Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We're all all right .... but this is our last chance

N.C. Wyeth -- "Robinson Crusoe" / 1920

My disdain for America resurfaces
Part 1 of 2 (or 3 or whatever)

This idea has been going through my head seriously for a month or two now, although the seed was planted more than a few years ago, and perhaps even a couple of decades ago.

Way back: I once knew a man who somehow had wrangled himself a job at two newspapers, one in Michigan and one in Florida. You probably can guess where this is going: Warm-weather months in Michigan and cold-weather months in Florida.

Last year: The idea of having a home in Europe and another in America was on my mind -- for more than one reason. The primary questions that never were resolved satisfactorily (to me) were exactly where -- in which European (yes, European, none other) country and city, and in which American state and ....

I awakened smiling this morning. One or two or, possibly, three of you reading this might know exactly what I mean with those words. In essence, it means I am happy, content and sort of pleased at this moment. Besides that, I have a couple of stories I want to write. Here is one:

I have told a few people this, but the more I think about it, the more unusual it seems. When I arrived in Poland last December, I went through customs at Frederic Chopin Airport in Warsaw and had my passport stamped. That was the only time my passport was out of my pocket until I departed Frederic Chopin Airport in Warsaw in April.

During this time span, I stayed in an apartment complex which made arrangements for me to arrive on a day there were no other guests present and the entire staff was on holiday. A manager met my companion and I at the front door, showed us around, handed us keys not only to our room, but to the front door, and left. We had the place, which included a couple of buildings with three or four restaurants, to ourselves if we chose to go roaming. No identification requested, no payment necessary. Simply, welcome to Warsaw. Enjoy your stay.

I initially was scheduled to stay there for a week, but kept modifying my plans. And, until I decided to leave after two weeks for a private apartment elsewhere, no one even asked me to pay a penny for the suite I had been occupying. By the way, no passport or any form of identification was requested to rent the second, private apartment, either.

Then, there was the bank incident. Somewhere on a path between ignorance and incompetence, a major American bank with a nationwide system froze one of my accounts. A small-town bank in America and a major Polish bank in Warsaw got me through that mess, which lasted about a week. No identification was required at the Polish bank during this dilemma, either.

Beyond that, the nationwide American bank went so far as to ignore contact not only from me and my so-called "personal banker," but from my attorney in America. Only after five or six days and I finally had said I would be on my way to the American consulate in Warsaw the next day, did the issue mysteriously resolve itself.

Here is a country, Poland, that not even twenty years ago had the Soviet Army still occupying it -- and, I was, feeling free as a bird. Back in my so-called homeland, in America, a nation which supposedly set everyone free during 18th and 19th century processes, I have to prove my identification, fill out an application emphasizing very personal information and often provide references to rent a car or to begin visits to a dentist or to rent an apartment or to board an aircraft. Only a nation of idiots, I believe, would submit to this sort of treatment.

As you can see, my old disdain toward life in 21st Century America is returning. This place has ceased to be a republic. No doubt about it. The power mongers rule. Time for a change for me again, even if only temporary. Yes-s-s-s, it is pretty obvious that I am working myself up to getting the hell out of Dodge again.

So then, after this mini-tirade, I think I might write about my mini-adventure on the return flight from Poland to America. Some few individuals have heard part of this story, but no one other than Benny and White Bear has heard it all and, as usual, White Bear took a nap while I was telling it so he is rather uninformed, too.

A clue: The word, "guns," came up .... twice .... once at the Warsaw airport, and again on the flight.


Anonymous said...

very nice storie..looking forward to the next one..and great music as always..I copy all of it.Many Thanx!!:)

Fram Actual said...

Well, thank you, Anita. In a day or two, the next one will arrive.

Yes, the music .... Gail Ann Dorsey is singing Freddie Mercury's part along with David Bowie in this one. She has a marvelous voice, and it takes a special voice to do this song justice.

Anonymous said...

as i said before..where do you take it all from..a mind full of music,art and stories!!!:)))),,you sure have good taste!

Fram Actual said...

The music? I look for individuals or groups on YouTube whose songs I enjoy and see what is to be found. If you wish to credit someone for this, say thank you to the people who take the time to post it there for all of us to enjoy.

As for writing and art, writing comes from observing and experiencing, at least for me. My imagination does not carry over into writing.

Art pretty much is the same; I look and look and look and know what I like and dislike. Also, art is part of my family in the sense of successful practitioners -- which is a goofy way of saying it runs the family.

