Letter to my Sister Joan | “I’M IN” British Referendum to Join EU | Trump: Fascism arrives in Amerika | Prince Ea Future Generations Sorry | ww right wing political responses prey on fear and xenophobia…forgetting history of colonialism and capitalistic expansion

I just had a FaceTime conversation yesterday with my sister (8 hours ahead in time) in England. Because of my sister Joan’s intelligence and sensitivity, we always have had interesting conversations about an extensive number of topics through the years. In this conversation, many different subjects came up. She and her husband live in York, England, ‘whitey white’ as she calls it. Living in England the past 5+ years – not in London where the metropolitan nature tends to be more tolerant and progressive – but in smaller towns mostly in Yorkshire, she’s seen the inbred, territorial bigotry of Englanders’. Where not only does the intolerance speak out against rivaling neighboring townships, but also occasional negative remarks regarding ‘Yanks’ = MerKons (that’s my condescending label for Americans who display similar racism), and ‘Paki’s’ = Pakistani people whose labor keeps Great Britain running, just as Mexicans are omnipresent within the United States labor force; in kitchens and various other under-payed positions. They do the jobs Americans don’t want to do.

I'M IN button, Great Britain, referendum, European Union

I’M IN button in Great Britain regarding the referendum to join the European Union


Our conversation started as she held up a button to my view, which she had had pinned on her shirt, which because of its political and specifically economic implications, those in her group were vehemently opposed to. She mentioned that the number of Polish immigrants in England is one of the contentious issues. For those against Great Britain joining the EU, their reasoning is that immigrants will take their jobs. It’s however mostly an excuse, masking their bigoted and xenophobic response; besides taking our jobs, refugees may taint our race (uh, destroy the purity of whiteness). Sound familiar? I’m not alluding to the Holocaust, but of the frightening prospect of the right wing parties popping up all over the West. We’ll get to that in a minute.

My sister was ‘not allowed’ to join the group which she’s been attending, because of her refusal to withdraw her show of support for the Great Britain referendum to join the European Union, by taking off the ‘I’M IN‘ button pinned on her blouse. It’s sort of a holistic therapy group; all about using tools such as meditation and the arts and therapy to develop one’s awareness and healing. It was ironically this group who cast her out, because of their intolerance and fear.

Here’s some info about the referendum and the split it’s gouging among English citizens, which is informative for those of us not directly involved in their politics.
The UK’s EU referendum: All you need to know. Among the information in there was this, started in Belgium:

What does Brexit mean?
It is a word that has become used as a shorthand way of saying the UK leaving the EU – merging the words Britain and exit to get Brexit, in a same way as a Greek exit from the EU was dubbed Grexit in the past.

I found this article written in the Guardian by Oliver Imhof, “Why I’ll leave the UK if Britain votes no to Europe”. “As a German living in London, I love the flexibility of life here, if not the food. But I won’t live in a country that turns its back on the postwar consensus of solidarity and human rights.”

Joan points out that for the most part people don’t want more Polish immigrants to take their jobs. She has a local story about Polish workers kicked off of their jobs in the fields, which then the British ultimately didn’t want to do themselves. Her point stating that the Brits, rather than isolating themselves, should be more transparent and resilient, open-minded & open-armed to the current worldwide refugee crisis. As one of the Western powers who, uh hum, propagated the policy of bringing immigrant workers into their country in the first place, to do the low-paying, shitty jobs – through slavery and brining in workers from the countries they subjugated. Currently this subject has struck a nerve, all over the Western world as revealed in their politics. Yet the country forgets its own history, of colonial expansion as a super power at that time, for their own economic gain. Same as the trend of American and other multi-national corporations to downsize and outsource their jobs; setting up shop in remote parts of the world to obtain labor at slave wages and pollute those areas that are out of one’s own back yard.

In the meantime, I came up with this Guardian article,
Polish migrants to strike and give blood to demonstrate importance to UK

My sister mentioned that locally someone wanted to – and succeeded – in kicking some Polish people out of their jobs in local farms…and then no Brits wanted to do the work. Point is, if in this case the British people don’t want the Polish, Pakistani, Indian immigrants or Syrian refugees….they wouldn’t have much of a rich and diverse culture now would they?

