There are people who are born with an innate sense of orientation. These people always know which way is True North, how to get from here to there without circumnavigating the globe and discovering the West Indies, and do not refer to "right" as the "other left."
What is True North anyway? Is there a Fake North?
I got a message on Viber 27 seconds ago. When do I respond? Immediately? What is the etiquette? Is there any etiquette?
People who have an active and useful memory of the 20th Century (like me for example) used to send letters to each other, a process by which weeks and months could pass in between missives. When we got email and could send a letter instantly without relying on the post office, we started to think about "response times". One company I worked for mandated a maximum 48-hour response time for emails. This was soon sliced in two and 24 hours became the etiquette. After that, you were being lazy. Or rude. Or both.
None of the principle actors have arrived yet on the set, nor has the director - citing some unease about getting paid for half of it in 20 years - but the producers (Sheik Ali Xander & Associates) have so far put on a spectacle worthy of Metro Goldwyn Mayer.
Ah! Ok, it's the Easter season after all. Easter being all about resurrection, I was not overly surprised to see him (Him?) walking by the window of the café where I had established myself on this Tuesday morning. In fact he was not walking at all. It was a portrait.
Jugoslovenski Aerotransport, or JAT (1927 - 2013), presented the traveler with a very clear set of rock-bottom expectations - bare minimum of operations, reasonably functioning if less than confidence-inspiring aircraft, fairly bad attitudes both on the ground and in the air, and disproportionately high prices.
That was JAT - it used to be nearly the only way in and out of Yugoslavia - and we loved to hate it.
In the old days, the phone was a fixed object in some corner of the house, usually next to a comfortable chair, so you could sit and chat with whoever was on the other side of the receiver. When the phone would ring, we usually knew who it might be - a friend, your Aunt Wendy, your sister in Chicago.
But that was then. Today Bob never calls. You read his Facebook updates. You might occasionally exchange "likes," possibly the odd instant message chat. And in the end, you know pretty much what Bob has been doing and what he likes and what is happening around him. The same for your sister and Aunt Wendy. The virtual nature of our communications today means that we have the impression of talking to people all the time. We open some social media site with our morning coffee or tea and instantly know what our thousands of friends are doing. Especially the friends we never met.
It is a scourge on our society. We must root it out and brutalize offenders in a very public way so as to discourage future criminal acts.
I plan to write a letter to the City of Belgrade protesting the arrest of this woman. If the point of her arrest was to demonstrate the power of the police and the weak position of our citizenry, then jail is NOT the answer.
Despite what appears to be a space which is reserved for a person with some kind of physical disability, in reality it is merely a metaphor for the various societal woes which beset the citizenry and therefore is open to wide and (sometimes) poetic interpretation.
Today (and yesterday, and tomorrow since it is not quite finished) I opened a new bank account. In order to do so, I affixed my scrawling and somewhat easy-to-copy signature to at least fifty documents - none of which I read.