Funny what we think about while traveling. Of course, in my case, whatever I’m thinking is affected by the underlying facts of my disability. The latter being more in my face, let us say, being more on my own. And what hits me in the face, as I am facing up to being face-to-face with my disabled being?
That this is a strange era of vacuous action. The former adage ‘look before you leap’ has been replaced by something else. Maybe leap and look later. Or leap and don’t look at all. Or maybe leap and enjoy the view for your final few seconds. Whatever, the mentality seems deeply incomprehensible. And it suggests a general despair. Which makes me realize that my chronic, personal despair may be more sanguine than I thought. And Trump and company even sicker that I thought.
Brexit seems a remarkable shortsighted folly, close-up. All the young people I know among family and extended family seem defeated. In comparing our national plights, they point out that Trump is unlikely to be around forever, but departing the EU it Is a very permanent, one-way move. Another referendum? No, absolutely not in the cards according to anyone I have talked to.
The folly of Brexit seems all around. Jake, my cousin’s son, works for the Cabinet Ministry, a civil service position in IT. Basic databases long owned and shared by EU members, e.g., pharmaceutical toxicity info, are now supposed to be…what? No one knows if Britain will have to come up with its own or the European Union will share the data for a fee. And equally important, how will Britain include its own drug data? Or will it? Either way, the cost of duplicating such efforts is staggering. So staggering, that people can only guess.
Meanwhile, as I wander in and out of Paddington Station several times a day, I am also thinking about Amtrak. Britons like it, first of all. Oh, they are a bit puzzled. After all, trains in this country carry 1.3 billion (yes, billion) passengers a year. And they are fast. The 7:30 AM express from Newcastle covers 303 miles to London in two and a half hours, for example. So the British people are a bit thrown by American trains. But once they get used to the fact that Amtrak is an essentially 19th century operation running passenger trains over freight track, what the hell. They enjoy it. An excellent way to see the States, everyone says.
I’m trying to hold on to this fact, and I hope I can fight the good fight when I’m back home. Where is the US travel industry when we really need a lobbyist? Where is sanity? Stay tuned. I intend to find out.