She asked me, “Do you know how many Polish people are in Britain?” dunno, well, – now wait a minute – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poles_in_the_United_Kingdom ‘bout a million.

Because my sister and her British husband go regularly to France, the topic of the violence among football hooligans in Marseille came up. Deaths occurred there at a soccer match between the French and the Brits. While talking, I googled and sure enough, found these headlines: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/euro-2016-violence-running-battles-as-violence-breaks-out-in-marseille-while-england-fans-chant-isis-a3268166.html
“Euro 2016: Violence breaks out in Marseille as England fans chant ‘Isis, where are you?”

Fans, Clash, Marseille, Brit, Football, hooligans, racism, France

Fans Clash in Marseille – Brit Football Hooligans shouting racist remarks in France

We talked about this with distaste, then she mentioned that that same day, she had been accused of being a Yank in a pub, and harassed for it. The lofty talk of Britain not wanting more Polish people to come into their country, or any other immigrants or refugees for that matter, lead her to mention this, sort of regurgitating what reasons lie behind these voices that are opposed to this, which demonstrate their violence and racism.

She then asked me pointedly, “How many refugees do you think there are in the world today?” to which

I answered, uh, 8 million? “No”, she answered, “60 Million S I X T Y M I L L I O N.”

I offered the information that many of the refugees are fleeing their countries because of either ecological / climate issues or economic ones, or war… all direct and indirect repercussions of the business and commerce activities of the Western world; i.e. EXON Mobile, Shell Oil….I immediately googled that one while we conversed, and there it was on the Atlantic (formerly Atlantic Monthly), “Violence Has Forced 60 Million People From Their Homes

Joan mentioned that if each town would take in say 500 or 5,000 people -respective to their population – the worldwide problem could be mitigated and assuaged. I added that if the EU and UN would work together to investigate communities and their geographical conditions, to find locations to set up research and development for appropriate renewable technologies, and then assign and relocate people into communities. Rather than all of the deaths, these people who are fleeing problems that are impacted by the West, and relocated in a civilized manner.

The western world could facilitate helping refugees to integrate into jobs serving all of mankind; healthier environment, healthier relationship with all life, healthier relationship with one’s own immediate community. And all of the deaths that we hear about and then look away from, due to the black market of refugee trafficking, would end.

Basically, if it was you’re dad, brother, mother, child, uncle that was trying to flee, you would want this operation to be legal and facilitated with regulations and hospitable treatment.

It’s a world crisis that is a direct result of activities of the ‘Global North’; the northern hemisphere of superpowers that perpetuate activities that consistently harm the environment, think about only short-term gain instead of long-term consequences and continue to drive a wedge of ‘economic rifts’ by keeping things in the status quo; profit driven by greed.

This will change, it already has been.

Because of his eloquence and all-encompassing message, I need to place this here> Prince Ea’s music video rap which poignantly says it like it is.”
Prince Ea speaks to Future Generations: Sorry“, describing what a future generation may come across, when the Amazon Rain Forest becomes the Amazon desert…or when a tree is a thing of the past. He then stops himself mid beats to beckon the audience that it is not too late, if we all resolve to do something.

Prince Ea, Music Video, Dear Future Generations Sorry

Prince Ea Music Video Dear Future Generations Sorry

Naturally, our conversation lead to discussing the present political scenario. “Do you know that Trump could become President?” she said, accusatorially. We talked about the frightening thought of a bigot and zealot entering the White House after the graceful and articulate Barack Obama is ushered out. I mentioned the fact that there’s been a wave of right-wing parties propagating in Europe; bringing up the example of how the Netherlands which formally had been heralded for their open-minded nature – a country who historically have had open arms to immigrants and a very accepting and tolerant nature, have now rebounded towards closing their doors. In 2004, the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh (a distant relative of Vincent Van Gogh) was killed by a Muslim extremist. Shot dead – his freedom of speech and art the reason for exterminating his life, because the shooter had interpreted van Gogh actions as an insult to his religion. Dutch citizens have since collapsed their openness and are up there among the most fearful in Europe with their anti-refugee stance. Joan brought up Marie Le Pen in France. I had recently heard that Austria just had a quasi facist right-wing political party enter the scene (which either threatened to, or have come into power). Sorry, no time presently to look up all the sordid details of the various different European government political systems. Just that it’s a fact that there’s been a sweep of right wing zealots all over Europe, capitalizing (pun intended) on the public’s fear of economic instability and xenophobia. I went to the news source in English for Le Monde Diplomatique, Mondediplio, and there in this issue is an article by one of their regular writer’s “Why the far right is on the rise” by Serge Halimi. His first line of the article answered my mention of the recent Austrian election, “Before long a domino is going to fall: a far-right candidate failed to become president of Austria by just 30,000 votes.”

