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.
Many of you who have experienced the Great Airports of the World - Heathrow, JFK, Dubai, and Belgrade's own Nikola Tesla - will know already what I am talking about. This is a subject, in fact, which is so well known to frequent fliers as to be superfluous to set to pixels. It is a level of luxury which we have come to expect, but it is not for the uninitiated...