whether there is up there is enough space.
Claude Cueni (63) is a writer and lives in Basel. He writes every second Friday.