In the American political race, Trump is a man who is a joke and buffoon to many. Yet, he’s been getting huge amounts of free advertising and air time, because of the fact that he’s so outrageous. In fact, his absurdity and complete lack of morality and diplomacy, is actually serving as his tactic. He reaches his audience through the lowest common denominator; machismo, speaking to peoples anger, and playing upon their fear and insecurity. He’s already been well-versed in illusion in the arena of television, a stage he’s been very familiar with and knows how to play his part well. He can draw audiences and ratings because of how politically incorrect he his, nothing barred, says whatever he feels and the more inane and the more he taunts, the more amusing he is to his audience. Like regalia to adorn his stage, his wife and daughter are eye candy accoutrements to smile and wave. Having hammed up his tv personality, he knows how to rip out ugly statements that are dramatic in their shock appeal.Somehow, Americans are either dumb and dumber or so conned that they don’t see through his lies, or realize that he’s playing a ‘reality tv’ sitcom comedy called “running for president”, without any capability whatsoever of diplomacy, empathy or strength as a leader whose actions could inspire the world. He’s a con artist who dares to say what he thinks – which i guess is the reason that many people praise him for being real. Perhaps this is because many people cower about saying what they truly think, and therefore look up to someone who does because they don’t want to take the risk or are too lazy to bother to look up the facts to see if what he is saying is actually accurate. In fact, much of it is false, and somehow people are getting snowed, blinded by his bravado. This brazen man, by his uncouth statements with hatred and scapegoating etched into his sarcasm, could easily uncoil into the makings of a tyrant; his overblown ego and harsh statements and emotional instability are the makings of another Hitler. I believe that people prefer to believe what they want to hear. So instead of a gracious and educated, genuinely diplomatic and eloquent Barack Obama, here’s this sarcastic prankster who is all smoke and mirrors. I just happened upon this article on a German friend’s Facebook page, who is one of many people who pay attention to what is happening all over the world, as opposed to having their heads buried in the sand…although that may be what he’s doing right now on a vacation with his wife in the white sands of the Maldives. This article in The Washington Post articulates exactly what I was saying. uh hum. This is how fascism comes to America

I mentioned an article I just read about how emotionally unstable and narcissistic Trump is, the current Republican nominee for President in the USA. Yet I also adamantly responded with a no, he will not become president, because of the eloquent words of a consciously aware and articulate woman whose short but intense youtube talk revealed. I’m not typically aligned with the typical psychic, but this woman is simply an articulate and intelligent person speaking the truth. Psychic and Medium Danielle Egnew sayin’ “2016 Psychic Presidential Prediction – You may be shocked!

-.-.-.-.-.-.- Here’s the actual letter I wrote to her following our conversation, with only a wee portion of it censored!

subject: You have special gifts to share with the world – yes, ‘I’M IN’

Hi Joan,

i’m so happy that I looked at the clock and decided to try you on FaceTime. It sounds like you are going through so many different feelings right now between Carole Anne whom you just befriended nearing her death, the incident in the pub, the fact that you couldn’t go on your vacation with Graeme and then not being allowed in – because you stood up for yourself and your right to freedom of speech and choice.

You also have had many fortunate things woven within these stories, but presently the more hurtful ones are screaming out. I’m so happy to talk with you. we have always been communicative through all of the years of growing up and you working at CBS so that we talked so frequently sharing many things. I’m glad to still share this with you and have always learned and expanded my awareness through your insights and intelligent looks at the world.

