Visit any continent. Does not matter in which direction you fly; chances are that once down on terra firma and after having ventured farther afield in the countryside, you will experience the majestic. To 'world beater' and novice alike, that moment happens when they make contact with the locals.
A transformation takes place; the symbiosis oozes positive energies for both the traveler and host alike. If you don't know what I am referring to by now, it probably means that your own overseas forays in distant lands was that of a tourist; which, is not a sin; No, not at all. However to those of us who prefer trekking on our own, far removed from the 'beaten down path', we have always come away richer for our experiences; in most cases the riches, came not in material form. Nonetheless we came away wealthy; memories are cherished and last forever; friendships gained formed a lifelong bond; all of which are priceless. Taking in all the scenic sights was a merely a distraction; a cheap side show.
What made my travels special? Simple: the peoples I met en route; average, ordinary folk and small communities alike greeted, me, a stranger like they found their long, lost friend! I can't count the times that this phenomenon has happened; but I remember in vivid detail each and every encounter as well as those warm, glowing and honest faces that kept me in good stead. It made no difference whether the setting was a small rural town in Nebraska's cornhusker counties, a fishing village in Antananarivo or on a farm at the far eastern stretches of the North Hungarian Plain near Debrecen. My reception was always the same: warm embraces, where my gracious hosts opened their hearts; they offered me shelter in their homes; shared their meager food and engaged me in wonderful conversation.
The common folk did so without asking anything in return; I believe maybe to their own hurt. If you are wondering, I and many other wayfarers before me, refer to this extraordinary humaneness as 'the love of the common people'. Now compare and contrast my travel experiences with what happens and how you are 'received' in the 'big cities' of our civilized world.
More specific, I refer to the financial districts of those renowned centers of world commerce: New York, London, Zurich, Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Singapore in the East. Once street side dare to gaze up to the heavens; stretch your neck; follow those glitzy skyward surging diamond sharp tangents to the zenith of glass-skinned towers. Venture inside; then take the atomic lift to the pinnacle of any one of the corporate elite's power pyramids. Atop of the world, the air is thin; indoors, behind solid oak doors the atmosphere is thick.
In secret, the captains of 'wealth management' plan their next covert operation; no sovereign nation is safe under their constant watch. Because as sure as the sun rises in the east, these western elitists have already committed; they bet the whole farm. All they need do now is execute the grand heist through speculative trading on global securities markets. Not that I sought them out, but on occasion, I encountered even engaged some 'top dwellers'; always, the experience was less than satisfying; never gratifying. Those stoned faced flannel suits spoke a strange language; almost unintelligible. No wonder.
Their entire vocabulary is devoid of meaning; nothing that a real caring human being could relate to. Instead, the servile staffers proffered and opined ad nauseum. Their vector laced monologues lasted ad infinitum; their speeches, were filled to capacity but in abstract terms. You know the buzz words: leveraged
Forest fires in Siberia have been raging for three months already. They have become a disaster not only of Russian, but of global scale. The fires have already scorched 12 million hectares of land