25 August 2009

Scenes from a Life of Adventure

The scene is a bar in Baltimore. Lee is behind the bar. A regular patron is sitting at the bar, describing his favorite Amsterdam haunts. It is mid-afternoon last Sunday.

The regular gets a piece of paper and begins drawing a map for Lee to lead him to the bar (Gollum) which the regular remembers most fondly. It begins to dawn on Lee that he does not own a map of Amsterdam. In fact, he realizes, he has never even seen a map of Amsterdam. He is not even clear on what "The Netherlands" are. They sound, to him, like the name of a bad Sci Fi Channel series.

"Are you flying into Schippel?" the regular asks.
"Yes," Lee replies, because he reasons that the regular knows more about Amsterdam than he himself does.
"OK, when you get off the plane the ticket booths are to your right for the train."
Lee begins to realize that he had not yet figured out how he would get from the airport to the hotel.
Lee begins to suppress a mild panic.

We now fast forward to today, five hours before Lee boards a plane for Amsterdam. The reader will be pleased to learn that Lee has no more information about the city than he did that afternoon at the bar, minus of course a hand drawn map that will get him to Gollum.

What more does one need, really?

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