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(Not the real)
Delft op Zondag


23 OCTOBER, 2016

In Pursuit of Happiness

DELFT - Had a 'nasty woman' flu last week, and, true confessions I have been obsessed by the election in America. To me, a US national, problems seem familiar to the ones we have in Delft. Different scale, sure, but familiar.

Climate change is number one on my list; we live behind a dijk. Winters are warmer; I can leave more plants outside over year. And it is getting warmer. If too much of Greenland dumps cold water into the North Atlantic, the Gulf Stream shifts. There are lots of old Dutch paintings when the 7-cities skating was every year.

Dutch houses are built to withstand storms; even so, they are built to keep heat in. More, drier and longer warm months are hard on crops and people.


"The American Constitution guaranteeds every person the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In Delft, it is achieved via a grant, four wheels and multi-limbed gadgets. And don't think market lanes are wide for them either."

Finally, I guess folks are going to fight when they disagree, especially when it comes to power. I've read power is land, who has it and who can keep it. It is also about people, who owns them and who can retain them.

Nothing I've ever read describes a time when power was not sought by some person or group. And nothing suggests power was ever released except from 'cold dead hands'. Power grants deference, a rich life and monuments. It also grants you get your way, no matter what others think or say. Power is said to stem from greed; I think it comes from fear. If you are powerful, you have need to fear only other powerful people. Which makes it a closed game that benefits the few. That seems inefficient.

After climate change, I'd pick globalization, if that is the right word for all the people who are not like me, who are suddenly around me. There are more of other kinds of people who I only knew through reading National Geographic.

Because I do not naturally do things - all the little things - the way Dutch do, I am familiar with feeling unsure. I was worried I would do or say something so foreign that everyone round me would just laugh out loud. I'd lose my self-respect.

It was months before I knew how the coin operated grocery carts worked. But my partner laughed at me as she explained how to do it. This to say that what is familiar is comfortable, everyone knows what to do and where they fit.

But the Dutch were one of the nations that started globalization by sending many citizens off to the way-far. And they did well for it; they had a Golden Age. The issue is starker in the US where basic demographics is changing the old ways and places.

So, those are the thoughts that wander through a mind full of anti-flu pills and which watches too much American election coverage. I look forward to the day that Clinton, May and Merkel sit down to talk together, and we learn women are like men.

G. Wiley / NLStrabo - © Copyright - All rights reserved -
In memory of Herb Caen