You can feel like an underdog and feel resentment…I have basic misanthropy because i’m often mostly disgusted with what humans have done to the world…however, WE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO NEED TO MAKE OUR VOICES HEARD.

It is not just for you or my own egos, it is because the world, many many people are either completely unaware, ignorant, stupid or just conned through habit and their lifestyles (kids, economics) to not have or make the time to reflect and contemplate about the actual things happening in the world. therefore we need to speak out.

you have the intellect, insights, wit, sarcasm and you can start writing (4 minutes a day) the notes towards a comedy/satirical podcast about these things, and then edit them and put together a 4 minute/5 minute piece about the hypocracies. you could make it funny as hell. for example, the I’M IN button, and the fact that you were ostracized from a fucking health and well-being therapy group for speaking your mind! that’s a joke as a start!

I love you. I worked on music, then realized, oh shit, this really, is not working, so I started yesterday to bit by bit repair it – creating loops that are 1. the same length, listening carefully to the beats to match them, cutting out stuff that is unnecessary…and sure enough, I’m learning through the process of doing it. Instead of shrinking in embarrassment for what i put out, i’ll fix it and show the tremendous improvement and that process alone makes me proud. I have been way too much of a perfectionist all my life, which stopped me from even beginning often. well, not really, but it’s not going to throttle me any more. I read two weeks ago about a kid here who’s made a big success; 1. his parents taught him to never, ever be afraid of failure, because that is how you learn. 2. his father drilled into him a quote the gist of which is that he who hesitates, could wind up dying before they get their masterpiece out there!!!! don’t hesitate, just dive in.

Well, you’ve always dived into things, you’re not timid about that. I just say to remind you as well as mother, to be thankful and have gratitude for all of the positive things that you can list. There are many. 1. the fact that there in the most potentially miserable 2 weeks of your life in the hospital, there you met Carole Anne, who befriended you, with whom you bantered, and with whom you gained trust, sympathy and a bond, so that she gave you this beautiful ring to always, always have her close to your heart.

Think if you can, about how lucky you are for having the fucking brain, insights and perspective that you have, so that you can laugh at these poor hooligan close-minded Brits and make a joke about how pathetic they are!!! and remember that you were having a pleasant exchange with nice reciprocation with the other people in the bar.

it is very easy to hone into and only exaggerate the negative, like when a person has a wound, it is that which nags and raises itself to one’s consciousness above everything else. But do something with these wounds, with this awareness Joan, to help to heal the world.

Yeah, and it is devastating that Mother couldn’t be in her own home – i even think that when one MUST walk and MUST move around more, they DO. Anyway, I would have had her living with a Guatemalan sister and brother who fled as children refugees into the United States, who are by nature family oriented and loyal. They could get basic healthcare training, and because mother speaks Spanish, she would love the company….but this is no longer the case. We can encourage the new girl to take her out for a walk and to perhaps drive her around to be in the vicinity of trees, woods, to hear birds, see sunlight moving. She will be there for a long block of time, 2x a week, so I’m sure she could have authority and time to do this.

Hang in there and put that energy into bit by bit creating a skit! or new designs! You are very creative and have special gifts to share with the world Joan.

Love,

Carol

Carol Keiter the blogger pensive

Carol Keiter the blogger pensive

Appropriate photo following yet another mass shooting last evening in Orlando, Florida in the United States; slaughtering 50 people because of hatred.

nomadbeatz aka Carol Keiter ~ As an avid blogger who is presently picking up where I left off to complete my eBook and beginning again to compose music, I ask you rather unambiguously and unabashedly to please donate, if you are able. !-))

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¡ Another history lesson in a hitchabout !

I once again enjoyed a fun and informative hitchabout, crossing most of Germany; from Berlin in the northeast to south of Tübingen, a few hours from the Swiss border, ’bout 695 km. I had last summer gone from this same destination on to Zürich, which was a very brief trek in comparison.

