A new life at 67.Can a woman start all over again?

Posts tagged ‘People’

There But For Fortune

“There but for fortune” Is one of my favourite Joan Baez songs.

When I see under privileged human beings her words are always there. Here in Thailand she sings for me every day.

For the women,smothered in clothes,working in the scorching sun as labourers on the building sites.

For the emaciated people trying to make a living by selling a handful of household items and drinks in their tumbledown shacks.

For the Fishermen and their families living amidst the unbelievable stench down at the creek.Their wives cleaning fish and sea food all day,the small children playing with the stray and diseased dogs.

They all manage to smile and say “Sawadee” in their lilting Thai as I pass.

Other foreigners don’t seem to venture this way.

When the sun slips down in the West, the hills in the distance, and the nearby temples seem to have something mystical about them.The golden Buddha statues compete against the last light of it’s rays, and Buddha wins.

With nightfall I walk slowly back to my little apartment in a luxury 16 floor condominnium,complete with reception and security guards.

From there I can look down on another Thailand while Joans voice sings in my head.

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Chinese Today

The second lesson of Olympic Chinese is easy too.

I hope you managed to remember the first.

hao (how)——- good

zao shang hao (zow shang how)——–good morning

ni hao ma? (ni how ma)——–how are you

So if like me you have only managed to keep the word hao in your head,you are almost there.

As a little piece of consolation for fellow Bloggers over 40. It has been proved that older learners of a foreign language usually have to learn a new word nine times, and forget it nine times,until on the tenth time it will stick.

Good Luck

Are VIPS So Important?

We all know the famous line from George Orwells book Animal Farm;

All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others

and I wonder why we go along with this.

Don’t misunderstand me,I was never a Marxist,Trotskyist,communist or any other gender of an “ist”, but I would support an ideology where the people of the world could be more equal, whether it be with respect,freedom,or wealth.

But I know that is just a dream,and we have to live with the fact that George Orwell was right.

Nowadays these more equal people are known as V.I.P.’s or “very important persons” But what is so very important about them and what right do they have to so much priority?

Sometimes this status doesn’t always work,like last week when the security officials at a Russias’ St Petersburg Airport didn’t care a hoot for the diplomatic status of Doris Leuthard, Switzerland’s Economic Minister. She was still made to remove her shoes and submit to being frisked. Which of course held the flight up for an hour while the diplomatic phones ran themselves hot,and the likes of you and I could wait on board.

Or the arrest of Hannibal Gaddaffi, the son of Libyas head of state, and his pregnant wife in Geneva on Tuesday. They were accused of mishandling two of their servants in the hotel where they were staying. Two days later they were released after paying a caution.(Can’t keep such a large sum in my head). Libya has retaliated of course by arresting two Swiss who were working there,and threatening to turn off their oil supply to Switzerland. Half of our crude oil is imported from Libya, so the outcome will be interesting.

May be one consolation for not being a V.I.P: can be found in the words of the playwright Terence Rattigan 1911-77

You can be in the Horseguards and still be common dear”

Seperate Tables (1954)

A Scandal at Last

How nice that it doesn’t always just happen to the others.

In this little country where nothing ever happens worth bothering about, we now have a really juicy scandal.

Not that it can match some other countries that I won’t name here, but for us it is a bit of an earthquake. Luckily most people are on holiday,so it might have all calmed down before they return,and if they didn’t find a Swiss newspaper they might not even know about it.

Fact is, the media found a story to liven up the Summer for the people who have stayed at home.

The recently appointed, Chief of the Swiss Armed Forces apparently isn’t so Persil White, as our Defense Minister made it appear as he proposed him to the rest of the Cabinet for the position.

In fact he had a law suite on his hands for so called “Domestic Violence” after his partner wanted to end the affair. He was also accused of stalking,and advertising her with photo, for sex services in several newspapers and Internet sites.

It was settled out of court for a certain sum.

Our Defense Minister hasn’t resigned, but has suspended the Brigadier General until the 20th of August in which time he can try and prove his innocence.

In doubt for the Accused.

Certainly a feast for the “away with the military ” brigade.

Summertime

School is out.The longed for school summer holidays can begin and families with children can pack their bags and head for the southern borders,or the next airport if they are lucky.

You won’t find Swiss in Switzerland at this time of year unless they are over fifty. The rest have accepted the never ending check in queues,or twenty kilometer long traffic pile up, north of the Gotthard Tunnel to get to the sun, and the sea.

They are almost like baby turtles, that know when it’s time to hatch out from their eggs in the sand and head in unison for the water.

The Rest,foreigners workers or otherwise, who can’t afford the drive home to the countries of South Eastern Europe remain,as do the refugees,the old and the insane. Plus of course Tourists who don’t know any better.

Why,the mass Exodus from this beautiful country.? Because when the sun shines here in Summer it is hot, and I mean over 30°C.The polluted air from Northern Italy, Germany or France is blown over to us, where it gets caught in this bucket surrounded by mountains. Breathing especially for people with respiratory problems isn’t fun.

On shop doors,office entrances,restaurants and anything else that employs people, notices are hung,”Closed for the annual holiday”. So you don’t have to have a lot of plans.

But one thing of course should be wonderful.With so many people out of the country,the roads must be less congested and driving easy . Don’t you believe it ,one section of the people here don’t take holiday.The road repairers. (mostly foreign workers)

It doesn’t matter where you stick your pin in the map of Switzerland, you can be sure that all roads in that area will be under repair, between now and the middle of September.Getting from A to B is an Odyssey,and Satellite Navigation Systems have decided to join the others.

Enjoy your holidays, and welcome if you are coming over.

Is it just plain stupidity?

Yesterday a 12 year old boy was killed while skiing with his parents outside a marked ski run!

It happened in the well known Parsenn area,near Klosters in Switzerland.

How sad for the loss of a young life, how sad that people who don’t understand the mountains can’t take the advice of people who do.

If you want to Ski in Switzerland we have lots of places to do it in.We have probably the best prepared runs in Europe ( a money thing)

We have Nursery Slopes,Blue Runs,Red Runs and Black Runs. If you really want to kill yourself then believe me the black ones are best for the novice skier. They are planned by experts and mountaineers, like the ex Swiss Downhill World Champion Bernhard Russi who still plans the World Cup runs.

But every year there are fools who know better where to ski,and succumb to the call of virgin snow, even after heavy snowfalls with an Avalanche alert like on Sunday.

To me it isn’t being clever,it’s just being downright stupid.

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