Tolerance and Friendship
Visiting an Good Friend in a Foreign Country
Friendship. For me visiting a good friend in the Bavarian countryside is always a good idea. Today I am invited for a quick visit to the home of Rose. She lives in a small farmhouse in the village of Sielenbach, 20 km (12 miles) northeast of Augsburg, Germany.
We sip cappuccino along with the freshly baked cake and pastries she made this morning.
Our conversation drifts back to ancient times when we were young and crazy. The 1970's had just begun and the world was still wonderful and full of promise. I had survived my engineering freshman year at college. At the same time Rose was beginning her career of helping childhood victims of family violence, a hidden terror found in too many families worldwide, even today.
She reminds me of the pictures I took of her in 1971 on top of her 60's Renault (or was it her friend's? I never found out.) It had been painted in 60's psychedelic colors, a real masterpiece.
Later, I found the pictures and sent her copies. Here they are...
Here I am, 19 years old, wearing my Daimler (Mercedes Benz) factory work uniform. "Live wild, live free!" I always say...
It's been quite a trip down memory lane with a good friend. I sure have had my adventures. These were good times, and I want more of the same for my future. And I am going to find out how to do it.
This is how you do it, Tolerance and Friendship:
Retirement, semi-retirement, and even work-until-you-drop scenarios are now facing my generation, the baby boomers and, as everyone knows, my generation does things differently. Alongside other age groups, we have confronted wars like Vietnam and Kosovo, horrors like child abuse and AIDs, disasters like the ozone layer and Katrina, and terrors like Jonestown and 911. We all have brought tolerance and world peace to so many places, namely: Europe, Southeast Asia, Cambodia, Russia, China, South and Central America, practically the whole earth.
These places changed for the better in the last 50 years, because of tolerance and friendship. Over and over and over again, until we got it right.
People in some places and situations still haven't got it, for instance: the Middle East, Africa, and Global Warming. (That's right; you need to be friends with the world you live in.)
We will get them right, not perfect, but right, just as we have done for our entire history. We need to hug each other more, work hard, keep our eyes open, jump on the right band wagon and learn to tolerate a few of life's future adjustments. One adjustment will certainly be a rise in ocean levels. Bring your surf boards, dudes! Kawabunga!
I believe we are doing better now, than back in 1971. Yes, some forests and animals are being flushed down the toilet, but death and destruction is always how nature creates new forests and animal species. It's not that we are destroying the earth. We are too insignificant. It's us, who will be taken out, if we don't watch out. Yet, there is hope. We are doing better. Learn to read the signs.
Just because we have opened our eyes more now, does not mean things are worse today. I know, I travel worldwide.
Yes, conservation is good. Fight those battles and learn to win; the world depends on you. But, remember, there are still a lot of forests out there to stroll through and loving people to meet.
I will continue visiting this wonderful world and meeting those intriguing people: here, there and everywhere. All I have to do is go.
Need an excuse for not traveling? I'll give you one...
Here is one that I call: "Everyone else is a Terrorist."
I found it in the book:
One Man Caravan and Friendships
written by Robert Edison Fulton, Jr. in 1937. The book records his solo round-the-world tour on a two-cylinder Douglas motorcycle between July 1932 and December, 1933.
"Oh! Oh! Oh!" The patriarch threw his arms in the air. "Allah be praised you are still alive! Sakchegeuzu! A terrible place! Terrible people! Robbers, cut-throats, thieves..."
On and on he went as again my mind wandered and hummed with a row of "Providences. "Too well I knew the content of his diatribe.
Had he ever been to Sakchegeuzu? "No."
Did he know any of its inhabitants? "No!"
He had only heard of them ... so long ago he couldn't even remember? "Yes."
It was the same story I had listened to so many times since leaving London, the same one to be heard so many more times on the "way 'round," the world's most international story.
Robert Edison Fulton, Jr.
Sakchegeuzu is in Turkey. Have you ever heard of it? "No."
It's just an excuse for not tolerating ways of other cultures, for not traveling.
"Everyplace else is dangerous. Everyone else is a murderer."
Bull! It was crap in the time of Christ, in 1932 and it is crap now.
For God's sake, I just got back from Slovenia, Croatia and drove right past Bosnia. It's beautiful there, and they're doing great! In the 80's and 90's, this area was supposedly death, hell and blinding destruction.
Bull shit! It has finally worked out its own problems, in its own way. That's how history works!
You can't fool me one bit. The world is a wonderful place!
Tolerance and Friendship. If you don't have it, get it!
Here is a quick list of Travel Secrets I found out about on my trips. I hope it helps you in your search for better travel:
Go to the Page on My Way to Travel
Nervous about travel?
Travel is Scary
Learn to Like Yourself as You Are
Time Slows Down when Traveling
KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid
The Power of the Open Question
Ask the Unbusy Police Officer
Ask the Locals - They know
Listening - An Important Skill in Travel
Contrast the Old and the New
Some Unusual Travel Insights
Be a Good Guest
Take a Walk - Relax - Enjoy Good Travel
Get Lost on a Bus - I Dare You
Change Course - Follow Someone Else's Idea of a Good Trip
Good Exercise is a Travel Bonus
Interacting with Children in a Foreign Land
Treatment of Americans Abroad
After All - It's Your Vacation