This time I left on Friday the 25th of February and returned on Monday the 28th. I had prepared a bit the evening before my departure, yet only really was sure that I’d be making the trip as of 8am that morning. Spontaneity, when you can get away with it, is a wondrous thing! The last time I had waited at this same departure spot, at the entrance to the autobahn in Berlin in pouring rain for hours with no luck; when my cardboard signs literally disintegrated in my hands from moisture. This time it was once again a bit tough to get a ride (not much chance for people to make a decision when they have only 30 seconds to assess the situation) however, I believe that part of hitching is being assured, knowing, that the right person will come along eventually, and that with patience, these are the rides to wait for!!

Funny thing, is that about when I was really questioning if I was going to get a ride at all, suddenly a van pulled over, prominently stopping next to me on the road that normally is streaming with traffic, many of the people already speeding up in anticipation of getting on the highway. The van was full of people, I thought, okay, so at least they feel ‘safe’ having me as a passenger, when I’m quite outnumbered. It turns out, that Manfred was driving a group of 5 individuals, all of whom were connected via http://www.mitfahrgelegenheit.de (an organized ride service, which in the last years has become completely online-connecting drivers and passengers in Germany) to be dropped off at various places en route to Stuttgart, near to his destination. He said to me immediately, if he had not seen my sign (Nürnberg on one side, Stuttgart on the other), he would not have stopped. Ah, so I was prepared and fortunate!

Most of the passengers were 20 somethings, sleeping during most of the 5 hour or so trip. I was really fortunate, since this ride would take me across Germany, 9/10th of my trip, to within an hour and a bit of my destination. One guy sitting next to me, preparing for potentially taking a civilian job working in either Central America or India, had printed out a bunch of wikipedia text about India the night before. I wound up reading this, in German, the bulk of the trip, and realized pages into the text, that I was beginning to learn the meanings of words, just by virtue of seeing them several times in context.

It was after most of the people had departed in Würzberg, that I sat in the middle seats, close enough to chat with the driver as well as another girl passenger, who just joined via the ride link, on her way to Stuttgart. We conversed cheerfully. He dropped me off at a gas station, along a smaller highway en route to my destination.

I was still in the southern edge of Stuttgart, it was dark already, and most of the people were not traveling far. I was surprised when after approaching about 15 driver’s of cars at this small gas station, when a woman passenger actually didn’t abruptly shake her head “no”, but gestured that the driver was inside. Then the driver whom I approached, answered without hesitation, sure, he could give me a ride. I was rather astounded, after all of the other people were smiling, but shaking their heads no, as most of them were just returning home after work. It turns out that these two were Russians, both born in Kazakhstan. Alexander was 10 when he arrived with his family to Germany, and identifies with being a German native. Julia, had been here 9 years, and wasn’t sure what the future would bring, but seemed to be content to presently settle in Germany. They were not a couple, which is another reason that they did offer me the ride.

Alexander drove very fast in his Audi, with a brightly lit paneled dashboard. He works in finance, real estate, and appears to work a lot, in various different parts of mostly southern Germany. He wound up actually using his GPS unit to plug in the exact address I was going to, and dropped me off in front of the door of my destination. That was after I had feared being stranded in Stuttgart, 45 minutes or so from where I was traveling to. Julia had said something to Alexander in Russian, and I asked, what did she say? Neither of them spoke English. He translated into German, she said, “you’re going to get a halo, because you’re such an angel”. So, he must be frequently going out of his way to do nice things for people. I hugged them both as I was leaving. I was so happy and relieved to be there, and delighted to meet them!

On my return trip, Monday morning, it was a guy in a “smart car” who works for a theater in Stuttgart, who picked me up for my first ride. He builds sets. He dropped me off at a corner in Tübingen, realizing that there was no appropriate place to drop me off in Stuttgart, without dragging me into the center of town, which would be completely the wrong place to be stuck. So, I stood at this traffic light, along a place where people could see me and pull onto a side street, waiting in the sunshine…and minutes later, a car pulled over in front of me. Out hopped, unbelievably, the same guy who had given me the ride 3 days before, Alexander, from Kazakhstan. I thought that this was absolutely amazing, that the synchronicity of this was pretty astounding. He was pretty surprised as well. He lives near Ingolstadt, a city between Munich and Nürnberg, famous because they manufacture Audi’s. Normally Alexander returns on Sunday evenings, but this time was only leaving Monday morning, and was already running behind schedule. Wow, my angel had returned, and he drove like the devil ‘-)

