Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.
I have been slow to converting from maps to a navigation system. I have always liked maps and been able to read the most-detailed, even before the Army taught me how.
But, if one has ever attempted to drive through Paris using a paper map, one will easily understand the benefit of a nice lady telling you when and which direction to turn. Paris traffic, like that of all southern European cities is relentless and unforgiving of doubt, timidity, or confusion. Northern European cities show signs of irritation, but can be forgiving of out-of-town license plates.
Despite the benefits of having a nice lady tell me where to go, I still consult a map before leaving. I do not trust anyone else, when I am responsible for reaching a destination. Although I recalled the lesson from flight training, which told us to “always trust the instruments”, I will suspect a pre-recorded message. Enough mishaps make headlines about some driver ending up in some unlikely and unwanted location after blindly and foolishly fooling instructions. That could not happen to me
A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.
I just saw an advertisement on British television for what’s called a “Payday Loan”. That did not surprise me, because I had seen these ads before. What did surprise me was that the small print has become large print. No effort was made to hide the fact that annual interest rates start at 278%. You read that correctly: two hundred and seventy-eight percent.
Anyone susceptible to such an offer must be stupid or desperate or both. Then again, only stupid people must not understand that such “deals” will only lead to more desperation.
And, once again, I realize how fortunate I have been in life to rarely have needed a loan and never one with unreasonable conditions.
I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
I have mentioned a time or two that I enjoy visiting markets, whether on the street or covered. These are like museums of daily life of a country. Most are far more interesting than an antiseptic mall with similar brand name chains. One can always discover something new or different. Markets catering to tourists are less-interesting, but occasionally toss up a surprise.
One market that I have wanted to visit for a long time is Bangkok’s night flower market. Although open all hours, nighttime is supposed to be the most-vibrant. Unfortunately, the part of night that must be seen is the early morning hours, when the likes of me are in bed.
That said, we took a taxi from our hotel to the market to check out whatever activity there might be on the night after New Year’s Eve. This was the only chance, because we would be heading for the beach the next day. Although a mere shadow of its busy self--not busy at all--I still found the sights interesting. Flowers were varied, abundant, and cheap.
Many women were weaving garlands, which one finds on display throughout the country, especially at shrines.
Of course, one cannot avoid these oranges characters wherever one errs in Thailand. Although they seem to be purchasing flowers, I have heard that they have no money.
Western guests are impressed by the orchids blossom left on the pillow by the maid during turn-down service. After seeing the profusion of orchids in the market, one understands that this presents not great expense for the hotel.
By chance, I checked previous posts and discovered that technology had played a trick on me in the last German Word of the Day. Most of the post was missing, so the little that made it “on air” makes no sense.
I have corrected this glitch, so the post now makes a bit more sense.
Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright, until you hear them speak.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.