Kaya said...

Fram, this is a powerful post. It stirred in me so many thoughts and emotions.

I am going to close my blog In This Moment. I suddenly realized that I opened too many blogs and have so little time. Fram, thank you so much for your incredible support and your comments on my blog. I will miss all of them; they made me think, they made me smile and even laugh. I saved your definition of success. It is so good. Someday I will post it again on one of my blogs. It will not disappear.

Fram Actual said...

Last night, I had dinner with a cousin of mine. She is American, but she married a Swede her second time around the marriage circle and now lives in Stockholm. They even lived in Hong Kong for a time. He works for a Swedish conglomerate. She returns to America every year for a month or so to visit her mother and other family members.

Anyway, I learned something interesting from her I did not know before. It involves Norway. Are you at all curious about what I learned, Anita?

Fram Actual said...

We literally bumped into each other with our comments, Kaya. I sent one at 5:55, the exact moment your comment posted, and mine did not show up. It took a few minutes for me to figure out what had happened. I have encountered this event a couple of times in the past, but not often.

Quite naturally, I am disappointed you are closing that blog. There are too few of them, at least that I have run across, which are philosophical and introspective in tone. But, I certainly can understand the amount of time required to put together three blogs which are more-or-less specialized.

I assume you will continue to read books and to write about animals, so I will be able to visit you now and then through those channels. For as long as I am around, I hope you will continue to visit me from time to time, too.

Kaya said...

I will always visit your blog.

Anonymous said...

Fram.Yes of course.what did you learn............................+

about the other questions..if i had some suggestions to you..where to go.Yes i have,but i dont think you would agree with i remain silent on that one..

are you leaving for that nice concert today..and stay away all weekend?..i hope you have fun time!!!

Fram Actual said...

I learned I have a relative who is virtually your neighbor, Anita. He and his wife live on one of the islands just offshore from Bergen.

My cousin and I have not seen each other for years. A cousin of my father traced the paternal lineage of my father's side of my family back to about 1560 in Norway. When my cousin settled in Sweden, she used this material to track down some of our relatives in Norway, and has visited a few, including this fellow. She is going to email me his address and telephone number after she has returned to Stockholm.

I told my cousin I see photographs of Bergen just about every day on the internet, and that I was impressed both by the photos and the photographer.

No, I am not leaving for Treasure Island until Saturday morning, and I plan to stay overnight and come back sometime on Sunday. I need to finish my packing before I take time to relax completely.

Anonymous said...

Nice!!May be i know them!!!!this is exiting news!!:)))

You must tell me all about it!!!
The island outside Bergen is very very very fact i was thinking every day to visit one of them as soon as possible..

It is very very good news!!!


Well.I think it is good you dont go away the whole weekend..I like to write with you.and all your nice friends!!:)))

I was on the other mountain today very early in the morning 9 o was beautiful and silence and ect ect..i will try to upload on the blog..i have some difficulty uploading these 2 days..Have you experienced something new when you upload pictures..ok,,see you later in the nigh..!!:))

Fram Actual said...

That is about all there is to tell right now, Anita. I cannot recall if she said that he is a professional fisherman or simply likes to fish, but he took her out to see a "salmon farm" during her visit. I will learn more after she is home and we can exchange a few emails. We had a million things to talk about.

No, I have not had any problems uploading to my blog.

Anonymous said...

Oh..but we have alot of people having salamon fact we dont like the farms because the fish jump out and mate with the other fishes and then it becomes all wrong..The best tasty salamon you fish free in the lakes!!You remember Gollum in lord of the seems busy..nice you have family close to me though..have a nice evening!!:))

Fram Actual said...

I never have been much of a fisherman, mostly, I suppose, because I generally do not eat fish. I once enjoyed "hunting" fish with bow and arrow, though. But, no more hunting.

Yes, I am coming and going to the computer, cleaning some guns to put into storage, talking on the telephone, trying to learn a few things about the Blackberry, even cleaning one of the bedrooms in the townhouse now that I have emptied it of contents. Busy, busy ....

Anonymous said...

Do not eath fish?????????????????

I will cook you a good fish dinner one day in is very very good!!!:)))))))))))))))))))))

I think it is soooo bad you have sold your house and everything..dont understand why you did that on that lovely place..

..Keep on doing your things and we will talk later ok!

Something special ....