He was on his way to several appointments. Turns out he’s 28 years old. Seems to be very busy with his career, working a lot. He was going to be driving across the south to a town along the A9, a north-south highway going to Berlin. So I had a couple hours to ride with him, from Baden-Würrtermberg (an area with many Swäbish specialties, of which Stuttgart is a part) to Bavaria (and we all know that much of what Bavaria is about is beer). Had a number of phone calls he made connecting his iPhone to his GPS, conveying and retrieving information. We talked when he wasn’t on the phone. He left me with a German saying that says something to the effect of “Don’t hold tight onto that which you can’t hold on to”. “Halt nicht fest was man nicht fest halten kann.” Excuse my imperfect German representation! He said he had gotten married and had a baby at 20 years old, and had to grow up very fast. He’s already taking care of both parents to an extent. He also firmly believes, with an obvious extreme amount of confidence in himself, that “a person can achieve whatever it is that they want, they merely must want it”. I got his card this time around, and will email him to tell him thanks.

He left me off at this place that was not very far away from Ingolstadt. I waited at this turn off point that was not exactly the entrance to the autobahn, but from where I could see the traffic on the highway streaming along a few km. away. Many people passing by me were local cars, with local license plates. In Germany, the cars are not identified and distinguished from the States they are from, but the towns. With a single letter indicating the first letter of the larger cities, and the more letters coupled with the first, demonstrating the size of the towns, in a hierarchy of diminishing size. Finally, a man who has worked at this military airport nearby, picked me up. He clarified why I’d seen a number of vehicles with Y on their license plates, with people inside wearing army camouflage clothing. He explained that there’s a military airport nearby. He was pleasant, and brought me to a much better place, this time within yards of the entrance to the autobahn. His name was Fritz. I saw a new feature in the landscape in this area. As opposed to the tiered rows of grapes planted on steep, hilly vineyards in what I’m perhaps erroneously calling “Swabiland”, here were these netted string like apparatus, that Fritz explained are for drying hops, for the more beer oriented Bavarian region.

Okay, well, there was another person in the mix for a short ride, which I can’t remember where it was, he was Rami, originally from Syria. He was as well a pleasant person, with whom I conversed, though briefly.

I was standing at a gas station somewhere I believe outside of Ingolstadt, wondering who I was going to get a ride with, often glancing at people’s license plates to get an indication of what direction they were going. I had been inside the service station to look at a map and thought that I had heard English, but hadn’t turned around to give it much notice. Then, out walked a guy in his 30’s with a wool hat on, returning to his car packed with stuff, and a license plate I hadn’t recognized. I rather unceremoniously held up my sign, expecting him to be going elsewhere, and was almost startled when he said, “bis du alein?” “are you alone”. Suddenly responsive, I nodded hopefully, yes. I wasn’t sure if I was holding the Nürnberg or Berlin side of my sign up. Amazingly, he was a Polish guy, driving all the way back to Poland, via Berlin. Wow! I really couldn’t quite believe this, because this was a significant trek, like over 500 km, taking me all of the way back.

This easy going, pleasant guy named Szyman, from Warsaw, Poland explained that he’s done a lot of hitch hiking, so naturally he didn’t hesitate to return the favor. We conversed the entire time (this time in English 😉 with mostly him talking, in response to my continuous questions, probes and comments. I was keenly interested in the subject matter and taking notes 🙂 The 5 hour journey, covering about 513 km, seemed to just fly by. I was completely attuned and inspired much of the time with the content of our conversation.

