The Traveling Experience
Location: Amsterdam, cybercafe.
The traveling experience is like nothing else. It captures you, the way you think and who you are as a person. Today, while walking around a Dutch plaza, I came across a "big chess board", the ones you sometimes see in movies with the human sized pieces (ok, maybe this one was more like knee sized). As I approached, a serious match was progressing between two chess players-- in a few moves it was over and I approached the pale skilled winner. After talking about tournament play and analyzing the position, he invited me to a Dutch chess club where I spent most of the day.
As I sat there, thinking about my next moves, but also about life, I realized what an incredible experience this has become. I am in the heart of Amsterdam, with a Kenyan Rasta guy as my opponent, it felt like one of the most peaceful moments (ok you can stop thinking that I was just high). I had nothing to do all day long, I had no where to go, I had nothing to see or no one to meet; I was in a chess club, enjoying life.
I look outside at the neon signs that brighten the narrow streetwalk, as tourists wandering a playground of senses look around in wonder, and the focused Dutch confine their looks to a two foot radius. What an interesting land, a bunch of byclists hustling up and down bridges which seperate them from the engulfing sea. Yet what seperates the Dutch, is their amazing carefreeness. As if they are just living life itself and aren't concerned with other people's realities except when it interfers with them.
Tomorrow I watch elections, and would like to "wake up"at 4am (I think) to watch it, I don't have a TV in the bedroom and all the Dutch roommates will likely be sleeping. I will hear of the results in the morning, and either sigh with relief, or sigh with devestation. The latter isn't going to be much fun, as it will not only affect us as Americans, but will also affect our public image around thew world. To re-elect Bush is to stare ignorance at its face and enact the human emotion called faith. It is faith which has turned this country on its side, coming from all angles into politics. There is no rebuttle for an argument based on a declaration of religious faith, or a President who evokes it into politics.
On many levels, this will be the destruction of America if Bush is re-elected. It has confirmed history, as another great nation has fallen by its own accord. So as I write this, I wonder about us as Americans. Have we commited ourselves into something which we are not, or have we commited ourselves to something which we are. Time will only tell.
I'm getting a bit chilly as night falls and the darker side of the city begins to appear. The colored lights that flank the crowded streets are adjusting to the growing urge of naturalistic tedencies. Soon the night will turn on its head as the music fast forwards to a quicker beat. I take in a deep breath and wish for clarity for the American people.