No, I've been enlightened. For example, many are concerned about the
possible violence in Israel. True, the Jews and the Arabs don't agree on
much, but the thing that's at the top of a very short list is this: Tourists
are inviolate! Nobody bothers a visitor! (They bring money, several billion
In riding a train from Manchester to London, I struck up a conversation with
two local businessmen. When informed I was a tourist, they looked at each
other in astonishment, mouths agape. Finally, one asked: "Then what are you
doing in Manchester? There's nothing there to see but coal dust?" They were
quite relieved when told that's where I turned in my rental car after
driving for several hundred miles. I just couldn't take any more
round-abouts. Here's one:
And it's easy to get with the program in a foreign land. In Rome, for
example, EVERY SINGLE WOMAN I saw was dressed to kill! They were the height
of fashion and every woman was, in one way or another, delectable and
In Israel I pulled up to the wrong pump and had the tank filled. Turns out
it was a military pump! I learned that every gas station in the country had
two underground tanks devoted to the military: one contains gasoline, one
contains diesel. Therefore, every gas station in the country is a military
More and more places are becoming Americanized. You can get a Big Mac in
London. It still has a regional accent, though, being made with lamb and
having sliced cucumbers instead of tomatoes.
In Turkey, street vendors don't sell apples - they sell figs as big as
apples! Quite tasty. And you have eggplant with every meal.
And I have been enlightened even here. After moseying around Harvard Square,
my business contact asked me my impression.
"I'll readily admit, on many things, you have us beat: PhDs per square foot,
books in the library, endowments and you excell in many other endeavors. But
on the two things that are really important in life, we've got you beat."
"What's that?" he asked.
"Football teams and pretty women," I said.
"I'd believe that and I've never been to Texas, " he replied, shaking his
head. "Did you notice their socks don't match?"
"Yup," I agreed. "Back home, they'd be a bounty on 'em."
You're smart enough to realize that people that say they have been
enlightened, aren't, the same way that people that say they are smart
usually overestimate their intelligence. You have potential - work
I certainly hope this is not your primary example of enlightenment as
it is simply wrong. You don't have to kill the tourists to prevent
them from coming with all that tourist money:
And there's still plenty of violence on/against tourists and
foreigners in the Middle East, as witness the many State Department
Note the July '05 bombing in Sharm el Sheikh. I was there last
November and it is a beautiful beach resort with a truly international
flavor with people from all over the globe. The last place you would
expect to have a bombing, but...
But you already knew this. There is violence wherever you go. I was
just pointing out one of your preconceived notions.
I lived in Rome for a while, and you'll get no argument from me.
Another country which was most visually pleasing was the Netherlands.
Apparently they outlawed fat people, everybody is active, and you see
85 year old people bicycling to the market to do their shopping.
Older women maintain a youthful demeanor and manage to pull it off,
but they are not nearly as fashion conscious as the Italians. I don't
think anybody is.
In a country that has been on the swords edge since it was founded,
not so much of a surprise, is it?
Erroneous information. Perhaps they have a similar sandwich with
lamb, but it is not a Big Mac. McDonald's would obviously never allow
such a thing in an English speaking country where beef is already a
diet staple - it would be undermining their own brand name. Other
countries with religion and diet restrictions might be different.
There should be more figs and eggplant. Figs may have been the first
"domesticated" food. Did you know that there are the remnants of a
dead wasp in every fig? Used to freak me out as a kid, but Fig
Newtons are simply too good to give up simply because you're
Harvard Square was the wrong place to go looking for pretty women.
You should have gone to Cambridge if you were looking for smart women
(which, somehow I don't see happening with you). You should have
tried Beacon Hill or out by Wellesley, and, continuing the theme,
Newton if you were looking to sight a comely lass.
As I said, you have potential, but you drag things along with you that
get in the way. Derogatory names couch your thinking and limit it.
As I've said on many occasions, there are only two types of people, "a-
holes" and "not a-holes". Anybody can be either one at any time. The
trick is to be a "not a-hole" most of the time. The world works
better that way, and you'll see things more clearly.
Continue your endeavour.
Bub's 'humour' is more of the Beckian variety. Controversial
statements for the sake of some sort of humour. AKA outrageous =
funny. At the watercooler it becomes: "do YOU know what that IDIOT
Now that I know what he's up to, it is no longer funny, just a bit
SWMBO took one of youngest daughter's HS \school chums home to her
apartment off Fondren in SW Houston shortly after Katrina and actually
got caught in a gun battle between Katrina rivals ... she still gets
chills when talking about it.
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