Before entering the car, I immediately saw ski boots tucked in between several plastic containers loaded with things. He was clearing out the front passenger seat and floor, where I saw Dolomite ski brochures. I quickly learned that he was returning from a ski camp he organizes for kids from Poland, with the car packed with teaching equipment. This had taken place in Italy. The kids were returning on a bus to Poland, and he had taken some extra days to ski at some new potential locations. I told him that I’d been a ski instructor for kids at Taos, in New Mexico among other places, and that there, one guy (shout out to Laef) had opened up a pizza place called “Dolomite Pizza”, which had put the Italian Dolomite mountains on the map for me! He said that most of the places that he scouts, are located in Italy, along branches of the Alps, because it’s considerably more mild for holding a ski camp for kids there, as opposed to the typical harsher weather conditions in Austria and Switzerland.

He researches the locations, scouts them out, skis the terrain, books the resorts, organizes the kids groups – some Kindergarten age and others teenagers – and teaches skiing. He said that he had done this part-time for years, going on week stints to teach kids skiing in the past several years, then started this past summer full time for this group. At this point, he’s realizing that he’s getting a bit burned out from it, because he puts an enormous amount of time into it and has a lot of responsibility, with not such a great financial reward. I told him that this past winter I had been considering getting a job in a Swiss resort I randomly picked, Verbier. That I’d applied to 40 or 50 jobs, and that they mostly asked if I had a EU passport; which weeded out the positive responses. I mentioned that it was September when I’d applied, to which he said that really, the time to apply for the coming winter season is in June. I mentioned that I was quite excited and enthused about the prospect of working for this kids “ski – sports and language camp” with one of their bases in Verbier. This camp brings together my love of skiing, sports, languages and communication with people, into one bundle. Anyway, I realize now that if I really want to try to make this happen in the future, that I will have to apply in mid-summer.

Szyman’s spoke pretty much flawless English, and it was great hearing stories about this job. He had worked at Whistler Peak for a year, several hours from Vancouver in Canada, which I knew about from the ski pipeline back in Taos, as being an excellent mountain with a lot of vertical. He said that if he would ever consider living abroad as an expatriate, he would consider Vancouver. But pointed out that because of the language difference, stemming from the nuances of understanding and shared experience about an area that people who have grown up in the same culture take for granted, that he wasn’t so sure that he’d want to live in another culture, where one is estranged from the nuances in humor, and so forth.

He said that now he’s thinking about what other work he may like to do, and because he always tinkered with things with his hands as a kid, he’s thinking that he might like to shape his own skis. After a several year period, he’s created his first pair of home made skis. Mentioned that in the US., in Colorado for example, there are a number of little shops who build their own custom skis. His intention wouldn’t be to mass market them, but would be content to make maybe 50 pairs a year or something. That sounds like a lot! I said that “hey, you are fortunate to have the luxury to “choose” changing careers and so forth.” and he agreed. yeah, many people in the world don’t have such fortune!

He mentioned that he’ll be traveling to Vietnam for the first time in the spring, and already booked a quite cheap ticket from Warsaw to Hong Kong with a Russian airline. And also mentioned the few places he would like to ski in his lifetime, among them, on the island of Hokkaido Japan, at a resort called Niseko.

Though Szyman seemed to be quite knowledgeable about a lot of things, having studied International Relations, he particularly knew a lot about the different tribes and territories that were later embraced by the Russian Empire. I believe that this was mostly the area he had concentrated on in his studies. He’d visited the Balkans and had lived for a year in Kazakhstan. He’s quite familiar with the various Turkic states in Central Asia such as Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Armenia…and the Caucuses; of which Cechnya, Georgia and Azerbaijan are a part. He mentioned that the Caucuses have predominantly three religious groups; the Muslims, Greek Orthodox (perhaps) and Christian. The Caucuses had been a region of war during the Ottoman Empire, which had reigned for 6 centuries, from 1299 to 1922, and spread over three continents.

He talked of the Silk Road which passed through the Caucuses area, explaining that it wasn’t just one road, but in fact a number of trades routes that passed through the area coming from Southeast Asia, China and India, often through an area of the Caucuses.

With more wars in the area later, during the Austrian Hungarian Empire.

At one point Szyman spoke of Tito’s Yugoslavia, and the Serbian Croatian war, mentioning how things changed when NATO becoming involved in the conflict.

