A chronicle of the whimsical jaunts of this guy as he goes around some foreign places looking for food.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Still safe... getting safer


Yes, the almighty Golden Calf of CNN brought me the news of the latest tragedy. And, yes, I am fortunate that I'm not travelling through London or parts near. I do believe as long as I stay in countries that DON'T have troops in Iraq, I think I'll be sufficiently safe. There are very few countries in Europe that do not have a bourgeoning Muslim population, but the fire is being fueled by some of these government's refusal to be part of the solution instead of the problem.

As a parallel to this, I witnessed a quite atrocious scene when trying to make my reservations at the Amsterdam Central station today. A hulk of a 200-pound Irish-American (more American than Irish... only identified as Irish by the Shamrock tattoo) came and threw down his enormous pack on the floor next to me as I sat in the International Ticket Office. I had a good 20 minutes more waiting left to do, and he began to look ever more impatient, rifling violently through his day pack and nearly assassinating his water bottle when trying to put it back in his back. He became so impatient that he lept out of his seat and approached the nearest counter out of turn. I couldn't quite make out what he was saying.

Then his voice began to rise. He was talking about missing his train by only 3 minutes. Then he screamed "97 Euros! I don't have that much money! All this because I miss the train! Let me see the Manager!" Apparently he thought that by raising his voice and posing his body in various threatening stances would make the laws of the Universe (or at least European rail pricing) change. This went on for another 10 minutes or so, as he emptied out (what seemed to be) the remaining currency he had in his pockets. I must conclude that he got what he wanted, and doing it in the most insulting and obnoxious way possible. Despite the unusually cool-headed and understanding ticket agent, I can't help but think that situations like these do more cumulative damage to America's reputation than the droves of unassuming tourists who pass indifferently by. As I left, I walked over to the Ticket agent and apologized for his rude behavior, as it offended me more than it did her, no doubt.

Meter is running low.

I'll catch you again all.



Anonymous Daddi-o said...

Well, I think that you can recall the proverb about the apple barrel and the one tainted 'granny smith';I fear that you are correct in your assumption of the possible repercussions involving that banal display of anger, and how all of the US will be viewed. But my pride in your handling of the situation profusely wells up inside of me... Good job, captain! The folks back here on the mountain are quite anxious to hear more about all of your current and future treks and and meetings. So, until we hear from the 'Johnny Appleseed' of Europe, Tah-tah for now.

7/08/2005 6:28 PM  
Anonymous "The Old Ones" said...

In the depths of the second floor of our garage, in a dusty old box, more dusty than some and less dusty than others, lies a pair of partially slightly used wooden shoes. These might have been useful for you had you known you would encounter one of the apparently overly abundant bad examples of the human race as he lost his cool given that you might accept that he had any left to lose. You see that way if the observation wasn't noted that he had put his foot in his mouth, chances are excellent that the presence of your wooden shoe there instead, would have been picked up immediately. Especially there in Amsterdam. Let us hope that your future encounters in the railway stations of Europe leave a better taste in your mouth. The rain upon the mountain is beginning to show even though it's 8:30 here. Here's wishing you nicer travel weather. Until next.......

7/08/2005 8:43 PM  

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