We discussed and denounced government oppression, those who deprive their citizens of freedom of information. Poland, which since the end of World War II, also created a citizenry of people who had for years been dominated by fear and disinformation; sharing the Eastern Bloc mentality of not having the ‘spirit’ to create something new. They have for so long not had the privilege to choose or right to think for themselves…that eventually the entrepreneurial spirit and motivation to create, is sucked out of the populace. After years living in a centralized government system, in which most of one’s basic needs are taken care of and wherein a person doesn’t really having to compete or struggle to create something new, inspiration somewhat vanishes. We also conversed about the various nobility in different regions and city states of Europe, and how often very harsh and violent the relationships were, even within the families themselves. He mentioned a good Russian movie from the 1940’s that described how bloody the history of “Ivan the Terrible”. The movie “Ivan” seemed to quite accurately depict this.

“His long reign saw the conquest of the Khanates of Kazan, Astrakhan, and Siberia, transforming Russia into a multiethnic state spanning almost one billion acres, approximately 4,046,856 km2 (1,562,500 sq mi). Ivan oversaw numerous changes in the transition from a medieval nation state to an empire and emerging regional power, and became the first Tsar of a new and more powerful nation.”

Hey, this was a long ride as a passenger, covering subjects I’m interested in, yet obviously a neophyte in terms of my own knowledge! Somewhere within our conversation we talked about the differences between the French and German languages. French having more words that express things in refined detail; maybe because it was the nobility and privileged class that already had more education and exposure to the finer, more detailed things in life…..as French was once the diplomatic language.

Among the many topics we discussed, we meandered into the those of film and books…He suggested the book written by Norman Davies “Europe: A History” as very worthwhile, to gain information on the subjects we’d been discussing. Somehow this music group, Porcupine Tree, that created an album called “Fear of a Blank Planet”.

We also got into the subject of the psyberpunk genre of writers. He mentioned the writer William Gibson

Here’s a short blurb by Timothy Leary, describing the cyber punks of different ages.

When I asked what his girlfriend does, he said that she had previously worked for the foundation that her mother created, which provides a healthy space for wholesome activities, during the period of time after school and before the parents get home from work. At this location, less fortunate, impoverished kids who maybe have emotional or family problems and not such great role models, can learn new things and new perspectives. His girlfriend has since learned ART, and focused on being a teacher in this. ART, which he mentioned is an acronym for “Aggression Replacement Training“, actually has nothing to do with art nor music therapy, nor theoretical psychology which digs into a person’s past. It’s instead a “hands on”, pragmatic and practical approach to helping people cope, with alternatives other than violence, which perhaps they’re more accustomed to. With new tools and insights, these youths and adults can learn to change their aggressive behavior. Giving people a different way to cope, rather than their tendencies and habits of responding with violence and aggression. According to wikipedia, a program with three components: introducing people to social skills, anger control training and moral reasoning.

My last ride, literally within walking distance of Berlin (around 20 miles) from the highway on the periphery of the city, was from the gas station where Szymon left me off as he headed East to Poland. The first person I asked before I even got my bag out of the car, upon seeing a B on the license plate, was an African man. I asked if I could catch a ride back to Berlin from there, the last leg of my journey. I hadn’t seen that he had a wife and baby in the car when I’d asked him. He was going inside to pay, and I assumed that this would be a No-Go. However, when he returned to the car, he actually leaned in and mentioned something to his girlfriend/wife, and she promptly responded by getting out of the passenger seat to let me in the back seat, next to their sleeping toddler of 3 years or something. They spoke German and English. She was German, born in Berlin. He was from Monrovia, in Liberia. Founded in 1882, Monrovia, the capital, was named after the US. President, James Monroe he told me. I read later, because he was a supporter of the colonization of Liberia.

He informed me that it was a German immigrant, John Roebling, who was the engineer who built the Brooklyn Bridge among several other suspension bridges, and that his wife was a self taught engineer, who helped finish the construction of one of the bridges, when her husband died before it was completed.

My rambling from one, to another subject (as this is often how conversations evolve) and event, is now at the end!

And coming up in the next blog, looking into ‘a causal’ and ‘non locality’ principles and some other mysterious things that occur in the breadth of consciousness…a quantum leap into being!